home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 14, 2012

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR:  Question, please.

Q.  Congratulations on your title.

Q.  When did you have your first hit on the courts here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Still didn't have.

Q.  Still haven't?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  It's going to be after press conference.

Q.  Are you one of the types that likes to get on the courts a lot?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, I like to focus on the quality of practice rather than quantity, to be honest.
Yes, there is certain difference between conditions in Toronto and Cincinnati.  The courts are a little bit faster here.  But I still think it's enough for me.  I've had this situation before.
Last year, for example, was very similar when I came in late.  But I have tried to focus on the recovery more than practice, because that's something that I need more.

Q.  Turn back the calendar a little bit.  Last year you obviously had great success against Nadal.  This year you played him in Monte‑Carlo; you had a death in the family and weren't sure if you were going to play again; you did and he beat you.  Did that change anything with respect to your play against him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, as I was saying before, even though I won that many matches against him in 2011, mostly in the finals of major events, very few points actually decide the winner on that level.
He was better player in those matches, and we were playing on his favorite surface, on clay courts.  You know, I think the closest I was to winning against him was in French Open, the most important one for me.  Yeah, it was a disappointing loss for me.  In the end I played finals of French Open which meant for me a lot.
You know, it's normal.  I didn't expect myself to continue on winning against Nadal every single match we play against each other.  I'm confident that we are going to have many more great matches.  It's normal that I win, I lose, and I move on.

Q.  How important do you think Toronto is gonna be for you for the rest of the year considering that it's been a few months since you won a previous title?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's going to mean a lot to me.  It means already a lot to me now because of the circumstances that I've had in last month and a half playing a lot matches, a lot tennis on grass courts, and then having the very emotional Olympic Games and coming in late to Toronto and trying to get used to the surface that I haven't played on for four, five months.  Then the time zone and all those things, which take time.
Obviously that's something that I didn't have.  I had to get used to it in two days and play my first match.  It turned out to be a great tournament for me, a tournament that's going to give me a lot of confidence now.
You know, I love playing on hard courts.  It's my most preferred surface.  Hopefully I can try to continue that run.

Q.  You really enjoyed yourself carrying the Serbian flag in the opening ceremonies.  Talk about what that meant to you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Oh, it was a very ecstatic experience full of joy and pleasure.  It was an extreme privilege and honor for me to be selected as flag bearer for my country.  It was a responsibility in a way as well to represent the country in the best possible way.
Unfortunately I could not bring the medal to Serbia, which is something I really deeply wanted to do and dreamed of doing, obviously, as all the other athletes being part of Olympic Games.  That's what happens.  It's sport.
But I enjoy the whole experience.  It was very interesting to play on Wimbledon courts with your national colors.

Q.  With the Olympics making the schedule crazier than usual, do you sometimes forget where you are?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it happens.  If you don't keep track of time and places where you are, it happens.  Sometimes you wake up and say, Okay, which time zone I am right now?
It's the way it is for everybody, mostly for top players.  We are aware of the fact that Olympic Games are going to make our schedule more difficult and busier than previous years.  That's what happens always in the tennis schedule when you have Olympic year coming up.
You know, so we tried all to work our schedule around that.  For now, I'm feeling good.

Q.  Aside from obvious talent, is the ability to adjust to travel and changes one of the keys to being a top player, do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Certainly is.  You know, there are so many things you have to take care about and be careful, starting from obviously physical, mental preparation, practice on the court, and then everything you do off the court.
You try to be as committed as possible to this sport, because it's probably one of the most demanding sports we have.  We have to travel what, 10, 11 months out of 12 months and play in different surfaces, continents.
So all these facts and circumstances take an important role in your success in what you do, the way you handle them.

Q.  Going back to the Olympics for a second, the captain of the Serbian water polo team was quite outspoken.  I think it was right after the quarterfinals.  He said to the Serbian media, Leave us in peace.  He was talking a little bit about the pressure he felt coming from Serbian fans and media.  So I was wondering, do you read the Serbian press while you're a broad?  If you don't, how do you manage the extremely high expectations coming from home?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I do read it sometimes, not all the time.  But I do keep track on what's going on.  I do see a lot of the things written about me in both ways, but it's the way it is really.
I've I think over the years learned how to deal with the different kinds of pressure and expectations that are there as expected because you are one of the top tennis players in the world and people want to see you lifting all the trophies wherever play.
But pressure in a way is a challenge for all of us.  You know, just knowing that I'm doing something that I really love and that I've done all my life, that's enough for me.  You know, I know that there is so many people in Serbia that appreciate what I'm doing.
For me, that's already enough.

Q.  People talk about this being a special time in men's tennis.  Why do you think it's special?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, because of the fact that you have four players who are I think winning 90% of all the major tournaments that you have on the tour.  I mean, so many titles and so much competition going on and so many great rivalries, great matches, history and all these things that are I think making this era a golden era.

Q.  You mentioned about the pressure of the Olympics and so on.  Andy has had an incredible summer of intense pressure with Wimbledon and then the Olympics and so on.  How do you think he handled that and winning that gold medal?  Do you think that will ease things a little bit for him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's something we're about to see.  I guess it's a question for him more than for me.  But it was definitely impressive performance from him on Wimbledon, and Olympic Games even more.
As you said, you know, he always has pressure when he plays in London, in Britain.  It's huge pressure on him.  But I guess he's going to agree on what I said just now:  that over the years you get that necessary experience to know how to cope with that certain pressure.
It's part of your life; it's part of your sport; it's something that drives you as well; it's something that gets you to the certain level of intensity that is I think necessary for you to have in order to perform your best on the major tournaments.

Q.  You just mentioned the four players.  There used to be the discussion about the big three or four.  Is that discussion finished now, do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, there was different kinds of talks with the rivalries between Roger and Rafa, between me and Rafa, me and Roger, and then Andy.  So there is really no story that I can say, Okay, that's the right one.
Andy was always part of that group of the top players.  He's, what, for last four, five years in top 4 of the world.  Now he has won Olympic Games.  He's played couple of Grand Slam finals, so he deserves to be out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297