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August 18, 2012

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/J. Del Potro
6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You've saved all the break points against Juan Martin today and have done a remarkable job all season long and last year.  What goes through your head with respect to break points and trying save them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Try to step into the court and take my chances, you know.  It's what I have been trying to do in last couple of years.  Obviously sometimes it works, sometimes not, but it's been working quite often for me actually in last two weeks.
I'm happy for that.  When you are in the situation of break point down, it makes you focus more and makes you be more aggressive.
So that's something that I always look forward to.

Q.  Juan Martin has been talking about his wrist problem the last couple days.  He said earlier on that he did consider retiring from the match, but because you're a close friends, because of the sponsors, the crowd, he elected to continue playing.  When you see the US Open as just around the corner, would you have taken such a risk?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, right now I'm not in that position so I can't really speak in that matter.  But, you know, it's really nice from him to be able to continue and finish the match.  It was sportsman like.  He's a great player and a great person.

Q.  You were in a similar position last year obviously in Cincinnati.  I thought it was interesting, because tough bind, right?  What do you do if you're not in 100% shape, especially for the final?  Do you withdraw before the final and people get no match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As I said, I'm not in that position; I was last year.  I retired the match because it just was getting worse from that point on for my shoulder.  Obviously US Open around the corner makes you worry if year going to recover or not.
I think I actually in last two days just before the start of US Open I started serving.  So it took me a while to really get my shoulder in a right condition in order to play.
So turned out to be a good thing in the end.

Q.  You had one of the best years in the history of tennis last year, and obviously pretty difficult to duplicate that this year.  What are' the biggest differences between this year and last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, every year is different.  I learn a lot from 2011.  I have experienced the best six months of my career by far losing only one match up to hard court season, and then, you know, winning US Open as well, Canada.
So it was a great, great year.  It's really difficult to expect that I can repeat anything like that.  And I wasn't trying to aim for that.  But just knowing that I can play that well on different surfaces gives me a lot confidence and obviously makes me even more motivated to work hard and to try to get myself in that position.

Q.  How happy are you feeling at the moment with the way you're hitting the ball?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, very happy.  I mean, last two matches have been really, really good, maybe the best two hard court matches I've played in last two weeks.
So it's a great stage I am in in this moment playing another final of Cincinnati, too.  So I'm very much looking forward to that, trying to get a title.

Q.  You've been coming here since I think 2005.  What do you think about the changes that the tournament's made in recent years?  The most obvious one is becoming combined.  What about the new locker rooms, dining, that kind of thing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As a player you always like to see changes, especially in the facilities for the players.  So there has been significant changes in that.  The reaction of the players is positive.  It's a good thing.

Q.  It's been mentioned changing continents, surfaces, even hard courts having different speeds, lots of inconsistencies with respect to the balls that are used on the tour in different events.

Q.  Which ones do you like the best and why?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, we've played with different balls in different tournaments.  You have to try to adjust to those balls as best as you can.  Obviously the change makes a risk, let's say, to the physical condition of the player.  Usually gives a lot of trouble to the shoulders and elbows of the players.
And obviously depending on which surface you play, it affects the rest of the body.  But I think that we should always have the same ball for the swings, let's say, or the tournaments prior to US Open, clay court swings, grass court.
I think the same balls should be used for particular swings of the tournaments prior to the majors.  That wasn't really the case.
But, you know, I see that things are changing, and it's going in a good direction hopefully.

Q.  We don't know the outcome yet of the match; it's in a first‑set tiebreak.  Talk about the potential matchups tomorrow.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, I played Roger here and have lost in finals, I think, what, two, three years ago.  So, you know, not to spend too much words about Roger.  We all know how good he is, especially in later stages of events.
Here conditions are quite fast, so I think it's quite suitable to his style of the game.  We played so many matches against each other.  It's always a big challenge when you play a big rival of yours.
On the other hand, Wawrinka is somebody that made big scalps throughout this week and won against great players, so he's in form.  We'll see.  It's finals.  It's really unpredictable who's going to win.

Q.  You've accomplished quite a bit in your career:  three majors, Davis Cup championship, No. 1.  Is Roland Garros the biggest goal of your career right now at this point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yes.  Roland Garros is a tournament that I want to win, that's for sure.  I'll just try to continue on and keeping my body fit and healthy, you know, because I know that if I manage to stay healthy and fit that I can deliver always the best game, best performance.
I want to try to play for many years on top level.

Q.  You've played against Del Potro a lot obviously back in '09 when he was winning a slam and since then at the French more recently.  How would you sort of compare his game now?  Seems like he may be a little bit faster now.  Does that seem fair to say?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think he's a better player than he was back then.  You know, he had an exceptional tournament in US Open 2009 when he won a first major.
But he always had potential to be one of the best tennis players in the world, and he still does.  He has all the shots, he has big power, big serve, and he moves really well for somebody of his size.
It's obviously now question of if he can stay healthy, because injuries were keeping him away for a while on the tour.

Q.  Did you feel anything different from his backhand today?  He said his left wrist was hurting him.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Not much, to be honest.  Maybe he wasn't going for his backhand long lines as much, but generally everything else was normal.

Q.  You've held serve throughout the tournament.  How much of that is stroke, just placing your serve well, you're hitting it with power, and how much of it is you being able to defend your serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's a very important element in the game, and you always want to rely on that shot.  Always want to try to get as many free points as possible.
And when in difficult position break point down, you want to try to use that shot in your advantage.  That's something that I've been working on, so serve and the first shot after that, and it's been work well.

Q.  Talk a little bit about the development of your younger brothers and their tennis careers, please.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  Well, one is 21 years old, Marko, and Djordje is 17 years old.  They are both based in Europe, half time in Serbia, half time in Spain and Czech Republic.
They been trying to follow their own path.  Obviously on one side it's a disadvantage of having the brother in the top of men's tennis because they have a lot of weight on their shoulders they have to carry for their age.
On the other hand, a lot of things are possible.  You know, wherever they go they have open doors, and it's really good because then they can have best possible facilities and the team.
But, again, in the end it's about them.  It's about them figuring out what is best for them and obviously working hard.
So Marko is around 600 in the world now; Djordje just got recently his first ATP point and he's playing juniors.  So slowly but surely they're coming up.  Hopefully we can all play at a major one day.

Q.  You talked about missing Roland Garros from your collection.  You're also getting pretty close at this point to having every Masters title.  This is one of few that's an empty space on your shelf.  Is that something you think about going into a final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I haven't won this tournament and I played three times finals.  It's going to be an extra motivation for me tomorrow.

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