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August 31, 2012

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Dutra Silva
6‑2, 6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Are you very pleased with the business of the day?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, very pleased.  It was different conditions today obviously from the first matches I played, the night session.  I didn't know much about my opponent.  Never saw him play.  So that could have been, you know, a difficulty at the start in order to figure out what his game plan is.
But I have played well, you know, from the start to the end.

Q.  What happened in that point early in the third set where you lobbed it back to your opponent?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Trust me, I still don't know what happened.  (Laughter.)
I mean, I thought that I have heard the line umpire say Out, you know, and then I stopped.  I mean, I got the ball back.  He got the ball back.  I let it bounce twice.  Yeah, it was a funny situation.  Never happened before.
But, I mean, it's interesting.

Q.  What are your thoughts on Kim's retirement?  You always seem to have a fun relationship with her.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, she's great.  We participated together in many of the charity events and kids' days here in the States and Australia as well this year.
Well, she is one of the greats of the sport.  She won three titles here and played No. 1 of the world and had a great rivalries with the Williams sisters and Justine.
You know, I think she took Belgium tennis to another level, so it's definitely, you know, gonna be a loss for women's tennis to not have her around.  But, you know, yeah, I think she felt that it was time for her to retire.
And we have another one from yesterday, obviously Andy, and so it's interesting to see.  It's a bit surprising, but that's how the life goes.

Q.  If you could switch gears and go back to last year in the semis and the shot of your return of serve, could you just reflect on that?  Was there an element of luck?  Did you just go for it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I went for it.  I went for it, and it brings me the best memories from last year's semifinal.  Obviously came in the right moment.  I could not have asked for more.  At that point it was two match points down, and, I mean, I anticipated well and I hit the ball well.
So, you know, luck is always definitely welcomed and needed at that stage, but I didn't mishit the ball.  I just anticipated well and hit it well in the great timing.

Q.  Can you say that in a way it was an extension of this great season you had and that belief that it was there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  Well, you know, when you're winning many matches and you have, you know, great six, seven months of the year, you win titles and major events, then your confidence is rising.
You definitely consider hitting those shots at that stage more than when you don't feel that confident on the court.

Q.  Is that the single most important shot in your career?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, under the circumstances I probably would rate it right at the top, yes.

Q.  You mentioned Andy retiring.  You obviously some way off from doing so hopefully.  It's a reminder of how quickly a sports career can come and go.  To just remind you, if you need any reminding, that you've got to seize the opportunity when you have it, which is obviously right now.  And maybe, you know, you're having a great season, but it's so hard to emulate the season you had last year.  Does it just sort of show when you get an opportunity you've got to take it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, when you have the opportunity you obviously do your best in order to take it and seize it, as you said.  Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.  That's sport.
You know, you win and you lose, but the sport makes you a bigger, better competitor and better person.  You learn that hard work pays off in the end and the dedication and professionalism.  You know, that's why we are all here.  That's why we are competing.  We have a big love for this sport.
Andy's situation just shows how quickly everything can turn around.  But, you know, I have listened to his press conference yesterday; I admired his career.  He was one of the greatest competitors around.  You know, probably biggest serve ever.  I'm sure that himself he's proud of his career, and, you know, all American tennis should be.
I mean, definitely he made a history in our sport.  I guess he felt that it's time for him to move on, to stop playing tennis, and to do something else.
The great thing that he said yesterday is that he wants to continue on his legacy of playing tennis and try to transfer that knowledge to somebody that is coming up that needs help from such a champion.
So that's great, you know.  You want to kind of share the love for the sport and your knowledge and experiences with somebody else that wants to become like you.

Q.  In terms of your motivation ‑I know you have been asked variations on this before ‑ but obviously you had such a legendary streak last year and achieved No. 1 in the world.  This year Roger has been resurgent and returned to No. 1 and you obviously are No. 2.  Talk about just what you could take out of last year.  Can it sometimes be a burden in that you set such a high mark for yourself, or is it all positive?  Is it all that I've done it before and I can try to do it again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, I have never had in my career such a long streak of victories, you know, six months without losing a match.  Was incredible, you know, to be part of that.
It was very difficult for myself to ask for another six months like that.  Maybe that's once in a lifetime that you get to experience such a great season.
Yes, I have maybe set very high standards and expectations for myself.  So 2012 comparing to 2011 isn't as successful, you know, titles‑wise, but I feel physically better than I did last season, so for me that's a positive.  I always try to take the best out of all these experiences and out of that season.
For me, the positive also is that knowing that I can play that well gives me a lot of confidence.  I improved on different kinds of surfaces.  I won my first Wimbledon trophy, and grass obviously is not my most preferred surface.
But, you know, it opened the doors for me on that surface, and, you know, gave my confidence level a great boost.  So, you know, I'm going to try to carry that on as I have done this year.

Q.  Do you feel reenergized when you're out there on Arthur Ashe where you have had the great success last year, particularly the last two matches?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I mean, winning three majors in one year was a tremendous achievement for me.  I could not have asked for more at that point.
I mean, last five years I have been reaching at least semifinals here in US Open, so I love this place.  I love the energy and the crowd.  You know, it's just suitable to my style of the game.  Hard court is my most preferred surface.
So I really want to do well here, as all the other players who are taking a part in this tournament.

Q.  You talk about the match, the conditions.  With the heat being as high as it was, was it important to win quickly so you weren't out there any longer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, obviously I want to spend less time as possible on the court.  I have played a lot of tennis, a lot of matches, through the course of this summer.
I had also two long weeks in hard courts in Toronto and Cincinnati, so the lack of matches is not something that is worrying me.  Actually, I just want to focus and try to win in straight sets every match that I play on.

Q.  What was the dance about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was about the song.  It was on the kids' day.  It got into my mind.  It's quite catchy.  Every time I hear it, it's good energy.  (Laughing.)

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