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January 14, 2013

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/P. Mathieu
6‑2, 6‑4, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That was a very convincing win today.  Are you happy with your performance out on Rod Laver?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I am.  It was a good performance for a first round.  You know, I felt I was in control of the match in the opening two sets.  Then, you know, he started playing better, striking the ball quite well from both sides on the baseline.  I thought he was serving really precisely and really well.
It was tough to break.  But in the end, that 11th game, I made some good shots, good points, you know, managed to go through straight sets.

Q.  How do you feel about your own game?  Do you feel you're right on top of everything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I mean, there are some few adjustments that I need to make and get a little bit sharper on the court.  But, you know, it's expected in the first match you're still not, you know, being a hundred percent on the court.  You're trying to, but it's going to get better with matches that I play.
Hopefully I can continue on with the same rhythm.

Q.  Can you give us an idea what sort of physical preparations you do in the off‑season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, unfortunately I can't give you too many details because I like to keep these things private and confidential.
But, you know, what I can say, we've been using the same kind of generally routines of preparations and exercises that we've been respecting for last five, six years, so it hasn't changed much.

Q.  Roughly how many hours would you change in a day?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It really depends.  You know, in the off‑season, obviously more than usual because then you have more time.  That's when you do your basic training physically.
In the opening few weeks, I try to focus more on physical work, and then I combine it with the tennis hours on the court.

Q.  In the time since you won that match, have you thought about round two yet and who you might face up yet?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  I was trying to keep my thoughts on the first match.  I was very committed from the start of this match today because I knew the quality of my opponent, you know.  He has been on the tour for a while and he played the finals of Davis Cup.  He had lots of success.  Top‑20 player.
As you can see, he can go out there and play equally well as anybody.  You know, if it's in his striking zone, and I tried to move him around the court, I did well, so right now I think have Ryan Harrison from United States.  He's one of these up‑and‑coming young talents who has been playing well on the tour for last few years.  He likes playing on hard courts.  I think he had lots of success in U.S. hard court tournaments.  He has a big serve which he likes to use and big forehand.
I played him few times before on different surfaces.  I know what it takes to win that match.

Q.  Are you conscious on the physical preparation side of what your rivals are doing?  Do you know the details of what Andy Murray, for instance, is doing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, no.  I mean, I don't know details, details.  I know generally what I've been seeing, and my team, obviously we are trying to be as informed as possible about everybody, you know, especially about their game.
At the start of the season you want to see how everybody's playing, how everybody's feeling, you know, how everybody confident is on the court or not.
It's the start of the season, so it still takes time to kind of get into that rhythm that you have to maintain throughout the whole year.  But we try to mostly focus on ourselves and then, you know, I guess the results will follow.

Q.  Has it become a competition within the competition?  This guy is doing this much, I have to do this much?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  There is an obvious evolution of the game in last five to ten years.  When I came on the tour first time, I remember there was not as much commitment and professionalism between the players, especially the ones that were a bit lower ranked, top 50, top 100.
Nowadays, competition is so strong and everybody is dedicated on a day‑to‑day basis what they do, what they eat on and off the court, it makes the sport, the makes the players improve every single day.

Q.  Talking about the possible Aussie Open hat trick, what do such historical achievements mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Any achievement, especially if it's part of history, would mean a lot to me.  I love this sport.  This sport is my life since I was four years old.  I try to generate this great desire to play this sport from that love.  You know, it's not about winning or losing; it's about being passionate about what you do.
I guess as long as it's like that I'll be happy to play, with lots of commitment, lots of motivation.  We'll see how far I can go.
I think it's too early, again, to speak eventually about the title because there are many contenders to win this title.

Q.  What were the conditions like playing on Rod Laver today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, it was quite breezy and quite cool weather.  It was not too warm.  It was really a nice day for playing tennis.
Melbourne is very unpredictable with the weather, as we all know.  It can be really hot and it can be also very cold in the night.  So depending on those conditions, you have to adjust your game.
So it was maybe a little bit faster today than it would be maybe in the night session.  But, I mean, I played many matches in Rod Laver, and I like that court.

Q.  Did the new racquet fair well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  All is well.

Q.  When you came on tour, how much talk did you hear with recovery and how much of that is a part of your overall preparation now versus when you came on tour?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I was fortunate enough to always be surrounded with the people who are experts in their departments, in their jobs.  I always try to have a big team of people around me.
You know, if you want to succeed, you have to invest in yourself.  You have to invest in your career.  And I believe that recovery, from my own experience, especially in the complex and very difficult sport as tennis is, is equally as important as the work that you do for yourself.

Q.  What did you write on the camera lens?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I tried to write, Aussie, Aussie.  The people either didn't see it or understand my writing.  Maybe I misspelled it (laughter).

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