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


February 26, 2013

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/V. Troicki
6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That was a good way to start, wasn't it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, that was a great one, especially in the first set, considering the fact I haven't played an official tournament for three, four weeks.
I wanted to be extra focused on the court today, because I also knew he has a big serve, as he had proven tonight, and can be very dangerous on these courts.  This is one of the fastest hard courts on the tour that I have experienced outdoors.
So you need to be really committed to every point and play well.

Q.  How difficult is it to keep playing your friend Viktor so many times?  You know him well.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, it's the question that you always have.  I mean, when you're playing somebody that you know for such a long time‑‑ he's a close friend on and off the court, but, you know, when you're playing a match, there is no doubt that we both want to win.  So we played over 10 times against each other.  It's not the first time.

Q.  With the courts being so quick, does that affect the tactics you're adopting during the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Absolutely.  I mean, I think most of the players try to‑‑ if they don't play a tournament the week before Dubai, they come and try to come here earlier and get some hours on the court.  There is no altitude, but still, it's probably because of the dry air that the ball travels through the air very fast.  It's tough to control.
So you have to be very well in the balance all the time, and you've got to serve well.  If you don't serve well, then you're in trouble.

Q.  Second set got a little tricky.  He broke you.

Q.  But then you quickly broke back.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, just a very poor game service‑wise for me.  I didn't ‑‑ I think out of maybe eight serves I put maybe one or two first serves in the whole game.
But okay.  It was just a little drop of concentration, and it was very short.  I'm glad that I managed to rebreak right away.

Q.  Just looking at the present generation of Serbian players‑ yourself, Viktor, Janko, and in the women, Jankovic, Ivanovic‑ there doesn't seem to be as much young talent coming through behind you now.  Why do you think that is?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I would disagree.  There are some talents.  More than few, actually.  More than in my time when, I guess, we were making our way through the professional tennis.
Nowadays, the way the tennis is, it's more difficult to make a breakthrough at the early stages of your career when you're still a teenager.  I think most of the players would agree with that fact, because tennis became more professional, more demanding, more physical.
I guess, you know, with the point system and everything, it goes to the favor more of the top players.  It's not that easy.  It's really a big task for young players, both men's and women's.  I think even more in men's.
But we do have players like Filip Krajinovic that has been around.  He's been a little bit injured but he's very talented.  Nikola Milojevic, the best junior in the world.
Then in the women's, we have even more players.  They're in the top of the juniors game.
Now is the time of that transition, you know, period in their career which is asking from them more than ever, and it's the most tricky ones so we will see how that goes.
But again, we need a system in our country.  You know, when we develop a system, then it's going to be easier to support these talents and give them better conditions to break through.

Q.  But do you think there might be less hunger from those players because there is the system which you didn't really have?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, I wouldn't say that.  You know, I think that they are even more motivated because they see that from a small country that has no National Tennis Center and no tennis system and tennis tradition, we already have so many players in both men's and women's, and we had No. 1s in singles, doubles, men's, singles, women's, Grand Slam winners.
So it's a huge success for a country that has no support from such system.  So I think that's something that motivates them, that they know that they can succeed even though ‑‑but again, it's a much more difficult road they're on.

Q.  Does that mean they still have to go outside of Serbia like you did and Ana did?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, that's something we are trying to change, obviously.  A National Tennis Center is I think the No. 1 priority of all the people in Serbia that love this sport.  If we have that, then we already allowed, you know, or created, if you want to say, a place or location where all these talents can practice, can feel good, like at home, you know.
If they don't have that, they have to rely on the individual support of their families, which, you know, is obviously much more unpredictable and risky because not many families have that kind of circumstances and financial support to be able to give their kids, you know, the right conditions.

Q.  Is that even close, the National Tennis Center?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, it is.  I think, yeah, it is.  I have met with the people, leadership of our country lately, so I think also our Tennis Federation is working on it last few years.
Problem is money, obviously.  It's not easy.  I mean, so many countries and especially the small countries‑‑ Serbia struggles economically with many different issues that are pending and, you know, creating ‑‑I mean, forming a tennis center is not really top of the priority list for them, but they have shown goodwill.  I think they are realizing how much this sport really brings a positive image to our country, you know, around the world.
So I'm sure that they're going to ‑‑we're going to make it happen very soon.

Q.  Close friends.  Two points that you did tonight. Do you think your friendship is over the winning, the victory, the money, the points of the ranking?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I always try throughout my career to be very fair on the court.  You know, in these kind of situations, yes, I mean, when you're playing very, very close friend, yes, then things are a little bit different.
But still, there is a justice.  I mean, if there is a situation that in my opinion he earned that point and it's a ball that is good, I would say it's close or it's on the line, and, you know, I don't want to feel bad or I don't want to, you know, know that it's in and just turn my head and pretend nothing is going on.
But, you know, everybody's different, obviously.  It's a very competitive sport.

Q.  Obviously, Novak, another close friend of yours, Janko Tipsarevic, became the first seed to drop out of competition.  He seems out of sorts, pulled out of Davis Cup.  Is that a concern?  Especially for Serbia in the Davis Cup.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I mean, that's definitely not ‑‑he hasn't been feeling well on the court, and it's not good for us that he's not in the team, not good definitely for him that he's been struggling with injuries and results in last five, six weeks.
But I think he hasn't been ‑‑he has been in this kind of position and situations before, so he's very experienced and he knows what to do.  He just needs a little bit of time, and that injury was very serious in Australia.  That kept him away from playing with our team against Belgium, and now he made that decision.  It's his personal decision, and we will stand behind him.  We will support him because we understand, you know, understand what he goes through.
Of course with him and especially in top form it will be much better for us, but it's the way it is now.

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