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DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS MEN


March 2, 2013


Novak Djokovic


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych
7‑5, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Only a tiny bobble at the end.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I managed to hold my serve.  I still saved the break ball.  (Smiling.)
No, I mean, my serving today was great, very high percentage of first serves, you know, over 200Ks.  I really felt that, you know, I could rely on my serve.  And in tough moments, that part of my game actually helped me to prevail.
To be honest, I mean, I haven't played as aggressive and maybe as good as I have played in yesterday's match or previous matches during this week.  But, you know, that's also because I had, you know, a toughest challenge, obviously.  I had Tomas who was obviously aggressive from the start and feeling confident after a win against Roger.
You know, I backed it up and I was playing from my back foot a bit and giving him, you know, too much time to control the points.  That resulted with a break down, and then, you know, he missed a few easy shots on break points first and second set that gave me the victory basically.
But, you know, I felt when I came from break down that I started believing in myself a little bit more.  But, look, I hung in there and stayed tough.  This is the important thing.

Q.  Being the world No. 1, do you think sort of keeping players like this in their place, winning, cuts down on their confidence by winning against them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, this is not box (smiling).  Look, I have lots of respect for the game and for all the other players.  As I said, Tomas is a great quality player and men's tennis in this moment is experiencing some really good times.
You get to see some thrilling matches throughout the year.  You've got to love the game.  You've got to enjoy every moment of it.
Of course, we are all competing.  We all want to win on the court, but the bottom line is that this is a sport that we love and it brings a lot of joy to me, absolutely.  So I'm not thinking in the way to put anybody in their place.  I mean, everybody is fighting for highest possible position in the world as they can do, you know, taking the maximum of their abilities.  And, you know, sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.  This is sport.

Q.¬† Down 4‑2, what was going through your mind?¬† What were you thinking in that first set?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I just wanted to hang in there and just try to wait for my chance to come back to the match.  When it was presented, I took it, you know.  I played some good points.
Yes, he basically gave me that break on 4‑3 when he missed an easy volley, but still, I fight it and I believed I can come back, and that's I think something that can eventually decide the winner in these kind of matches in this kind of level, just hanging in there, I mean, and waiting for your chance and then going for it.

Q.  You mentioned on the court you would support this tournament becoming a 1000.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.

Q.  Can you talk a bit more about that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, there's not much to say except the fact that it's elected for last 10 years as the best tournament in the world in series of 500.  That says enough about quality of this tournament.
You have always at least four, five players from top 10 coming here and always entertaining weeks of tennis with the women's the week before and then men's back to back, have over 100,000 people coming to watch.  I mean, all these facts I think are saying enough about the quality of the tournament that they're organizing.
So for me‑‑ I mean, I was actually talking with Tomas on court about it.¬† I don't know a single player who has played here and has a negative feeling about the tournament.¬† On the contrary, everybody wishes that this tournament is played for a bit longer time, also, like we have Indian Wells and Miami, and I think that this tournament deserves.
But again, it's tough.  It's tough to really understand in a way, you know, how the concept of the tournaments can change, because, you know, we have the certain regulations that allow the tournaments of 1000s here, for example, to have the license for over 50 years, you know.  So legally you can't really just take it away from them.
But I think that there should be a standard that has to be respected from every single tournament in their respected category so that they can still continue to organize event.
And I believe that every few years also can be interesting idea to allow all the tournaments in the world to compete for 1000 events.¬† Why not?¬† I mean, you have to give opportunity to the cities around the world.¬† You know, the way it looks now‑‑ I mean, as I said, I mean, tennis is growing.¬† Men's tennis is really popular, getting more global and global people following it, especially Grand Slams, of course, is the biggest events.¬† But then, you know, if you have it as ATP has control over 1000 events, why not play around with that, try to evolve, try to grow a little bit, you know, because there has been a too much conservative path that tennis has been taking.
It's my opinion, again, and I think that most of the players would share this opinion that the game has to be evolving in a way.  If the cities are going to have the big tournaments, then they have to earn it, you know.  They have to show that they're really looking to, you know, accommodate players in the best possible way, to be player friendly, to be promoting it and doing strong  marketing for that tournament, like Indian Wells, for example.  They have been continuously investing in that tournament.  Dubai.
You know, this is something that also has to be determined in the future, and, you know, I think I'm ready to discuss, you know, to give my ideas.  I hope that we can do something with it.

Q.  Winning on a very fast court like this against someone like Tomas, that must give you quite high hopes going into Indian Wells where it's not quite as fast.  Do you feel that will suit your game even better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  This is one of the fastest courts, hard courts that you can experience throughout the year on the tour.  I'm very glad that I'm able to win the title for the fourth time.
I haven't always been the player who loves to play on the fast, super‑fast surfaces, but I'm happy because during the week I can also work on my aggressivity, coming into the net, using my serve better,¬† and that's what I have done in this tournament and in particular over the years.¬† I have been trying to work on a few things that can give me more variety in the game, and I can use that in the tournaments to come.
So I like playing also Indian Wells and in Miami, also.  I won a lot of times there, you know, I think few times each tournament.  So I look forward to it.  I'm going to have six, seven days of rest and try to enjoy my time a bit and then getting ready.

Q.  Shanghai is the best ATP 1000 tournament in the last four years, so can you compare these two tournaments?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Which one?

Q.  Shanghai.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Shanghai?

Q.  Yeah.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, Shanghai.  You gave a good example, also.  It's a great, very great tournament.  I mean, fantastic organization, also.  I mean, the venue is unbelievable.  I mean, the quality of facilities, you know, also, they are also very player friendly.
Those kind of, you know, places should serve as an example to everybody else, I think.  The way that the most popular sports in the world are growing now, I think there is no reason why tennis should not do the same, right?
Of course, we want to protect the integrity of the sport and we have to ‑‑we respect the tradition and the history that has been behind us, you know, in so many years and so many great champions, and, you know, respected tournaments that had over 100, 120 years of history.¬† But again, I believe that as the world is evolving, I think that tennis should do the same.

Q.  You have won four titles here in the last five years, a dominance akin to Australia.  How does that feel and where does it rank in your career achievements?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You're talking about the Australian Open?

Q.  No, here, winning four out of five here.  How does it fit and where does it rank?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I have only compliments for this tournament.  I think I have said enough of what I feel about Dubai and this tournament, you know, only positive thoughts.
I have been enjoying my time always coming here with a big team, with family, friends.  Everybody has been welcomed as they're, you know, here.  This generosity of the people and from the organization is always remembered.
So this is definitely one of my favorite tournaments throughout the year.  And then again, winning it four times now out of what, six, maybe five, six participations, is something that I definitely enjoy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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