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March 10, 2013

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/F. Fognini
6‑0, 5‑7, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  On the court you said the second set was all your fault.  What happened?  Where did it go wrong?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, it's the first match in the tournament.  It's my first hit this year on the center court.  I started really, really good and I felt great physically.
Mentally I was there, you know.  Confidence level is high obviously because of the run I had this year.  Game‑wise, everything works.  I had a very bad game on 4‑2, couple of unforced errors, got him back in the match.  And that's tennis, you know.  Next thing you know we're one set all and a couple of tight games.
But look, I'm not concerned, you know.  I know I have been in this situation before where I had minor setbacks in a match, especially in the opening matches where I'm trying to get used to the court, the conditions, so forth.
He's a good player on this surface.  I mean, it's a very slow surface.  It bounces high.  He loves playing on clay.  He loves playing on slow surfaces.  He made me work.  He made me earn my points.
In the end, I have done what I needed to do.  The W is there, so I feel good about myself.

Q.  Do you have a bit of a cold?  You sound almost like you might, or allergies?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, no, not something I know of, no.

Q.  I think you're the sixth player at this tournament actually to win the first set 6‑0 and then lose the second set.  Can you talk about sort of what the pluses and minuses of getting a bagel are and if it makes it harder once you do start to lose games to sort of refocus.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I didn't know about that stat.  One thing is for sure:  When you win 6‑Love first set, you need to be a little bit extra focused for the start of the second, because, you know, the player will definitely change something in his tactics, in his game, and will try to come back.  That's what happened.
He is unpredictable as a player, you know.  He's unpredictable with his behavior on the court, also.  I mean, I know him really well.  We grew up together.  We know each other since we were 12 because we are same generation.
But sometimes it's funny what he does.  Sometimes it's a bit annoying because you don't know what's coming up next.  He started playing better.
But, again, you know, I should not have given him an opportunity to come back to the match, but I did.  But, you know, the important thing is that I won the match.

Q.  Sometimes is it hard to not sort of feel yourself letting up after a bagel a bit, a little bit of sympathy with someone you know or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I didn't ‑‑well, at least I tried not to allow myself to, you know, kind of relax and take things, you know, in some easier fashion than I had in the beginning of the match because I knew that he can come back, you know.  He can make you work, and that's what happened.
But I think that there are a few games towards the end of the second set.  I could have done the job earlier.  I just stopped working with my legs.  It happens, you know, as I said, especially in the opening matches where you try to find your game and see where you stand on this court.
Because coming from Dubai, it's a huge difference in the speed of the court.  At least on center court it's even slower than the outside court where I practiced.  Dubai is one of the fastest hard courts.

Q.  If I'm not mistaken, you had a time warning in the final service game in Dubai in the final.  [] obviously nor one tonight, and you had discussion with the umpire.  Can you talk about how you think that rule is going.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I don't complain about maybe me exceeding the time limit time‑wise.  I just had a chat with the chair umpire about the ball kids, you know.  I'm not blaming them, also.
I just think that there is a situation where sometimes it takes ‑‑well, several times it took them quite a bit, you know, to give me a towel, to understand what I want, dropping the balls.  So you're losing a lot of time there.
Then I'm stepping on the line and I see that my opponent is not ready.  Then when he's ready, I started bouncing my ball, you know, and then it takes another five, six seconds because I bounce maybe more than my opponents do.
So that's where I lose the time.  So that was my argument, you know.  I think nothing else, really.  I believe that as soon as I'm on the line‑‑ because he told me that the rule is that he measures the time when you toss the ball.  That's when it stops, not when you are on the line.
Which I didn't understand it that way.  In the past it was ‑‑I mean, mostly the chair umpires would tell me just get to the line and that's okay.

Q.  But when does it start?  Isn't that where the confusion is?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  I guess it starts as soon as the previous point is over, which I agree with.  I mean, I just think that, you know, there has to be a certain kind of tolerance in terms of, you know, recognizing the time where you get the towel, balls, all these things, you know.  Because I'm on the line for sure before the time limit, you know.
And then I bounce the ball and everything because I see that my opponent is not ready.  So that's where the confusion was a little bit today.
But everything aside that was fine.

Q.  You of course are known for your imitations and Michael Jackson routines.  But if I could ask you a serious question ‑ you field it whatever way you want ‑ but in about 36 hours or so the world will be turning to the selection of the Pope, and you've described yourself as an athlete and a religious person.  You're friends with people in the Catholic church, you've got the Order of St. Sava.  Could you talk about your religious feelings?  Is it something that informs you in a regular way, or is it...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Religion is a very sensitive subject.

Q.  Absolutely.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  So I will choose my words wisely.  I respect every religion.  I believe that, you know, people depend on it too much.  That's my opinion.
You know, I believe that the religion and the faith should be something that comes from a free choice of a person.
We are all the same in the end, same people that belong to a same origin of love and life, you know.
So we basically pray to the same energy but in a different way.  That's my opinion.  I respect the honors that I got from Serbian Orthodox Church.  And of course it's a huge honor and I'm privileged.
Aside that, there's nothing much I can say, you know.  I'm not framed by any ‑‑my religion or anything else.  I respect the freedom of choice, and all the people should‑‑ if all the people in the world think like this, you know, I think it would be a much better place to live.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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