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April 5, 2013

Novak Djokovic


7‑6, 6‑2, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Novak.

Q.  You started the match not at your best.  How important was pulling out the first set?  You really took the momentum into the second.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was very important to get a set advantage.  These kind of matches are very intense and there is a lot at stake.  You're playing for your country.  You get more involved with the emotions and you really want to start well; you want to bring the first point to Serbia.
So I was a little bit nervous at the start being I guess too cautious in my play and not really taking the ball.  That resulted with a break down.
From that point on, yeah, I was really trying to just stay mentally composed and not get carried away.
It worked well.  I serve really well after that and got the crucial break.  After that it was a great performance.

Q.  Talk about your game plan a little bit defensively.  Second set he only got one ace.  You got a lot of balls back in play.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I guess one of the tactics, crucial points, was to get as many balls back on the return games and try to use my serve very efficiently and not give him any opportunities to attack the second serve.
So I had a very high percentage of first serves in.  That helped my confidence, and I could play with less pressure in his service games.

Q.  What are your thoughts when you play in a place like this, Boise, Idaho, with all the Serbian fans and the flags?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it means a lot.  In this competition, the support of the crowd can play an important role in the matches.  That's why it's good to see that Serbian people come in numbers.  I'm sure they put a lot of effort in paying the expensive trips to come here, expensive tickets to come here.  We appreciate that and we are very thankful for the effort.  I am really glad they were part of this win.

Q.  (No microphone.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, why, because you're playing a big sever in conditions that I never played on before.  It's 830 meters altitude and the highest I ever played on in my life.  It was not easy.  I felt pressure on the serve, and I needed to win my service games comfortably because I knew that I'm not going to get many chances on his service games.
So it was okay.  It was normal that I started a bit slower; after, I managed to regroup, managed to make that break back.  I was reading his serve well when I needed to.  Decisive moments he served well, but I managed to get the ball into play, which was definitely my goal.

Q.  I think you held him to like 35%, 40% when he came to the net.  How were you able to take that away from him and capitalize on those situations?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I tried to take him out of the comfort zone definitely.  I didn't want to give him an opportunity to attack from the forehand side, try to move him around the court, and of course keep him on the backhand side more than on the forehand.
So I was doing well.  I was really trying to motivate myself all the time, even when I was down in the first set.  I got good support from side of the court from Serbian people and it was really good.

Q.  What did you make of the atmosphere and the amount of support for the Americans?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, the support of the Americans is obvious.  They have home court advantage which can help their player; but on the other hand, as a Serbian, it's great to see that many also Serbians today enjoying.
On the other hand, American supporters were very fair to me as well.  I didn't feel there was anything out of ordinary, so it was a pleasant atmosphere to play in.

Q.  Winning in three sets today, talk about how this helps your confidence, your energy for what could be a crucial match on Sunday?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, going 1‑Love up in such important tie is obviously huge confidence boost for all of us on the team.  It's always better to start with that advantage.
I hope that Viktor can win today.  If we were 2‑Love up it's a huge, huge motivation, inspiration, for us for the rest of the days.
But we'll see.  It's still very open.  The singles today we'll take it match by match.  I don't want to start thinking about my Sunday eventual clash against Sam, because anything can happen.
I'm still in the option for the doubles, so we still have to see how the matches go today and decide what we want to do for tomorrow.
I think that kind of mindset will help us stay in the moment.

Q.  I heard you say out on the court you have to be patient against his serve.  He had a couple games there where he just kind of blitzes through.  How do you not get frustrated by that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, these kind of conditions helps the sever because the ball travels through the air much faster and takes off.  As you can see, I had a tough time also returning his second serve.  That should allow me to have the more opportunity.
He was serving very big.  On the other hand, I did too.  I didn't serve as fast as he did.  I didn't try to compete on that.  But I tried to use the efficiency, let's say, and the better percentage of my first serves in so I can work him around the court.
My first ball after the serve, that was very good also.  Yeah, the focus was there.  In these kind of matches it's important to stay in the moment and try to believe in your abilities, in your return game.
I think my return has been serving me quite well in the last few years on the tourn, so I knew he won't be able to serve three, four aces a game every game.  So I just waited for my chances; when they were presented, I used them and used them really well.

Q.  I think it's been a while since you played Davis Cup.

Q.  So did you tell the captain, if I have a short enough match today it's been a while since you played Davis Cup?

Q.  (No microphone.)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the good thing in our team is that we have three players that are able to play in doubles with Zimonjic that was No. 1 of the world and Grand Slam winner.  So having him on the team and his experience in the doubles match tomorrow, it's a huge, let's say stability that we have.  Whoever plays with him I think we have a good chance.
Bryan brothers, of course we have a lot respect for them.  They are a great team and know each other so well and most successful team ever.  So you got give the role of favorite to them.  But I don't think by much, because they lost to Brazil in their last Davis Cup tie.
So anything is possible really in this competition.  As we spoke about the other day, there are no clear favorites.  I know as the No. 1 of the world people probably expect me to win every match.  But I never take anything for granted, because I know how difficult is it to play in those conditions in this competition because you don't represent yourself, you represent your country.
There is a lot weight on the shoulders, and I'm really glad we started on the right foot.

Q.  What is the scenario where you see yourself playing doubles today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, as I said, let's try to see what's going to happen now with Viktor and Sam.  Going to be a close match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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