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April 18, 2013

Novak Djokovic


4‑6, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Another couple of hours on court.  The kind of test you needed for your ankle?  How was it today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it was quite a similar feeling to the one yesterday.  It's another big test obviously, again a two‑hour match.
Obviously I'm not physically out there feeling my best.  Somehow feels that I always miss that half a step, you know.  But I'm trying.  I'm fighting.  After I lost the first set today, I tried to find that inner strength.  I found it again.
So that's a positive thing.  Every day brings a new challenge and we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q.  The conversation at the end of the first set, was that a little bit of reassurance you wanted?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I got some painkillers and stuff.  I wanted to ask a few questions to the doctor's team to see what they think.
Said, okay, I'll give it a try, see how it goes.  It went well.

Q.  Other players in your situation after you got the injury, Davis Cup, would have said, I don't have to come here because I'm not 100%.  You came here.  Is it also that you have been living here a few years, that for you this is like your second home now so you feel that this is important for you and you like the tournament especially?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Anyway, I was going to come here, so...  Playing or not playing, I would be spending my time in Monaco.  So I guess, you know, not playing during the tournament and spending time in Monaco is not really something you are looking forward to (smiling).
I really had a big desire to play.  And, you're right, it's definitely a motivation more because I like this tournament so much and I like playing here.
So I'm glad that I've made this decision and I'm glad what is most important the tournament medical team and my own professional team have agreed that I will not damage my ankle furthermore if I participate in the tournament.  So for me that was the most important sign.  That was a green light that I could be a part of it.

Q.  How difficult mentally is it to forget about the injury when you're playing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I'm experiencing something new, you know, this week.  To be honest, I think I never been in this particular situation before where wherever I start a match, it's triple the effort that I usually put in energy‑wise because there are many things that I'm thinking about.  It's the pressure of playing the match, then the ankle, so forth.
Obviously I'm physically not up to my maximum capacity.  So a lot of things in play.
You know, I'm really proud that I managed to stay mentally positive and tough throughout the last two matches that I played here and managed to make that positive step forward in the beginning of the second set in both matches.  That's something that gives me more confidence and I guess motivation to continue on playing well.

Q.  You got the usual time violation warning.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah (smiling).

Q.  What do you feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, well, I guess I'm going to have to get used to it a little bit more now ‑  especially this week, because I need a little bit more time.
I cannot say anything against the chair umpire today because he was fair.  He told me on the changeover that I'm a bit slow.  After that he gave me the warning.  I agree with that.

Q.  What do you think about seeing Nieminen in the next round?  Maybe easier than Del Potro?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Regardless of who I play against really, for me the most important thing is to feel good on the court and to compete.  That's only thing that is in my mind.

Q.  Every year here in Monte‑Carlo you experience new experiences.  When you have to play with this ankle now, you focus on that, too.  To play three sets instead of two, is almost better or would you prefer 6‑1, 6‑1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I prefer 6‑1, 6‑1.

Q.  All the time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  If you can arrange me that kind of score, I'll be very friendly to you in the future.

Q.  You say it's a new experience playing in this kind of situation.  Do you think it will be beneficial later on in your career knowing you've been through this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Definitely it's a new experience.  That's why sport is also unpredictable.  You experience always something different.  And I'm glad in a way.  I know for the future how to, you know, kind of position myself, what kind of mindset I have to possess when I am confronting these kind of situations.

Q.  As someone who sat on the Player Council, therefore involved in rule making, a player 4‑5 down in a tiebreak sits down because of apparently cramps in his thigh.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I was watching with one of the ATP officials.  I asked him for what's the rules.  He said for the changeover he has the right to have cramp treatment for the changeover, but he also has right to call for medical timeout, examination.  Medical team can come, physiotherapist, determines if he needs or doesn't need therapy.
For tiebreak, I think he was also a little bit confused.  I think it's also judgment of a chair umpire if he allows him or not.  That's all I can say really.
It looked very strange.

Q.  Do you think it's right you should be able to walk off court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You know, it was strange.  I've never seen that.  Just a few points before the end of the match, just happen like that.  I guess he's going to answer better how he felt.  Maybe he felt something.  I don't know.

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