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August 6, 2013

Novak Djokovic


6‑2, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  First tournament since Wimbledon.  Feels good to be back practicing with higher competition in front of you and playing with tougher guys?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, feels good, definitely.  It felt good having a break also, which doesn't come very often.
But it's nice to be back in a competition mode.  As you said, the first match after finals of Wimbledon.  It took me a little bit of time to kind of adjust.  These days I was practicing only during the day, with the jetlag and everything.  It was a bit strange to see the lights and to play night session.
But I always like playing night session here because it's always very special.  A lot of people come to see the match.  It's very entertaining.  Good conditions for my game.  It all fitted well.  As the match went on, I felt more comfortable on the court.

Q.  Yesterday you practiced with Janko and Milos a bit.  Do these guys ask for some kind of advice?  Do you protect your tips?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, we are good friends.  Milos and I, we speak the same language.  It's easier to communicate.  I've known him for quite a few years.
He practices now with Ljubicic, who was a former No.3 of the world, Davis Cup winner, somebody that I know very well, because I used to practice with the same coach.¬† We used the same coach in Monte‑Carlo.¬† We're all friends.¬† We all use the opportunity to practice with each other whenever we can.¬† Sometimes we speak about tennis, but sometimes we speak about other things in life.¬† It's not only about tennis.
Yeah, it was nice to hit with him.

Q.  Was it difficult to digest the Wimbledon final loss and can you tell us a little bit what you did after that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's not the first time that I lose a big match, then I have to kind of bounce back mentally, physically, emotionally.  I've been in these kind of particular situations before and I know what to do.
I was very much looking forward to rest, you know, because I needed that after a long first part of the season.  It came in the right moment.  Now I'm looking forward to competing on the hard court, which is my most preferred surface, my most successful surface.
I like this tournament.  I already forgot about what happened.  Of course, I use it as a right experience, learn from that also.  I had a great tournament in Wimbledon, reached the finals.  It's not too bad to play Wimbledon finals also.  Now looking forward to a new challenge.

Q.  What did you like about your game and what didn't you like tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Maybe the first‑serve percentage could be slightly better.¬† You know, winning 6‑1, 6‑2, there was not much negative that I can say about my game.¬† It was more positive.
I didn't really give him an opportunity to dictate the play.  I was the one coming into the net, serving well when I needed to, coming out with good shots.
As I said, as the match went on, I felt more comfortable on the court.  That's something that makes me happy.  Obviously to win the first match after four weeks, first match on hard courts since Miami basically this year, it's been more than a few months.  In order to play that well, I have to keep up and practice tomorrow, so I'm confident I can continue on.

Q.  What about the dance at the end?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was a little agreement I had with my friends when we had vacation time a few weeks ago.  This is one of the summer hits, you know.  We listened to that song quite a lot.  We had a lot of dancing going on.
I said, Why not?  I'll do it after the first match in Montréal.  If I keep on winning, I'll do it after every match.  If I win the next one, you can expect same song but maybe little bit different dance.  We'll work on it (smiling).

Q.  You talk about Milos.  You are aware of him and his fellow Canadians had a successful day here today.  Does the recent success of guys and Pospisil change anything about the way you perceive your Davis Cup matchup coming up in the next month?  How do you feel about Canadian tennis compared to what it was when you got started?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It doesn't change anything in my approach.  It's in the back of my mind, the Davis Cup, but not really as my main priority now.  I'm really focusing on playing well here in Canada the next week, and then of course the US Open, that is the biggest tournament for all of us in the hard court season, then of course the Davis Cup.
When the time comes, I'll think about it more.  But it's semifinals and we have it at home.  We haven't played Davis Cup at home for two years.  I think the interest in Belgrade is quite big.  People are missing tennis.  I, as all my other colleagues from the Davis Cup team of Serbia, are really excited to play at home.  That is the arena where we won the Davis Cup in 2010.
We know how special it is for play for our country.  We are all very good friends.  We don't know what's going to happen with Viktor.  I spoke to him.  We don't know if he's going to be able to play because of what's going on with him.  We all give him big support because he's definitely innocent.  It's unfortunate what's going on.  Hopefully he's going to be able to be on the court very soon.
And Davis Cup, we don't know.  We hope.  If it's realistic or not, we are about to see.  The Canadian players are doing really well.  Of course, when you're at home you want to perform your best in front of your crowd, so they have a lot of supporters here.  I think they have already four, five players in the second and third round, which is quite amazing.
We'll see how far they can go.

Q.  Do you feel like the perception of Canadian tennis has changed since you came up as a pro?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I see more players nowadays than it was maybe few years ago.  I mean, that's for sure.  Daniel Nestor has been around for quite a long time.  That's something that we know.  But Raonic, of course, Pospisil, Jesse Levine.  Quite a few guys.  Dancevic.  They can play well on hard court.  This is their country, and it's where they want to play well.

Q.  How do you feel playing in Montréal, in Canada, when you have such an enormous Serbian population as fans?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  The first time I came here was 2005, I think.  I already have seen quite a few people with Serbian flags coming to support me.  I was very young.  They came to see my matches.  That was something for me as a tennis player, very young, 17, 18 years old, coming out from my country, coming to play in Canada, it was making me very happy.  I had a lot of support.
In 2007 I won my first Masters title.  That changed a lot since that.  That was the first big title, and it happened here in Montréal.  I have a special memory and connection with this city.  I love playing in this tournament, not just here, but also in Toronto.  I have lots of success in Rogers Cup.
Of course, I appreciate all the support, Serbian support, all the Canadian and international support that I have.
People here love tennis.  For few days before the tournament started we had practice sessions with hundreds of people.  Even they were announcing what we achieved in our careers.  That's something I didn't experience on the other tournaments, where they have basically like a match announcement in the practice sessions.  It's quite interesting.  People really appreciate the athletes.
So for us is a pleasure to be here.

Q.  Back in 2007 you won your first Rogers, then you went to the US Open final, then you won the Australian Open a few months later.  Hypothetically speaking in the next round if you play Novak from 2007, 2008, who do you think would win?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's very hard to compare myself from now and any other year before that because every year is different.  That's the way I look at it.  I try to remember those great moments that I had, especially in 2011 when I played the best tennis of my life.  Knowing how well I played, just kind of stays in the back of my mind.  Subconsciously I'm always aware of the fact that I can play that well.
That's something that gives me confidence and reason to believe I can repeat the success I had always in this tournament and any other.  But, as I said, every year and every season is a different challenge.  You mature.  Every year you're a different person.  You have to face a different circumstance that affects your play.
I believe that now mentally I'm maybe more stable and mature.  If I'm playing better or not, comparing to the player of a few years ago, it's hard.  It's really hard to compare.  I can't really do that.

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