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August 9, 2013

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Gasquet
6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That was a pretty commanding performance.  How do you rate it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  As close to the perfection as you can be really.  In every part of my game I did almost my best.  From the start of the match I tried to dictate the play on the court and be in control of the rallies.  I've done really well.
Of course, serve was very efficient, very high percentage of first serves, a lot of aces, a lot of free points.  That's something that obviously gives you confidence when you're playing at this level.

Q.  Was that a good feeling after maybe last night when you had to work a bit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, of course it was a great feeling when you're playing this well and you beat a quality player like Gasquet in straight sets in this fashion.  It's definitely something that encourages me before the next one.

Q.  When you step back on the hard courts again after clay and then grass, does something just click immediately for you or do you still have that transition period?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it takes time, you know.  The transition is something that is normal.  It's natural.  It takes at least four, five days to practice on the surface, to get used to the conditions, new time zone, of course, all these things.  That's why we came here earlier.
But also it's quite different when you're in practice and when you're in actual match play.  That's when you really get to feel, you know, that kind of focus and pressure at the same time when you have to get used to that also.  It takes a few matches.
I am playing as well as I want to definitely.  After two days' performance, I'm happy to say that.

Q.  Do you find it hard to face maybe Nadal and you're not even in the finals yet?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't find it hard.  I mean, I just try to focus, you know, on what I need to do.  Yesterday's match and today's match were quite different.  I was a different player on the court.  I'm just happy to be playing the way I played today.
For me it's very important to try to start well tomorrow against whoever I play.  You know, if I'm playing as well as I did today, I think I have a chance to really win against anybody on this court.

Q.  I know we're in Montréal, but if you can think to Cincinnati for a second.  It seems that the ATP, if you win Cincinnati, you complete the Masters set, they would award they would call it a 'Golden Masters Career' or something like that.  What does it mean to you to be going for this kind of a record?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, of course it would mean a lot to me.  Making history in this sport is a huge privilege, just having the opportunity to do that.
My thoughts are for now directed in this tournament.  I really want to do well here in Montréal, eventually have a shot at the title in Cincinnati.  I will go for it.  Of course, it's an extra motivation.
You know, I played four finals there.  Always played well, but never managed to make that final step.  Hopefully this is the year.

Q.  How much did what happened yesterday influence your game today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, it definitely had an influence.¬† My preparation, especially at the start of the match, I wanted to start with the right energy and the right commitment.¬† I haven't done that yesterday.¬† Obviously the 3‑Love start made me feel more comfortable on the court.

Q.  Rafael is playing exceptionally well.  He's back clearly from the injury of last year.  He's made nine out of ten finals.  How do you assess his play this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think you said it.  I mean, he's playing exceptional tennis.  Since he came back from seven months of absence, he won everything except one title.  I mean, that says enough about his game and where he is at the moment.
He doesn't show any signs of injury or something like that.  But I think he's very motivated to play well, especially at these tournaments after Wimbledon, because he hasn't played these tournaments last year because of injury.
Again, hard court is my most preferred surface.  I feel that that's maybe the place where I have more chances against him than on clay definitely.  So if I get to play him, of course it's going to be a huge challenge for both of us, but I'll be ready for it.

Q.  20 years from now, how do you think this period in men's tennis will be viewed?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I hope it's going to be viewed as one of the golden eras of our sport, because it really feels that way from a player's perspective.  The top four players, we all made great achievements, our own marks at the highest level of this sport.
But we all push each other to the limit.  We all make each other better players on and off the court.  This is something that definitely is encouraging for our sport.  It sends the right message.  We all try to carry the responsibility of a top player in the right way and represent our sport in the best possible way.

Q.  At the beginning of the press conference you were talking about 'close to perfection'.  How close are you from playing your best tennis this week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, looking at the two days' performance, very close.
Again, every match, every day is different.  You can't always feel great.  But I'm going to try to memorize what I've done today and how I felt and hopefully take it on the court tomorrow, same kind of feeling.
Again, as I said, every day is different, brings the different feelings of how you wake up, how you feel this certain day.  You always try to do your best changes daytoday.  But knowing I played this well only at the third match of the hard court season since March, it's very encouraging for me.

Q.  On a completely different note, what inspired you or prompted you to write a book at this stage of your career?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Just the fact that the food regime and the diet that I have been respecting for the last three years changed my life completely on and off the court.  I just wanted to share that with people.  Hopefully they can find something in the book that can help them also.
I'm not saying it's best for everybody.  I'm just sharing my own story and what I've been through after I changed that food regime.

Q.  You've been connecting, reaching out to the fans here in Montréal.  How important do you think being No.1 in the world it is to connect to the fans in different cities, use your trademark humor?  Do you feel that's part of being No.1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† It's absolutely part of everybody's role as a tennis player or any other successful athlete.¬† I mean, fans are essential for us.¬† They're part of our lives.¬† They're people who appreciate the sport, first of all, all the athletes who are taking part in the tournaments, world‑class tournaments.¬† They're the ones who are buying the tickets and coming to watch you play, so you got to respect that.
For me, seeing this many fans supporting not just myself but all the tennis players and the tournament itself from the actually very beginnings of the tournament, and even before that.  On the practice session, you see a couple hundred people.  That actually says a lot about this environment, about how much Canada loves tennis.
Now, of course, also Canada has Raonic, Pospisil, other players who have been doing really well this week.  I think that gets the interest going even more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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