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September 3, 2013

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/M. Granollers
6‑3, 6‑0, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ When is the last time you played that great?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I had some great matches in the past that I can compare with this one today, but, you know, definitely today, second and third set have been, you know, some of the best tennis that I've played on Arthur Ashe in my career.
It all comes at a great time for me.テつ It was something I was wishing to be more aggressive as the tournament progresses and to be able to stay committed to play every point, to win every point, regardless of what's the score.
So I'm very happy with my mental state, how I feel physically, and the way I played.テつ You know, it's definitely coming at the best possible time.

Q.テつ You played against Sousa, Granollers, and now Youzhny.テつ Do you think you have a real advantage physically?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, probably pays its toll, the fact they have played five‑setters and they are coming in tired in the matches.テつ But I really don't try to pay attention on my opponents during the matches.テつ I have this very determined, you know, vision of what I need to do on the court.
My goal is to win the matches whoever I play against.

Q.テつ On court you said you played flawless after 3‑All in the first set.テつ Is that as good as you can play, those last two sets?テつ Can you play better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I haven't dropped a game from that moment, so I think the result says how well I played (smiling).
It's a great joy, you know.テつ It's a fantastic feeling when you're playing this well.テつ You love spending time on the court and experiencing such great zone where you are at that moment.

Q.テつ You seemed especially sharp at the net today.テつ Is that something you have been working on at all, bringing a little bit of that variety perhaps into your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Yes, I have worked a lot.テつ I know I can defend well and I have a good transition, but also it's obvious that my game is based on a baseline.テつ I have many opportunities during the match to come to the net and finish out the point earlier.
That's, well, one of the things on the practice agenda that we have with our team.テつ We are working on the serve, getting more precise, efficient, and, you know, using the opportunities to just make a winner and come to the net.
It worked really well today.

Q.テつ Your opponent was getting almost a Bronx cheer.テつ Have you ever been on the short end of a 6‑0, 6‑0, at any time in your pro career?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I can't remember the last time, but I remember I lost 6‑Love against Federer last year in the finals of Cincinnati the first set.テつ It's I think the last time I have lost a set without winning a game.
Yeah, it's not a good feeling, for sure.テつ But, you know, it's better when you're on the opposite side of the net winning 6‑Love.

Q.テつ Along those lines, can you remember the last time that you felt you were really in the zone in a match and playing flawlessly?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Yes.テつ As I said, I have had matches, and I even had the match, for example, against Gasquet in quarters of Montreal; I won 1 and 2 playing great.
You have those kind of matches that come and go, unfortunately, because the confidence ‑‑you have to work for the confidence.テつ You have to be always, you know, concentrated 100% in order to get yourself to that zone, you know, to that state of mind where everything works.
You can lose a match easier than you really get to that point, so that's why it's very demanding.

Q.テつ You were, let's say, a skinny guy who grew up by a pizza parlor in the Serbian mountains.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Nice description.テつ Very nice.テつ Thank you (smiling).テつ You want to do my biography?

Q.テつ I will send you a copy.

Q. テつBut then you end up at the UN.テつ What was that like?テつ What was the coolest part of that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I think the invitation, first of all, was the coolest part.テつ Just having this privilege of speaking in the name of global family of athletes on such a historical day.テつ Historical day because it's in United Nations, and we all know how ‑‑United Nations, it's important as an organization.テつ It's so important for the whole world.テつ You have over 120 member states deciding about biggest issues in, you know, the world.
So being out there was definitely a special feeling that I didn't experience before.テつ You had this kind of sensation that you are part of something that is very big, first of all.テつ So just that experience, you know, brought me chills.
Of course being in the position to speak, as I said, in the name of all athletes and on the day where United Nations proclaimed as international day for ‑ the national day of sport for development and peace.
It's going to be on 6th of April.テつ It's quite an honor.テつ President of general assembly is a Serbian person, so that was even bigger for our country.テつ You know, two Serbian people speaking in such a historical day, it's something I will definitely never forget.

Q.テつ Your message is that sports can be a role model?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Absolutely.テつ The sports, you know, unites people.テつ Sports are sending always a good message.テつ You know, it's one of those things in life where it allows kids to ‑‑it allows kids to grow, to socialize, to develop their skills, their potential, and to develop their bodies, to give them the right directions in their life about healthy lifestyles and well‑being.
Sports are a fantastic way for, you know, for a kid to live the beginning of his life.テつ I was really glad to be in the position to speak in front of all the athletes.

Q.テつ If I could ask you a question about Rafa.テつ You played him not so long ago on hard courts.テつ It appears he's not serving as hard as he used to.テつ I'm wondering if you agree with that, and what he's doing effectively with his serve versus in the past, because he's holding quite regularly?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, he might not serve as hard as he did probably when he won the US Open in 2010.テつ I think that was the hardest he served ever in his career on hard courts, actually.
But now he's using the serve very efficiently.テつ You know, he's going for precision.テつ He knows that he can back it up.テつ He has one of the best second shots in the game.
That's why he doesn't feel as much maybe pressure and that's why he's more relaxed and he can, you know, have a lot of variety.テつ He's a lefty, which is advantage because he doesn't get to play many lefties.
Well, majority of the players are righties, and he can have this great slice and open up the court.
So, I mean, he's been playing well, no question about it.テつ He's confident, and, you know, he's very dangerous opponent on any surface.

Q.テつ You had some amazing fights against Federer here and other tournaments.テつ What do you think when you see him go down against Robredo on hard court here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ I haven't watched the match, but, you know, I heard Tommy played fantastic tennis.テつ All the credit to him.
Of course, Roger did not play close to his maximum level, and, you know, so it's always a question.テつ Like, why is he not playing?テつ People need to give him a break a little bit, because I think it's normal to expect that he's not moving as well as he did when he was No. 1 and he was so dominant.
He's probably focusing himself to, you know, set up his form on the biggest tournaments and Grand Slams.テつ For me, he's still playing really well, and he definitely, with his tennis, deserves to be one of the top 5 players in the world, no question about it.
How long he's going to play, that's a question for him.テつ That's the only thing that probably you can ask him.テつ But, you know, he's what, 31, 32 years old?テつ Tommy Haas is 35, 36 and close to top 10 of the world.
So I think people are seeing Roger always being a top 3, top 2 guy and competing for Grand Slam titles.テつ That's not happening, and all of a sudden it's a huge surprise.

Q.テつ You had a great game, especially after the first set, but I was wondering if there was anything you thought that you weren't happy with that you might focus on for your next match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, it was very little today.テつ I think only the first few games.テつ But, you know, as the match progressed I have played incredibly well and at a very high level.
As I said, it's all coming together for me right now.テつ I'm aware of the fact that as the tournament goes on I'm going to have bigger challenges, better quality players, higher‑ranked players, but I'm ready for that challenge.テつ I look forward to it.

Q.テつ Today the nominations came out for Davis Cup.テつ Could you talk briefly about the semifinal, and also that your team will be without Viktor and that although you have a home tie, their team is mostly Serbian?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ (Laughter).テつ Let's not get into that subject, because somebody can misunderstand what I'm saying.
But, yes, they all have ‑ most of them ‑ some kind of connection to our country.
But first time I think they are in semifinals of Davis Cup, so they're coming in with their strongest squad and maybe winning against big teams here, but they are playing first time away.
It's quite different, because they will have to adjust to different conditions, and home advantage in Davis Cup means a lot.テつ We haven't played at home for I think two years, so I think Belgrade and Serbia are really willing to see tennis, you know, played on a high level, and again in the arena where we won that big title in 2010.
So, you know, being a part of Davis Cup team is definitely something special that also gave me a lot of confidence in my career, individual career, and so I love playing Davis Cup ‑ even though I got hurt several times.
But it takes away something from you energy‑wise.テつ Mentally, physically, emotionally, you're so involved.テつ But in the other hand, it also gives you energy, because this is the only official team competition we have in sport.
So, yeah, unfortunately we don't have Viktor, which he is in a very particular situation.テつ Unfortunately he will not be able to play.テつ Hopefully he can be there to be with us to support us and we can get it to another final.

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