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September 1, 2013

Novak Djokovic


6‑0, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What goes through your mind during a match like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Just to do my job, win in straight sets, and spend as less time on court as possible.
Oh, when I'm doing this?  I think most of the players most of the time when they come in the conference room they don't even notice these great people here who are working very hard to catch every word that I am saying.
And as I am speaking, he was typing exactly what I am saying.  Wow, wow, wow, wow.

Q.  Speaking of news conferences, I heard you hired someone to help you manage your distractions, how to handle news conferences.  Are these the tips that you are receiving?

Q.  I heard you hired Ivan Lendl's old coach to help you with your news conferences.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  My conferences?  No.  He's more into tennis court stuff.  Not really news and press conferences.  He is a consultant, you know, to me and to my coach also.  He's a part of our team here for US Open for the first time.  We're kind of trying it out and seeing how it goes so far.
It goes really well.  He adjusted to our team.  He's been in tennis for over 30 years, as a player, as a coach, as somebody that has a big knowledge and experience in this sport.

Q.  It seems you're trying to go more and more to the net.  What is the most challenging for you when it comes to the net game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  To hit a volley winner (smiling).
I am not obviously as comfortable on the net as I am on the baseline, but I've been working on it.  It's part of my game that I still need to improve.  I'm aware of that.
It makes me happy that I have room for improvement, and I keep on spending hours and hours on the court and working on variety in my game.  And serve, especially that part of my game.  I want to try and get as many free points on the serve as possible.

Q.  You're the big brother in a family full of tennis players.  What advice do you share with your brothers as they're coming up through the system?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's more than one, but what I try to do with them is to allow them to develop kind of the future that they want for themselves, you know.  Because, yes, they are doing the same sport that I'm doing and I can help them a lot.
I've been obviously over the years spending a lot of time with them on the court, trying to speak with them, give them necessary kind of advices for the right directions in the life.
But as I said, you know, I allow them to do a lot of things by themselves, because it's very important that they independently select what is good, what is bad for them.
I think they know what's best for them out of anybody in their surroundings.
As an older brother, you know, they have all the facilities because I'm successful and we can afford a great team for them also.  But it's a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations because they are my younger brothers.  So wherever they go, they have this in the back of their mind.  Subconsciously it's a lot of pressure that they go through.
I hope they can play Grand Slams also one day.  We can play all together.

Q.  Did you watch Lleyton Hewitt against Del Potro the other day?  What do you think about the comeback he is making?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was fantastic match.  I watched in sequences.  I watched I think the whole last set, and Lleyton seemed very fit and very determined to win.  It's no surprise because he's a great competitor.
You can always expect him to give his best and play his best actually at this stage of his life, after going through a lot of injuries, when he's playing in center courts of Grand Slams.  That's even what he said on the post‑match interview on the court.  He said, This is what I live for.  This is what I work for.
He played that way.

Q.  Ana Ivanovic had some great things to say about you, playing hide and seek with you as a kid.  When there were bombings, if there was a match you were allowed to finish it, but you couldn't start a new one.  Could you bring to life what you wrote in the book when the bombs were actually falling, your dad was calling out to you, you were wondering where your brother was?  What was going through your mind at that time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, those particular times that me and my fellow countrymen and colleagues from Serbia have been through is definitely, you know, a period of life that we don't wish anybody to experience.  The war is the worst thing in life for humanity.  Nobody really wins.
But it made us stronger, you know, this two and a half months.  We looked at it on the bright side.  We were kids.  We were only 12 years old.  So we thought, Okay, now we're not obliged to go to school, we can play more tennis.
So we spent the whole day basically every day for two months on the tennis courts with the planes flying over our heads.  We really didn't mind.  After a week or two of the bombings, we just kind of moved on with our lives.  We did everything we could and what we wanted.  We just let the life decide for us.  It was not in our control.  We were helpless basically.
Luckily we all survived, and we take this kind of experience and this particular situation from our past as a great lesson in the life and something that allowed us to be stronger mentally and to actually understand what it is to basically have nothing, you know, start from zero, from scratch, and arrive to where we are.
I think these kind of particular experiences helped us appreciate all the life values and everything that has been given to us by the life much more than we would probably if we didn't have these experiences.

Q.  If I could, when you do see in the headlines possible air strikes and so forth, are you cautionary about that?  Do you say, Oh, no?  Any thoughts of what's going on now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm totally against any kind of weapon, any kind of air strike, missile attack.  I'm totally against anything that is destructive.  Because I had this personal experience, I know it cannot bring any good to anybody.

Q.  You're a player who can play both offense and defense.  Which comes more naturally to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you try to keep yourself in a comfort zone somewhere where you feel most confident on the court.  My game is baseline to baseline.  I like also stepping in and taking the ball early.  I also sometimes like defending.
So it's important to have nowadays in this modern tennis both defense and offense.  What I find essential for success in today's tennis is the transition from defense to offense.
So I think Nadal, Murray, myself, a few other players, they have this great transition.  Federer, of course, with the variety.  The game has evolved so much.  You need to be complete player in order to be at the top.

Q.  During the match you have Fibak.  You said he wanted you to stay focused the rest of the tournament.  How do you plan to do that, keep the events and people at bay?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I stay at New Jersey for the US Open the last five years at a friend's house, a nice place.  We have our calm and quiet time there.  When we want to go to the city for dinner, we do.  But I think it's a right balance really.
On my day off sometimes I come to practice here.  Sometimes I stay there, which helps me to recharge my batteries, you know, recover and get ready for what's expecting me.
We've been trying to emphasize the focus definitely on every single point.  I think so far I've done pretty well.

Q.  Can you remember when you were younger, you had an idol or somebody you looked up to?  And once you became a professional and played against that player, what was that like?  Does one thing come to mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I never played with Pete Sampras.  That was my wish, because he was my idol when I was growing up in tennis.  Also Andre Agassi.  I got to play Andre also in an exhibition match on grass before Wimbledon a few years ago.
Safin, for example.  He was one of the players that I liked watching.  Then when I got to play him, I think it was the first Grand Slam match for me in Australian Open when I qualified.  I got three games in three sets, but still it was quite a nice experience for me.
I know how it feels.  Everybody was there at the very beginnings when you're making transition from junior tennis to ATP.  You know, you're turning from a boy to man.  You have to be patient and understand that it's all the process of learning and understanding what you need to do.
You can't basically, you know, come at the first or second match of the Grand Slams and start winning against top players.  It's a very difficult task.
It's all learning process and everybody goes through it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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