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August 30, 2013

Novak Djokovic


7‑6, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  It looked like the first set was a bit of a struggle.  How did you feel out there today physically and in your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, it was a struggle.  It was different conditions from the first match, and, you know, I knew that he's a dangerous player.  If he serves well and high percentage, he can be dangerous player.  He's very solid from baseline.
I mean, obviously his movement is not as good anymore as it was, so I tried to move him around the court, you know, open the court.  You know, kind of that was my tactics.
But it was very tough.  You know, it was a lot of unforced errors, very windy conditions.  You couldn't really read and kind of predict where the ball is going to go, so you have to be very alert.  At the start I had difficulty with my footwork.
But, you know, as I won a set after that, it was very much, much better.

Q.  Question away from tennis.  Neven Markovic, your close friend, is playing football in Switzerland, second league.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's interesting that you ask me about him.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about your friendship and about your common story.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Thank God.  This is first time I'm going to talk about him.  He's one of my best friends.  He's a great guy.  We know each other since very early beginnings in our childhood.  He came to Belgrade from I think his native city south of Serbia, and then we lived basically door to door for many years.  We were first neighbors, and that's how we know each other.
Since then we developed this friendship.  He's a football player ever since.  He's trying to make a breakthrough.  He's very powerful guy.  Now he's playing for Geneva.  He invited me to come, so I hope I will find the time to see him.
He's so far doing well.  I know he's playing in first 11, it's a second league, but he has to start somewhere.  I wish him best.

Q.  You mentioned the tricky conditions.  Is it just the wind, do you mean, or was there something else that bothered you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, totally different from night session, obviously.  It's less wind and, you know, 1:00 in the afternoon it was quite hot on the court.
But, again, it was a lot of wind, wind that is not consistent.  It changes direction all the time.
So as I said, you have to be alert.  And if you don't, you know, go through the ball, if you're not in a right balance, of course it's not always positive to arrive in right balance.  But you need to have this adjustment, footwork, steps, in order to get on the ball.
I didn't have that in the first set.  I was still trying to find my way from baseline, and the other side he was serving well.  I had my chances though first set earlier to break, but, you know, didn't capitalize.  After I played a good tiebreak, you know, and then everything kind of settled.  I started to serve better, I.  Started to step into the court, which is important, you know.
I need to start the way I started in the first match, but my game is getting there.  You know, I feel that it was a big test for me today.  It was a challenge, and I needed to overcome it.  I'm glad I'm through in three.

Q.  A little follow‑up on the wind.  I mean, you prepare for various things in your training.  Is there any way you can practice or prepare for dealing with the wind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Not to full extent, but you can try.  I mean, you can kind of practice in the hour that you know when you're going to play, but it's tough, because, you know, scheduling usually comes out the day before around late afternoon hours.
But you try to practice, you know, around 12:00, 1:00.  So that was usually my time of practice, exactly same time I played the match today.
But still it's different.  Any other court is different, playing different from center court itself, which is, you know, massive, 23,000 seats, and it's quite open.  So there is a lot going on there.

Q.  Away from tennis, I would assume your Uniqlo deal lets you walk into any store and order anything you want.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I'm wearing Uniqlo, and they are basically a casual wear brand.  Biggest one in Asia and expanding around the world.  They are quite young clothing brand.  They have this great vision and mission to be the best at what they do, so I thought it was a great match for, you know, for me.
About a year and a half ago we signed a partnership that hopefully can last for long time.  I'm glad.  They have been partnering only with Kei Nishikori before and me, and slowly they are getting into sports.  In the golf also with Adam Scott who won grand slam.
So more and more success.  Yeah, I do have their clothes.  I don't know what ‑‑ you want me to tell you what I usually wear?

Q.  Yeah.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I will not tell you what I sleep in, but I am wearing jeans and shirt.  But I'm mostly in my sport clothes, definitely, because that's my, you know, usual daily wear.

Q.  Now that you have adopt this had gluten‑free diet for a few years, what are some of your favorite dishes and what are some of the dishes you miss the most?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  My favorite dish is pasta.  All my life it has been.  Only few years ago I changed to gluten‑free pasta.  Tastes as good, even better, than the regular one for me.  I love having that.
A lot of vegetables.  You know, that's it more or less‑‑ you know, the gluten‑free diet is not what maybe people think it is.  You know, it's not something that you can't find anywhere.  Having regular fish with vegetables or potatoes, that's a gluten‑free dish, also.
I do tend to have those kind of dishes on a daily basis, and I enjoy it.

Q.  Are there foods you miss having?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Maybe pizza.  You can have gluten‑free pizza, but the regular one is better, I have to admit (Laughter).

Q.  I tried your diet for a couple of days.  I found it to be challenging.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Which diet?

Q.  Your diet.  I did the whole thing from the book.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You tried it?  And?  You don't seem very happy (Laughter).

Q.  You can read all about it.  Well, my question is, you know, a lot of people talk about gluten, you also don't eat dairy, so not much with caffeine.  Were you a big caffeine drinker before that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Toughest for me was definitely chocolate.  My father is addicted to chocolate in a way.  Was.  Not anymore.  He gave it up, too.  We used to have at home a lot of sweets, as I think everyone on this planet loves sweets.
I had to, you know, have to decrease that and then kind of give it up.  Especially during the events I don't have ‑‑I don't have milk chocolate.  If you have chocolate I have cacao or dark chocolate, a very a little bit.
That was tough for me at the beginning.  First few months, you know, I felt that need for sugar instantly after the meal, if you know what I mean.
I would just take teas now and kind of try to satisfy my needs.  But it wasn't as easy, you know.  What do you find challenging now?

Q.  I found the honey quite challenging, but maybe it's my palate.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Honey in the morning?  You don't like it?  No?  You can take any honey.  Honey is quite sweet, no?

Q.  There was actually a new story the other day that UK officials are investigating whether there is fraud with exports of manuka honey out of New Zealand.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Fraud?  I don't know anything about it.  I just like their product.  It's great.  Manuka honey is something I try to have.  In my country I have the local honeys that are homemade, you know, by farmers.
I mean, any honey, it's like there is these sugars that have high glycogen level, and there are the sugars that have low glycogen level.  Generally the more healthier ones are with lower glycogen level, which are honey, dry fruits, fruits, stuff like that.
And the other ones are, you would assume chocolate, ice cream, all the beautiful things this world has to offer (Laughter).

Q.  At some point today you looked like maybe you had breathing issues or something.  Was it the weather or anything else?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, as I said, I found it, you know, kind of tough.  I had to work twice as hard than usual, because at the start I wasn't finding my rhythm.  So I was kind of forcing my strokes and was taking a lot of energy out of me.
But, you know, as I said, it was very important to get the first set under my belt, and then after that I felt much better.

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