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January 19, 2014

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/F. Fognini
6‑3, 6‑0, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You seem to be looking pretty much at ease with yourself and your game.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I mean, I felt from the start of this tournament that I've been elevating my game as the tournament is going on.  Every match is better.  The general feeling on the court, all the shots, using the court position really well, being aggressive, playing my style of the game.
That's what I've done really well today overall from the first to the last point.  I haven't allowed my opponent to come back to the match.
Mentally I was there.  I was tough.  I was focused.  I feel great about myself in this moment.  There is this confidence that I, you know, carry on obviously from many wins that I had in last two months of the 2013 season, and I started off this season in a good style.  Trying to keep it up.

Q.  He can be a very tricky opponent.  A little bit wary of what he could do.  Was it a question of trying to get on top of him as quickly as you could?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Before the match I knew that he's a flashy kind of player that, you know, if he feels good, if he's focused enough, I would say, he can be very dangerous opponent on any surface.  He won against Querrey the round before.  He's top 15 in the world.  He's playing the best tennis of his life in last year and a half.
All the facts are, you know, saying enough about his qualities, you know, that he can challenge anybody really.¬† So I did not take anything really for granted.¬† I went out there preparing for this match as well as I do for any.¬† When he had his moments during the match‑‑ I know him for long time, so for me it's funny, but I did not try to laugh too much about it.¬† I tried to direct my focus on my side of the court, what I need to do, not pay attention on him, even though he was funny at times, I have to say.

Q.  Did you watch Ana's match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I did second and third actually.  I was waiting for my match, so I was watching hers.  I congratulate her.  I'm very happy for her.  She's played some of the best tennis in last couple weeks, you know, in Auckland and here again.  She deserve it.
She put a lot of hours on the court.  She has a great team of people that is helping her now.
She must be feeling very confident.  Hopefully she's going to carry that confidence from today's win, and it's going to help her to come back to where she deserves to be, top 5 in the world.

Q.  Coming into the tournament as a favorite, they've pinned you and Rafa as a final, how is the pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Pressure is always there as a top player, especially here defending my title for couple years in a row.  I do feel there's always high expectations.
But it's all part of our sport.  It's what we need to deal with.  It's what we need to accept and, you know, try to use it in a positive way.
By saying that, I mean that pressure is a privilege in a way, because it means you're doing something that is very valuable, that is, of course, very important.  In my life I've always dreamed of being on this stage, competing at the highest level.  So I try to look at the pressure on the brighter side, right?
I really enjoy every moment spent on the court.  For me it matters the most.

Q.  Is it a testament to the sport and to your personality, you can have such a humorous exchange?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is.  Obviously, I mean, we know each other for long time and we are friends.  I understand, you know, how he behaves on the court, off the court.  For me it was no surprise.
But obviously, as I said before, being two sets up and making that break in the third, and then he started to, you know, have his five minutes of humorous actions on the court.  It was funny, as I said.  But you cannot get carried away too much.  You can lose focus so easily on the court, really.  Anything can distract you.
Tennis is such a mental game in the end of the day.  It's very dynamic.  Everything happens fast.  In one or two points you can lose break and match can turn around.  That's why it's important to really stay within yourself and, you know, focus on what you can do.

Q.  It seems like you're executing so well across the court.  What will you work on most tomorrow on the practice court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, there's nothing too much that I can work on.  Just maintaining the same rhythm.  I'll speak to my coach, and of course we'll see what we're going to work on.
But now in the second week of a tournament, it's more about just staying in the rhythm, managing the energy, conserving the energy, making sure you're fresh and fit for next one.

Q.  What did your coach have to say about your impersonation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I've seen his face reactions.  The first impression, when I've done all the serves, he was happy and he is applauding.  When I said how he is today with his problems in the back and everything, he was not so happy about that.  He was upset (smiling).
But, no, it's all for good laughs.  It's actually the first time after a long time I've actually done Becker imitation.  I don't know how I was.  Was okay?  I'm going to gain few kilos and have to color my hair in order to do the proper Becker imitation (laughter).

Q.  Who are you going to pick tonight between Wawrinka and Robredo?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think Wawrinka is the favorite to win that match.  I mean, he hasn't lost a match this year.  He won a title in India.  Now he's won a couple matches in a row.  He didn't play the third round.  Opponent retired before he got into the court.  We'll see how that is going to affect him.
But Stan is the favorite to win that match, for sure.

Q.  What do you expect if you play against him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, I have to be ready to play another 12‑10 in the fifth like last year.¬† I know that he's playing the tennis of his life in last 15 months.¬† He's top‑10 player now.¬† He's established himself in the top level.¬† He won against some top guys in the big tournaments.
He is confident.  You know, you could feel that mentally when he comes to the court, he believes in himself more.  He can win against the top guys in the later stages of events.
So, you know, you cannot expect a clear favorite in that match.

Q.  It's too early about facing Wawrinka in two weeks in Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's too early.  Let's focus on this one first (smiling).

Q.  Going back to the Fognini making you laugh.  You like a prank now and again.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He took that away from me today (smiling).

Q.  Who are the other guys on the circuit that makes you laugh off the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Tursunov is one of them.  Fabio Fognini off the course is hilarious.  The way you see him on the court, that's exactly the same off the court.  Who else?  Radek Stepanek, he's very funny.
So there are guys.  The good thing in the men's locker room is you get to interact.  We really get to speak to each other and have fun.  Of course, when the locker room door closes, you know, nothing goes out from there.
We can have fun, you can relax yourself.  There's a lot of things going on that I cannot talk about, but it's all for good fun.

Q.  That you're so intimate with them...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.  I'm good friends with them.  Let's not get into the intimate part (smiling).

Q.  That you know them so well, is it then hard to see them as a foe on the tennis court, to make that switch?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Used to be.  But over the years, playing so many matches against great friends of mine, especially from my country, like Troicki, Tipsarevic, I manage to understand what I need to do on the court.  I'm a professional.  I want to win as much as they want to.
As soon as you step on the court, it's all business.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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