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January 15, 2014

Novak Djokovic


6‑0, 6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How is the ankle from that turn?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Everything is fine.

Q.  What about the conditions?  Glad to get these matches out of the way as quickly as possible given the heat?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  I thought yesterday, even though I haven't played a match, I practiced, was warmer than today.
But still the conditions were not easy for both my opponent and myself.  You know, I started the match really, really good.  I was set and a break up only after, you know, 40, 45 minutes.
As you said, you don't want to spend too much time in the heat.  You want to try to win as quick as possible.  You know, he started to play better as the match progressed, in the second part, especially in the third set.  But, you know, I felt like I was serving well and I was in the control.  When I needed to use my opportunities when they were presented, I did so.
It was a better performance than the first round.

Q.  How does your body cope with the heat personally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Everything is fine.  I'm physically fit.  I've been, you know, practicing, preparing for Australian summer that we all know it can be difficult at times with the conditions.
You know, as I said, we all were aware of the weather that is going to, how the weather is going to look like these couple days.  We knew that when we saw forecast couple of days ago, everybody was talking about 40 degrees and plus.  Knowing that I played a day match today, I prepared myself mentally for that.  It's not just physically.  Mentally you need to be tough enough to not give up and not think about what conditions can do to you.
It's not the first time I face myself with this particular weather.  Obviously experience helps.

Q.  Can you describe at all the difference in feeling between how you were five years ago against Roddick and how you are now, what the difference is?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  There are plenty of differences.  Obviously as the years go by, I'm more matured as a player, as a person.  I learned new things in life.  I develop myself.  I physically get stronger ‑ mentally also.  All of this plays, of course, an important role when you are playing on such conditions.
It's not easy.  Maybe it looks, but I do go through tough times after long rallies, as everybody, trying to get some air obviously.  Generally it's much more efficient for me nowadays to recover and to get ready for next point than it used to be 2009 when I retired my match against Roddick, yeah.

Q.  What is the best part of being Novak Djokovic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's a good question.
Well, usually I do not like to talk too much about myself.  I leave that to other people.  I think they can make a judgment about who I am and how good or not good I am on the court and off the court.
But for me it's important to always know where I come from, be grateful for the life that I have, of course cherish and nurture every moment spent on the court.
Since I was four or five years old I played this sport, always dreamed of playing on this stage, so I don't take any situation for granted.
Being aware of all these things is the best of being Novak Djokovic, I would answer to you, yeah.

Q.  You seemed to roll over on your foot early in the match.  What was that all about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was just I slipped a little bit.  It was an instant discomfort, but it was okay after.

Q.  When you broke through as a young player in Serbia, things changed an awful lot for you.  What do you think the emotions of young Damir Dzumhur, representing Bosnia, won two rounds, crowd going nuts, people playing accordions on the side of the court, crazy atmosphere, what do you think that must be like for him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's fantastic.  I never seen him play actually.  But I know for him, I know he's a young player.  As you said, he qualified and he won a couple rounds, which is incredible success for him and for his country.
Bosnia and Serbia used to be one country more than 20 years ago.  We all have very similar mentality.  For some reason people from that region have a big talent for sports, mostly team sports, but now individual sports come into play, tennis in the last seven, eight years.  Croatia always had a long tradition in tennis.  Now we have athletics and so forth.
It gives our people who are going through tough times in all these countries in that region a hope and also encouragement in life.  Sport sends a right message to the people.  Athletes are cherished and looked up to as great ambassadors of their countries.
I congratulate him and I hope he can go far.

Q.  Some players seem very happy about having an ice bath after the match.  Is that your routine also?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's one of the things that I do, yeah, for recoveries.  But there are some other stuff.  Obviously over the years with the right team of people around me that I travel with already for many, many years, seven, eight years, my whole professional career, they're aside of me, like physiotherapist, fitness coach, Marian Vijda.
They give me the necessary support that I need, and with their expertise they make sure I do a good job so I am recovered and prepared well for a match.

Q.  Wojtek, is he still in your team?

Q.  So his mission is accomplished?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, first of all, we are friends with Wojtek for quite a few years.  He spends time in Monte‑Carlo where I live and practice.  He knows Marian Vijda for a long time.  They play together.  We appreciate his advices over these years.
Of course, we're in a friendly relationship.  Then we try to work in US Open.  It was a good time.  But we didn't make an agreement to continue on working together.

Q.  What did he add to your team, your play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think his experience was something that helped obviously in US Open.  As I said, during the course of a couple of years, whenever we had a chat, he was talking mostly to Marian, so they had their nice conversations about his observations of my game, the game in general.
As I said, he has a long experience which brings him a very broader knowledge about this sport.  So that's where he helped the most.

Q.  So for now your team squad is closed, no change?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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