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February 28, 2014

Novak Djokovic


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  He doesn't play much better than that, does he?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, great to him for coming back in the match.  Congratulations.  He deserved to win.  He played in the second part of the match better and was more aggressive and played all around the court really well.
You know, I dropped the service game in the opening set ‑‑sorry, in the third set, opening game, was quite bad service game for me.¬† I started making a lot of unforced errors in second part of second set and wasn't just managing to move as well, and he felt that this is his opportunity, and he used it.¬† You know, that's why he's a big champion.

Q.  Was there a reason for that, Novak?  Because you were a set and a half up, in a sense, playing quite well.  You seemed to be playing quite will.  That rain delay came.  Did that break your focus?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, it was too many breaks.  No, just the momentum changed.  On his side he started to make less mistakes, and, you know, he used the court really well.
As I said, I made a couple of forehand errors in that game in the second set, and, you know, was a very bad game.  You know, you're not gonna have two chances against Roger.

Q.  Are you comfortable playing on these fast courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's quite fast, but, I mean, the results that I had here show that, you know, I have no problem playing on them.

Q.  Is there an interruption in your rhythm when you miss a match like yesterday because of Youzhny?  Did that affect you at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I didn't have any matches this year, and you could see that on the court.  I still lack that consistency in my movement in the matches.
Look, I lost to Roger.  That's not a bad loss.  I know I'm not fully satisfied with my game.  I'm going to work on it and try to get better next one.

Q.  Roger has won here five times.  He is very much a home favorite.  You have played him in Switzerland.  Could you compare the crowds in terms of how much support Roger gets?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he gets support anywhere he goes.  I mean, he's a great champion on and off the court.  Of course people respect that.  They come to support him.  He's been, you know, in the top of the men's game for so many years.
He's definitely had a lot of support anywhere he goes, and that's just increasing as the years pass by.

Q.  I'm sure it's difficult to say this right after a loss, but what positives come out of the week?  Especially coming in you said you were just looking for match play.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, look, I played a couple, three matches.  Today obviously was the toughest one.  I know what I need to work on, and I have time now to get ready for Indian Wells.

Q.  What do you enjoy about being here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Just generally it's a good feeling, just being in Dubai, because the tournament is very well organized, beautiful hotels, great facilities, and people here and the organization make sure you feel very comfortable like at home.
So I like the conditions.  I do have also my support, a lot of Serbians who live here and work here.  It always makes me happy to come back and play on this court.

Q.  You played a lot to his backhand, as people do.  Did you notice any difference in the way he was playing it now with the new racquet?  I think it's the first time you have played him when he's had the new one.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, not much, you know, but he did play much better backhand, you know.  End of second and the whole third set was working really well for him.
Whenever he had an opportunity to open up with the backhand along the line, he did, so that's a shot that won him a couple of crucial points.

Q.  How do you feel you played the match tonight mentally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, it's like any other match against Roger.  It's always tense.  It's always goes down the wire, you know.  Really unpredictable what can happen.
Even though I was better player and I felt I was in control for the first hour or so, it appears that it's not enough, because a few points can really decide the winner and can change, so that's what happened.  He mentally felt more comfortable, was coming to the net.  The other side, me, I backed up, and that resulted with the loss.

Q.  You have been working with Boris for a few months now.  How are you working together to improve your game?  What have you improved in these past few months?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, I think people are expecting a little bit too much, expecting me to play with my left hand.  I don't know  (laughter).
Everybody has been asking me every day what have you been improving.  We are working on certain details in my game, but it's nothing significant that I'm going to change.  I'm not going to play serve and volley.
But we are working on positioning of the court.  And as I repeated a hundred times from the beginning of the year, it's just the beginning of the year, so it takes a little bit of time for us to get to know each other and really feel the benefits of our partnership.

Q.  So far, there's a couple of titles that you weren't able to defend.  Do you look at each match in an isolated way, or are you sensing something bigger in the first couple of months of the year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, I haven't repeated the success I have had in last year, maybe the year before that, but look, it's normal in sport, you know.  You can't always expect, you know, to always do well in certain tournaments.
When you lose against a better player, you shake hands and that's it.  You move on and try to take the best out of it.
Right now, as I said, I know what I need to work on.  I'm going to try to get as much match play and the practice, also, these situations.  Hopefully I can do well in USA.

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