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BNP PARIBAS OPEN


March 11, 2014


Novak Djokovic


INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA

N. DJOKOVIC/A. Gonzalez
6‑1, 3‑6, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  It's the first time you played this guy, right?  How long does it take you to usually figure this guy out, or did you ever figure him out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I honestly haven't seen him play ever before that.  I got information from some other players, and my coach did preparations also for the match.  You know, asked also a few players what his weaknesses and strengths are in the game.
It took me a little bit to get used to it, you know, but I thought I played really well from the start.¬† 6‑1, and then his opening few games, service games, I had break points, and then suddenly I just had a big loss of concentration and allowed him to win the second set for no reason.
Bounced back better in the third, but I obviously cannot allow myself to have these particular concentration lapses in the match at this level ‑ especially in the next match when I'm playing Cilic, you know, a guy who is in really good form and I think has gotten better in last couple of months working with Ivanisevic.
So I'm going to have to be on top of my game throughout the whole match in order to win it.

Q.  The second game of the third set he had six game points before you got a break point.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.

Q.  Are you thinking all along, This will settle it right here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, well, I got frustrated for no reason end of the second, but generally I felt like I was in the control of the match.  When I'm playing at my level I expected him to drop, but credit to him for fighting, and, you know, making me work for my points.
In the end of the day, a win is a win.  I have to try to look on the positive side and get myself ready for next one.

Q.  When you talk a little bit about a lapse in concentration in the second set, is that something you can point your finger to and why you lost maybe a little bit of focus?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's normal.  Normal, I mean, it's part of the sport, part of what we do.
You go through various emotions on the matches in this level.  I have been in these particular situations before.  I at least recognize what the issue is, and I need to work on it.  Hopefully it's going to be better the next one.

Q.  As you probably already know, Nadal had an early departure yesterday.  What is your opinion, and what does that tell you about the level of competition in this round?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, we cannot say it wasn't surprise for him to lose against Dolgopolov.  Again, Dolgopolov is a tough player.  He's very flashy, so he has a bit unorthodox game.
If he's on, he can really win against anybody.  So that proves it yesterday.  The competition is very high in men's tennis I believe.  Nowadays everything has improved, technology and the players, the knowledge about the sport in general.
I think the players, not just the top players but the ones between 10 and 20, are as good as the top players game‑wise.¬† On a good day they can win.¬† It's just a matter of self‑belief and, you know, few points that decide a winner.
So Wawrinka won his first Grand Slam in Australian Open.  That's a first time in long time that one of the players who is outside of top 4 wins it, so he's now No. 3 of the world.
You've got new faces and new players who are able to challenge the top guys, and this is good for the sport.  It makes it difficult for us obviously.
On a positive note, it also makes us work harder and improve trying to get our game to a high level because the guys are coming up.  Dimitrov, Gulbis, Raonic, those are the new wave of young players who are able to be a contender, a candidate for Grand Slam titles in the future definitely.
All eyes are looking up to them, so we need to work extra hard in order to stay where we are.

Q.¬† Gonz√°lez is yet another player in his mid‑20s who suddenly from nowhere stepped up and proved he can play at this level.¬† It's happening more and more.¬† I know we talked about this.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It wasn't happening for many years.  I think if you look at the stats and records of last ten years, you don't have many young players who made this big step towards, you know, eventually winning a Grand Slam title or getting to the top 3 of the world.
Now it's happening more, but it's definitely much more difficult.  I don't want to say it's not going to happen again to have a 17 year old Grand Slam winner like it was the case in times of Becker and Chang and so forth.
But, you know, it's highly unlikely nowadays because it's so much more physical than just skills and talent.  You have to be really mature in physical, mental, emotional way in order to win a Grand Slam and to get yourself No. 1 of the world.

Q.  As good a player as Marin is and as tough an opponent as he is, surely the one positive is at least you know what to expect when you go in against him.  Both of you have been around for so long as compared to someone like today.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  I've played him several times on different surfaces.  We haven't played each other for quite a long time.
He started working with Goran, and as I said before, you can feel and you can notice the improvement in his game.  He's more aggressive.  He comes to the net.  He's a big guy, and that's what you expect from him is to serve big and to come to the net.
He's using his serve as a big advantage nowadays, and also I feel like he's moving better on the court.¬† He did before ‑‑ obviously he had this injury and then was absent from the tour for several months, but since he came back he's a stronger player.
I have been watching him playing some big matches.  He won against Murray in Rotterdam in straight sets.  He can definitely can play.  And not just play, I mean, he can win against top players.  That's why I do not even for a second underestimate him.
I'm coming into the match knowing that I'm going to have to be playing on top of my game in order to win that match.  I'm going to get myself ready for it.

Q.  Looking at this place, is there a fondness?  I think it was '07 when you got here, went all the way to the final, and then went on to Miami.  This was kind of the beginning of something in '07.  Do you look back on that at all?  It was a breakthrough for a lot of us relative to you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Absolutely.  This tournament has a special place in my career.  Indian Wells and Miami are two big events at this time of the year, just beginning of the season.  These next to the Australian Open are the biggest events we have in sport in the beginning of the year, and you definitely want to do well.
I, for some reason, have been doing really well in my career in Indian Wells.  Both Indian Wells and Miami.  I have won several tight unless both cities.  I always look forward to coming back.
As you said, this was one of the springboards for my future success that I had.  Back in I think 2007 I played the finals and then I went to win Miami.  That was a huge confidence boost for me.  Definitely can use that as a positive impact every time I step on the court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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