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SONY OPEN TENNIS


March 25, 2014


Novak Djokovic


MIAMI, FLORIDA

N. DJOKOVIC/T. Robredo
6‑3, 7‑5


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Sometimes it's tricky when you don't have to play your next opponent and you have a gap, but there is nothing tricky today with your performance and a very good win for you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Yeah, very solid win.¬† It was quite strange to start a match without a warmup, so we had a longer prematch on‑court warmup.¬† I don't know if I experienced that maybe once, twice in my whole career.¬† Rain delay, of course.¬† It was humid, swirly on the court.¬† It was a lot of wind.
Yeah, I just was telling myself to stay mentally out there tough, you know, and composed and not get carried away by few points.
I have done well.  I have served well.  I made him play an extra shot in important moments, and that's why I'm satisfied with the overall match today.

Q.  Some big matches coming up with Andy or Tsonga.  They are all tough.  No disrespect to everyone else, but you could be playing Roger in the semis and Nadal in the big final.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Oh, we'll see.  I mean, you know, as you said, it's Murray or Tsonga in quarters now.  As the tournament progresses, of course the matches are going to get tougher.
All the top guys are still in play, and I'm going to watch their match.  I'm going to get ready for whoever I play against.  There are no more clear favorites really on the court, so I'm going to get ready for that and hopefully perform my best.

Q.¬† At this level you guys generally don't give points to your opponent when you disagree with a call.¬† Talk about that 1‑1 second set, important game, and you gave Tommy the point.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, for me, it's something as normal.  I don't want to talk about the nice gesture that I have done.  I don't like to talk about myself, you know.  I let everybody else to judge.
But for me that's something that is absolutely normal if I am not able to ‑‑if I judge that I couldn't win the point, that I had no chance to get that ball back in the court, or if I see the ball is good, I'm going to tell him to challenge it or that it's very close.
For me it's something that is part of the sport and fair play that, you know, I think I expect everybody else to do the same.  Of course, not everybody else is the same, but for me that's something that's normal, just a normal, natural reaction.

Q.  Earlier in your career you were known for impersonating other players.  You stopped doing that, but I noticed lately you added a new act to your repertoire, which is impersonating media.  Last week in Indian Wells you came into Dimitrov's press conference, asked him about Sugarpova; that's on the light side.  But on a slightly more serious side you were imitating media at the end of Davis Cup semifinals in Serbia.  You had a notebook out asking questions.  You actually gave not a lecture in a stern way, but you told them a bit what you would like to see.  You and [] Jelena /*Z have been sharing good news on Twitter.  I'm curious, why is good news important to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think it's important to everybody, I guess.  ([Ck] Jelena)   well, yeah, the impersonations have been something that I was recognized for, especially earlier stages in my career.  I'm doing them not that officially anymore.  Sometimes on the practice courts.  The things that I am doing for fun off the court are not planned.  Just kind of comes spontaneously.
I crashed a press conference of Grigor Dimitrov because I was there.  I was doing the interview in the next room.  So it was not planned.  We just had a little bit of fun.
You know, sometimes in our sport things look the same on a daily basis, so it's good to put some diversity, of course, you know, everything in a positive image, in a positive note.
And regarding the good news and what I have done last year in ‑‑yeah, I have used that opportunity after the Davis Cup semifinals to, you know, have a little bit of a private chat with press from my country.
You know, I don't think it's only in my country, but a lot of countries, you know, struggle with I think getting the good news to the people on a daily basis.  More about, you know, bad news or what happens, scandal, somebody killed somebody or, you know, always serious stuff.
You know, people read our papers in the morning and their day starts the way, you know, papers represent them the story.  Once they read that story, that's how their mood is going to be the whole day.
So that's my opinion.  Of course, I'm not generalizing things, but I'm saying that, you know, there is always, you know, good acts, good, noble acts from noble people around the world that deserve to be in the papers, deserve to be in the TV.
And this is a little, I would say, action that I'm doing with my fiancée.  We are trying to encourage many people on the social networks at least to come up with good news, to find good news and to share it, because social networks and digital world is now the main source of communication for the people worldwide.  The information goes around very quickly.
Hopefully we're going to do something about it.

Q.¬† Previewing the match, can you first talk about playing Andy and then Jo‑Willy as to what the pros and cons are playing each one.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Andy is a defending champion, and, you know, more successful player out of those two guys.¬† He won a couple of Grand Slams, Olympic gold medal, and obviously he's the player who can, you know, play big‑time tennis on a big stage.
You know, Tsonga is not much different, because he also won against the top players on the big stages before.  He knows how to play well, you know, in the important matches.
So Tsonga has more firepower, I would say, from a serve and from forehand side, but Andy is more, I would say, stable player, more consistent.
With the strange conditions today the match can go either way, so let's see what happens.  I'm going to be ready for either of them.

Q.  Roger has 17 Grand Slam titles and Rafa has 13.  When it's all over, do you think Rafa will catch him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, we'll see (smiling).  We can't really predict what future brings, but considering the results he had for only 27 years, it's possible, definitely.
You know, the way he's playing on different surfaces, I mean, he keeps on improving his game year after year.  Even though you look at Rafa's game five years ago you would think he has not much to improve, but he keeps on finding the, you know, little edge and little rooms for improvement, and he works on it.
He's a hard worker.  He's somebody that is very committed to the sport, and that's why he has so much success.
But, again, it's not only about him, you know, and Roger.  There are other players that are able to win Grand Slams.  Stanislas Wawrinka this year is the first Grand Slam winner, so something different is happening in our sport.  We cannot underestimate or forget also the other players aside from top 4.

Q.  From a distance you could see how Lendl helped Andy.  Maybe you could expand upon that.  Could you also see how it could hurt him maybe right away because suddenly they just split?  Could be a difficult time for him, the transition?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it could be.  Doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be this way.
I think it's mental in the end, really.  I think his game can change significantly.  His shots are there.  He has experience.  Now he has couple Grand Slam titles under his belt.
So it's mental if he feels the absence of Lendl who was his coach for last couple of years.  Or not.  We are about to see that.

Q.  What do you think Lendl gave him that you saw on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think it's obvious that Lendl helped him.  I don't want to say major reason for him winning Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold medal is Lendl, but definitely a big part of it.
He improved his game, became more aggressive on the forehand side.  Mentally I think he gave him that edge, you know, the champions' mentality.  That's what I think Lendl and all the tennis legends who are now involved in the sport, Boris Becker on my side, can really contribute, can share with their players.

Q.  Boris has tweeted this morning that the surgery went well and he expects to be on his feet very soon.  When you spoke to him, what did he say?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I haven't spoken to him in last two days.  I'm going to call him today and see how it went.  I'm glad to hear that it went well.
Hopefully we can meet in Monte‑Carlo.¬† That's the plan.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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