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March 26, 2014

Novak Djokovic


7‑5, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Guess what everybody wants to talk about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, on the way here everybody was telling me, That's the question you're going to talk about.

Q.  Anything to add besides what you said on court?  Were you really unaware of the rule?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, look, I'm going to be completely honest with you.  I did pass the net with my racquet and I told Andy that.  I told him that I did not touch the net.
My bad.  I thought that it's allowed, to cross, you know, the racquet on his side without touching the net.  That's why I thought I won the point.
I did not know that the rule is that I'm not allowed to cross the net.  That's all I can say.
At that point, I told him, I crossed the net.  But I thought that, you know, it's allowed without touching the net.

Q.  A lot of people will talk about how this affected Andy and stuff, but something like that also affects a younger guy.  How did it affect you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, look, you know, for me, obviously 6‑5, first point, Love‑15, it's an important point, but, you know, mentally obviously it distracted him more than it gave me an encouragement of some kind, I would say.
I think it was him, that he got upset, and he made couple of unforced errors.  I was just trying to, you know, play point by point, make him play as much as I can, change the pace of the ball.
He made three unforced errors and the set was gone.  I think he can tell you better if that influenced his game and his set and his, you know, mental strength.

Q.  You sensed that he was...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Obviously I sensed that after that he was upset.  He was showing that on the court.
So I tried not to pay attention on that.  I mean, whatever, the decision has been made already, and I was just trying to play every next point.

Q.  It's hard, though, because you're friends.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I mean, look, as I said to you I told him on the net, Andy, I did pass the net, I did not touch it, and my understanding was that's allowed.
It's not my fault.  It's obviously chair umpire didn't make the decision about these things.  I mean, I was never lying on the court.
You know, I always try to be fair to whoever I play against.  I mean, that was just my understanding at that point of time.  Now they told me that that's not the rule.  The rule is that you can't, so you're not allowed to cross the net.  The chair umpire is there, so he should know that.

Q.  If you had been clear on the rule, would you have conceded the point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Yeah, yeah.¬† If I was clear on the rule, yeah.¬† I mean ‑‑now, I mean, people would say, Yeah, but maybe you knew the rule, you're lying.
I'm completely honest.  Nothing to hide really.  That's what I thought is the rule.  Right now that's the way it is.
I mean, it might be a turning point, might not.  Anyway, the match is over.

Q.  Andy knows that you have done this in the past.  You did it yesterday for Robredo.  The fact that you're friends, I imagine he knows you'll be fair out there.  Did he say anything after the match?  Did you talk about it at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  I mean, obviously he was disappointed after losing the match.  At the net I said, Sorry about that point.
But he didn't want to talk about it, obviously.  I understand he's, you know, upset.  I don't know what to say more.  Really, that's what I felt at that point, that that was the rule.
Now that I know differently, I'm going to know for the future.

Q.  Did you have any concerns with colder weather conditions before the match today?  I wonder if that got into your mind before the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, look, you know, we all know that the conditions in Miami can get really difficult for the players, humidity, and of course the wind, that it's changing direction constantly.
You could see that it affected him and me also on serves, and we made some double faults in crucial points and so forth.
It was not easy.  You know, just mentally to hang in there, to stay tough and calm, that helped me obviously, you know, to win this match, I think.

Q.  Would you definitely prefer the hotter conditions?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Do I prefer the hotter conditions?

Q.  Yeah.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, I ‑‑no.¬† (Laughter.)¬† I prefer cool conditions, no wind, if you really want to know.¬† But I guess we don't have many of those kind of conditions (smiling).

Q.  Can you talk about the boost in confidence that Indian Wells gave you and the effect of it today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That tournament win is very special for me from a mental point of view, because I struggled throughout the whole tournament, did not play on a very high level, had to fight back in many matches from set down.
I managed to win that tournament knowing that I haven't played my best tennis.¬† That gives me even more confidence and self‑belief that I need in this moment, and I feel that here in Miami I'm playing better.
But still it's not on the level that I want it to be, but it's progressing and developing as the tournament goes on.

Q.¬† Why do you live in Monte‑Carlo instead of Miami?¬† Is it because you're afraid of Latin women?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Is that your camera?  It seems so dramatic, the way he turned it (demonstrating sharp turn with hands and face).
Afraid of Latin women?

Q.  Because of your fiancée?  Are you afraid of that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I love the way your face expression is after you ask me a question, totally serious, you know (laughter).
I am not afraid of Latin women.  I'm a European type of guy, and I have grown up and was born in Europe.  So I like Europe, and I'm an engaged man, so I do not leave any free space for Latin women as well as my fiancée.
Nevertheless, they very beautiful and you know that.

Q.  I think you said on the court, can you tell us again, do you feel like the replay system should include such calls?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I said it on the court, Why not?  We have a technology that allows us to see the marks on the court after the shots.  Why not?
I mean, if we have so much reviews and technology that can give us also the reviews of different movements or foot fault or these certain situations where it's debatable, why not?  Yeah.

Q.  Apart from that game, he played very well and then he broke you in the second set, and clearly you had to have some concern, yet his game, really the wheels came off in the next game.  Were you surprised by that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I was not surprised about the way he played.  I expected him to play well, to be a little bit more aggressive.
I watched him play against Tsonga, and he was stepping in on the second serve, coming to the net.  He did that few times successfully today.
Look, you know, I tried to not allow him to be in the comfort zone, you know, because when he strikes the zone, when he feels comfortable on the court, he's striking the ball so well, maybe best in the world.
I mean, he has great feel, very talented.  So I tried to move him around, you know, change the pace of the ball, mix it up with the slice, with different depth, angles, and, you know, just stay tough out there.
You know, our styles of play are quite similar.  We are same generation.  We grew up together.  We know each other's game very well.
I was ready for long rallies.  I was ready for physical match.
That was the case in first set, definitely.  We went toe to toe.  Winning the first set, obviously it gave me the certain kind of relief and confidence, and then in the second, even when I was broken, I felt like I still have chances and I still, you know, believe that I could win in straight sets.
I think I was calmer in the important moments where he wasn't.  He lost his composure, I think, and made unforced errors and allowed me to win.

Q.  Let's say it is Roger in the next round and you've only just played him in a terrific match.  What would be different, if anything, going into this match against him compared to last week?  Would you change anything?  How would you approach the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I don't want to change the outcome of the match from last week (smiling).
No, of course. We played Dubai, Indian Wells, and if we get to play now, we're playing each other every tournament.  I have played against Roger so many times.  Again, no secrets.  We know each other's game well.
Slightly different conditions here, which can definitely affect the tactical approach of both of the players on the court, but I know what I need to do.  It's just a matter of how well I'm going to execute what I want to do out on the court.

Q.  After the controversial point, I believe there was some type of replay shown.  The crowd started booing.  Did you get a sense of what that was about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it was obviously if I passed the net or not.  I mean, he was complaining about that, and I have said already everything I felt in that moment.

Q.  No, what I meant was I was trying to figure out if they were booing about the point or if...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  I don't know.  To be honest, I really don't know.

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