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An Interview With: Novak Djokovic (Round 2)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Q. Was it a matter of getting used to the conditions, his game? Just working your way into it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Up to 5-4, first set, he was serving well. It was kind of tough to get into the rhythm of return and positioning.

You know, I think he had an average serve of 130 miles per hour, so came out firing from that shot in his game.

Never played him on hard courts. We played only once earlier this year on clay courts, but it's completely different.

Obviously the fact that you warm up and you get cold several times also affects little bit beginning of the match. We were ready to go out. The match before us, it took very long.

All in all, it was good to not stay too long on the court and get the job done in three sets.

Q. You still had some energy at the end. Was that a surprise?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I mean, I'm glad that he came down to the court. It was not planned. I'm happy for him. You know, he's a true entertainer. I know him for definitely five years. Each year I see him in one of my matches, dancing, taking down the layers of the T-shirts.

But, you know, it never gets old. It's always good to see him dance, perform. He gets the crowd going in the night session in Arthur Ashe, which is always very unique for players and for fans.

Q. Can you talk us through the sawdust. Whose idea was that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Usually the sawdust is always on the court, but it wasn't this time. So they had to bring it in from outside. That's it.

I'm not the first player who is using that. Many players use that. Especially if you have conditions as we had today: very humid, a lot of sweating. Sometimes a racquet in your hand, it slips. This helps.

Q. Despite a clear score in your favor, you were serving 40-15 and there was a volley that you missed. You won that game. In the end you shook your head
showing some kind of concern. How are you working on the volley with Boris?


NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I thought I made more volleys than I missed today. If you miss the volley, then you miss it on 40-15 better than breakpoints obviously.

But I'm trying to get more often to the net, trying to be aggressive. You know, I know that my game is based from back of the court with baseline. But Boris, who is, we all know multiple Grand Slam champion, somebody that has won many matches serving and volleying, and, you know, having signature dives and great plays on the net.

So he does encourage me to, you know, step in, try to use the opportunities when I open up the court to come in. Obviously it's not as natural for me as it was for him or some other players, but I'm trying. I'm obviously looking to develop my game and better it every week.

Q. You've had quite a remarkable win/loss record here, making it to the semis or the finals year after year.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

Q. If I may use the word 'only', you've only won one title here. Which do you focus on more in your head? Is it the disappointment of coming so close, or do you feel about this place as a place where you've had all of that success, just not as many wins in the finals?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: For one reason or another I wasn't able to make that final step. Too many times. I won once. I played I think another three finals.

But looking at the results over the years, it has been one of the most consistent tournaments I've had. Ever since 2007 finals I've been making semis each year, so this definitely is in back of my mind.

Whenever I come here, I know that conditions suit me well, that I feel good on the court. I play very good tennis. I obviously try each year to get myself in a position to fight for the trophy. That's no different this year.

Q. You did an interview with USA Today that was published today where you said something like you've changed a lot in the last five or six years. Did you mean the circumstances of your life, husband, father, those kinds of things, or whether you had something else in mind with regard to your personal development?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I had everything in my mind when I said that. I think if I didn't change it would be strange. I think there is obviously for everybody a process of evolution, you know, progress or regression.

So I try, as everybody else, to improve, to get better as a player, as a person. Each year represents new challenges and obstacles. You have to adjust to different circumstances.

Biggest change in my life, obviously the most beautiful, positive change I could experience is becoming a father and getting married. In terms of my family life, of course it's very different.

But I feel like each year there are many things in my life that are changing. Of course, I'm trying to keep very close connection with the people that are dear to my heart and that have been supporting me throughout all my life.

But, you know, you're always evolving. Everything around you is moving, so you try to do the same.

Q. You played Seppi next. It could be a good match for you to see how you're doing.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, Seppi is somebody who has been around for many years. He has very solid game from back of the court. If you allow him to play, he can play well. No question about it, he's got shots. He was I think top 15, top 20 in the world. He's been there for many years. He has experience.

He played on Arthur Ashe. He's not going to get overwhelmed by the occasion. I'm going to try to obviously impose certain tactics, trying to control the game and kind of set my own pace to that match.

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