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KEY DATES FOR WIMBLEDON 2017

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016 12:12 PM BST
Novak Djokovic: First round
Novak Djokovic speaks to the media following his 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over James Ward READ MORE

Novak Djokovic speaks to the media following his 6-0, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over James Ward

Q. How do you assess that? A rapid start, followed by perhaps a blip in the second set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I honestly didn't expect myself to start that well. Nine games in a row, 6 0, 3 0. I think it was just a matter of time when James will win his first game. I knew that the reaction of the crowd, and his own reaction, will be the way it was.
Obviously him as a home player, you know, enjoyed a lot of support today, especially when he won his first game. That's when the energy kind of shifted on his side. He felt huge relief obviously winning the first game.
On the other hand I maybe dropped the concentration a little bit. Second set was quite close. Maybe could capitalize on some opportunities Love 3, Love 40.
But credit to him for serving well. I think that made the difference for him the second part of the second set. Also most of the third set in important moments he managed to hit some good angles with the first serves.
But, you know, the first part of the match was almost flawless, so I'm very pleased with the way I started Wimbledon.

Q. You were talking about your election to the Players Council the other day. Are there special issues you need to get your hands into now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there are plenty of things. But probably to name a few, the ones that are kind of the most important in priority is the schedule in 2018 and onwards.
I think Andy and myself, we kind of recognize the importance of our participation as top players in the politics of tennis, in trying to contribute in a positive way to certain improvements, I think certain changes that are eventually as a possibility to tennis from a scheduling point of view, tournaments and so forth.
I think that the brave new world, so called, is ending, those contracts are ending next year. From 2018, we have the opportunity to really make some significant changes that will get our sport on the right path.
I mean, it's already there. But there's always something that you can improve for the players, for the tournaments, just overall everybody involved in sport.

Q. I read somewhere that you had a bit of a biking accident, that you're banned from cycling. Is that true?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, actually just also recently they told me about that small article that went into papers. There is no truth to that.
Actually I did come few days in the beginning of the week before Wimbledon with my bicycle. I was asked for my own safety not to arrive with the bicycle inside of the All England Club territory.
So from the gate of Aorangi where I enter with the bicycle to the transportation desk, which is a little uphill, literally 20 meters, it's very dangerous traffic around there. So for my own safety, I accepted their suggestion. I did not use the bicycle ever since to come to the club.
But I did not have any kind of truck or supply vehicle accident or something like that that was mentioned in the papers. Not even close, no. Thankfully.

Q. How important is it to put everything you've done out of your mind when you come to a tournament like this and to look forward? How difficult is it to do that, not to rest on the past, not to be sentimental about the past?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I try to take the best from the past, try to remember those nice moments. Thankfully there were plenty of those nice moments on the tennis court in the last couple of years, here in London, Wimbledon particularly, and also in many other tournaments.
So trying to carry that confidence and sensations into every next tournament that I play on and participate on. Obviously was very emotional couple of weeks in Paris. It ended with the triumph on Sunday couple weeks ago. I didn't have too much time to really reflect on that, but I was very pleased to be able to share that with the close ones.
Tennis schedule is such that it requires from you immediate focus on the next tournament. Literally after a week or so I had to start training and getting myself in shape for grass.
In the meantime, I also did few things with the restaurant as well that we recently opened. So I was quite busy.
I'm obviously very grateful to live the life that I have. I've always dreamed of playing tennis and being successful and enjoying it, enjoying my time on tour. So I can't complain. There are worse things in life.

Q. The Wimbledon towels are very popular collectibles among fans. What are the towels' meanings to you and other players and how would you describe them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I, at least, kind of plan in advance half of the bag or entire new bag for space for the towels that I take from Wimbledon. Funny that you ask, but there is plenty of requests each year for Wimbledon towels particularly.
I try to sneak in an extra towel here and there during the match, using the excuse that it's too warm and I'm sweating. Actually I just put an extra towel in the bag. I'm sure the All England Club Committee will forgive me for that extra towel per match.
But it makes a lot of people happy back in my country, the ones that are close to me. It's a great memorabilia. I have plenty of towels from Grand Slams at home as well. But I also give away a lot.

Q. What do you think when you look at those towels?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I see a great design. I see something that I and many other people appreciate as a great souvenir from the tournament.
But during the match, my comfort zone, let's say. For a second or two, I'm able to lose myself in a towel if I need some concentration. The size of the towel is perfect for that. Just cover your head.

Q. I know it's only an exhibition match, but was it a bit of a surprise for you to lose against David Goffin and how do you rate his game on grass?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's very hard for me to speak about the quality of the match because it was literally a lot of fun, smiles, not really trying, because the court was also slippery.
It was nice that I got to play David. Nevertheless, I really think he is a great quality player and somebody that very soon will be top 10. He's on the right path.
He's been improving each year. I think he's experiencing the best time of his life, his career.

Q. On grass?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He's probably one of the most consistent players and most all around players on the tour. He can play equally well on any surface, including grass.

Q. I know you had the same buildup every year. Despite that, just before you go on, do you have any little hint of apprehension because you actually haven't been in a competitive match for three weeks?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's not the first time. As a matter of fact, I think I haven't been playing on an official leadup tournament for five or six years. I've only been Wimbledon on the grass court throughout the year. It hasn't been an issue, you know, three times so far in the last five years. I don't see any issue now.
I had plenty of time to practice, get some match play during the practice sessions, a lot of points with different players. So I think it's enough.
Obviously when you're on the court and you're part of an official match, you see an official chair umpire, him calling the score, it's different. Mentally, to experience that, you can't experience it anywhere else basically. No other practice is as much as the quality that you get.
It's good to get a match or two in Boodles or stuff like this, to hear somebody counting the score, yourself being part of the match, facing a breakpoints. Those kind of moments give you that mind training that is expected of you during the tournament.

Q. You and Andy have had some public debates recently about like equal prize money. Is that going to be an issue on the Council? Are there any things you share opinions on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Andy and I, we haven't spoken too much about it. Obviously we just have been elected, both of us, to be a part of the Council. We are very pleased that we gained trust from our colleagues.
As I said, there's still no subjects that we discussed too long about except the ones I was mentioning before, about the scheduling.
We'll probably tackle those points first and then we'll see it from there.

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