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Novak Djokovic first round

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Novak Djokovic gives his press conference after his 6‑3, 7‑5, 6‑4 victory over Florian Mayer.

Q.  Your first competitive match since Roland Garros.  No rustiness.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Felt pretty good.  For the opening match of the grass court season, it was a very satisfying performance.  Even though I think that I can play better, but, you know, as I said for the first match it's normal to expect that you're still kind of finding your rhythm and adjusting to a new surface and new movement.

Hopefully I can elevate my game as the tournament goes on.

 

Q.  It was a pretty tricky first round because he has a special game.  Was it special playing well against a tough opponent?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Knowing his quality, knowing that we played quarterfinals last year gave me enough reason to obviously not underestimate him and respect the fact that I need to be 100% focused from the start and try to have the control of the match.  And it's what I've done.  I've played well in important moments.

 

Q.  What were your thoughts when Rafa lost, about the loss and what it signified to you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, to me personally, nothing really much.  You know, it's a Grand Slam.  I'm focusing on my matches.

But I watched the bigger part of that match and I thought that his opponent played great.  Darcis came up with some incredible shots, incredible points in important moments and he deserved to win.

To be honest, I was expecting him to be a bit rusty on the court.  Rafa with the movement and his game, it's normal because he has played so many matches this year since he came back.  Majority of those matches were on clay.  So he didn't have any matches on grass.  It's totally different surface, totally different game.

So in the opening rounds, obviously it's very dangerous, you know, for top players who haven't been playing on grass court matches this year before Wimbledon.

You know, on the other side of the net is somebody that is lower ranked, he has nothing to lose, so he's going for his shots.

It's another tennis match and sport.  That's what happens.

I know people expect from him, all the other top players, to get to at least the final stages of a Grand Slam or whatever tournament they play.

It was a surprise in the end him losing to Darcis, but his opponent played great.

 

Q.  Is it always a reminder to yourself and Roger and Andy, when you see a result like that, that you can never take anything for granted?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Absolutely.  You cannot take anything or anybody for granted.  You have to be grateful for being in this position, work even harder to stay there.  That's the whole point.

You know, the sport is evolving, like everything in life.  Everybody is getting better, getting more professional.  Especially at the opening stages of Grand Slams, there are a lot of quality players who have nothing to lose really coming on the Centre Court or Court 1, playing in front of 10,000 or more people.

Against one of the top players, you know, what can you really lose?  You're going and you're playing your best tennis.

 

Q.  The key point in the game in the second set at 5‑5 when you broke him there, that seemed to turn the game in your favor at that point, didn't it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I felt that throughout the whole match I was in the control more or less.  He had some few breakpoints.  But I served well in those moments.

I just felt that I've played enough, you know, to win this match.

 

Q.  Can you describe what it means for you to be in the zone, the feeling you have in this case?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think that everybody's seeking for that kind of feeling, you know, on the court.  Being in the zone means that, you know, you have focused your all abilities, mental, emotional, physical, and you're determined to play your best on the court.

It's not easy to always get in that special place because, you know, we are all human so we have our ups and downs.  But you know what they say:  the more you practice, the more you have the chance to get in the zone.  That's kind of a motto that stands for most of the players.

 

Q.  Is it rare?  Does it happen often?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, it happens.  Well, in my case, it happens.  It happened a lot of times.  But you need to work very hard in order to get to that place because, you know, being in the zone, you know, you have feeling that you can get any ball back and really you can play any shot that you want.

But that also depends on your confidence level at that moment.

 

Q.  Your coach passed during all the frenzy at the French Open.  There you said you wanted to sustain her legacy.  Have you had a chance to reflect anything more about her and your relationship?  Also, what kind of services have there been for her?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I haven't been in Serbia yet.  It was a very sad news obviously that I received in Roland Garros after my third‑round match.

She was a very special lady in my life.  She was like my second mother, my mentor, somebody that has taught me a lot about sport, about life in general.  I inherited that big passion and love towards tennis from her, because I didn't have anybody in my family playing tennis.

Also at that time when I was growing up in Serbia, tennis was not really popular sport.  So she was the one that really has taught me a lot of nice things and gave me the right direction.

So I remember when I was growing up, up to age of 11, 12, I was doing the summer tennis camps that she had, especially in Kopaonik, this mountain resort where I grew up.

By saying I want to sustain her legacy and continue doing what she was doing is eventually maybe one day have that summer camp, you know, hopefully with international kids coming there and trying to, you know, find a new talent, find a new champion.  That's all.

 

Q.  The story is told how as a young boy you show up with the headband and the bag all packed.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I didn't have headband, but I had always extra shirt, towel, socks ready for my practice.  Well, that professionalism and kind of dedication came from my parents and from my home.  It was a good combination with her passion towards the sport.

 

Q.  In Portugal, besides your tennis career, you're also known for being a Benfica supporter.  I don't know if you are aware there are seven Serbians playing there, and Matic is one of them.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Seven already now?

 

Q.  They're hiring.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I know.  Of course I follow.  I know Matic is playing there.  I never met him, but I know he is a very talented player.

I follow football, of course.  It's the most popular sport in the world.  Benfica had a great year.  It's a team that had a lot of success in history.  I remember when I played a tournament in Australia, I went to see the match.  All my best to that team.

           


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