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Novak Djokovic - fourth round

Monday 1 July 2013

Novak Djokovic's press conference after his 6‑1, 6‑4, 7‑6 victory over Tommy Haas.

Q.  How do you assess tonight?  Looked like a good workout.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was a great match from my side.  You know, it was never going to be easy against Tommy, who I have a bad record against on grass.  I lost both of our matches we played in the past.  He's playing so well this season.

You know, I didn't know what to expect.  I just wanted to kind of focus on my game and what I want to do.  I started extremely well.  That was obviously helping me to feel confident on the court.

Minor setback in the third set.  I allowed him an opportunity to come back to the match.  But a great tiebreak and I'm really glad to finish in three.

Q.  You used to play with more creativity a few years ago.  You switched to a more defensive style.  Do you think the creativity would prevent you from being No. 1?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't really understand so much the question.

Q.  You played more aggressive few years ago style than now.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think I'm playing aggressive enough.  It's not possible to always play very aggressive, of course.  I'm trying to combine the defensive and offensive skills as a formula for success on my matches.  Depends who I play against, of course.

I feel good about myself in this moment.  I think I actually play a better tennis on grass than I played two years ago when I won this tournament.  For now I'm feeling good.  I'm No. 1 of the world.  I have no reason to be concerned about my game.

Q.  Two fabulous backhands out there tonight.  A lot of great backhands in the game.  Arguably it's the most interesting shot of the different strokes.  Talk about the backhands that are out there, the advantages of the one‑hander and two‑hander.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  There's always difference between one‑handed and two‑handed backhand.  We have all the names of the players who have very beautiful and efficient backhands.

It's difficult to say really.  Used to be majority of the top players, maybe up to 20 years ago, who played one‑handed backhands.  Nowadays it's more two‑handed backhands that kind of leads the tour in a way.

Still, one‑handed backhand can easier switch to slice and have that variety of spin and slice with that shot.  A two‑handed backhand can maybe defend better.  You get help from extra hand.  Maybe you can play higher balls that are over your shoulder easier than one‑hander.

Again, both of the shots have its advantages, disadvantages.  When I started playing tennis, I actually started playing with one hand.  My former coach, Jelena Gencic, she actually wanted me to play with one hand.  I was feeling very weak because most of the kids at that stage, they were sending a lot of high balls to my backhand, so I would start supporting it with the left.  That's how I started playing with two.

It's nice to see all these great backhands on the tour.

Q.  The backhand that gives you trouble out there?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I mean, there are more than a few, of course.  Andy has a great two‑handed backhand, one of the best in the world.  Tommy Haas, Wawrinka, Gasquet, they have fantastic one‑handed backhands.  So those guys.

Q.  Obviously when you played Tomas here a few years ago, it was a semifinal, is it fair to say it was a low point in a way because you were struggling to convert matches at that point?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I had quite a turbulent five, six months of 2010.  The semifinals of Wimbledon came in the right time for me because I felt that was like a springboard for me.  From that moment on everything started going uphill really.

I haven't played great at that match against Tomas, but credit to him because he played finals that year, and he beat Roger and myself, played a good match against Rafa.  So he knows how to play on grass.  That's the only time we played on this surface.  I'm expecting a difficult match.

It's the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.  He's an established top 5, top 10 player in the world.  We're going to go for the win, both of us.

Q.  Can you talk us through the end of the match from 5‑3 till the end.  What kind of mental battle is it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I dropped with my first‑serve percentage.  I made double‑fault.  He played a few good points.  I was a little bit too defensive, kind of waiting for him to make a mistake.

It was my fault that I allowed my opponent to come back to the match.

But again, next game I had match point.  So I was kind of still feeling that I'm in the control of the match.  Played a really, really good tiebreak.  So, you know, of course you don't want to, at 8:30 in the evening, lose a third set and maybe go on and close the roof and go under the lights deep in the night and can't predict the results after that.  That's why I really wanted to get the job done.

Q.  (Question about staying calm.)

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You try to stay calm as much as you can.  You know, that inner peace at that moment can help your concentration for significant shots, to play the right tactics.  But it's not always easy because sometimes emotions get the best out of you.

It's important to stay composed as much as you can.

Q.  Athletes often say more they learn more from losing than winning.  Do you believe that, and if so why?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Because after losing especially big matches, that's when I think your character is exposed mostly, because when you're winning, everything is great, you're feeling really well about yourself.  Of course, you're going to feel good because you're winning.

When you lose, that's when you really start thinking about what you should do next, you know.  A lot of tentative, maybe negative thoughts go through your mind.  It's a big challenge mentally to overcome that and manage to understand what you need to do.

That's why I think losing is sometimes more important than winning, you know, to really get stronger, to take the best out of that experience.

Q.  Serena obviously went out today.  Did you pay any attention to that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I saw a little bit of that match.  I always thought that Lisicki is going to be tough for her because she's great on grass, plays really great at Wimbledon.

Yeah, a lot of top players, both men's and women's draw, have lost quite early in the tournament.  But credit to all the players that have won against them.

Q.  What does the next 24 hours have in store for you?  Are you going to do another question‑and‑answer session online?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I guess so.  I have a few commitments with media tomorrow.  I'm going to try to have as easy day as possible with some practice and getting ready for the next one.

Q.  In your career what were the one or two matches that you learned the most from?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Maybe the most recent one now against Nadal in Paris.  Of course, it was quite painful loss, you know, because I wanted to get to finals and that title so much ‑ more than anything this year.  But I didn't manage to achieve that.

But again, I was close and I was proud of what I presented on the court.  I gave it all at that moment.  It was not easy the next few days after that.  I was really thinking about everything that I've been through during that match, during these last few months.

But again, I managed to overcome that.  I've managed to come here now and play well.  That's probably one of the good experiences learning.

Q.  Was there a sense that sometimes you just can't get what you want?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  I mean, if it's the right time, it's the right time.  God gives you opportunities, and hopefully I'm going to have more in the future.  That's how I perceive things in life and try to fight the negative emotions with positive thoughts.  When I go back from the tennis courts back to where I stay, I'm surrounded with the people who are close to me, we start talking, sharing the beautiful things that I already have, possess, experienced, it puts things in perspective in a way.

Of course, because you're so disappointed, you don't want to lose.  Losing feeling is terrible for an athlete.  But it's important to learn from that experience and move on.

Q.  Would you support an idea to give winner of Grand Slam tournament 3,000 points?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, if I win it, yes.

 


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