USO: Novak Djokovic First-Round Press Conference
August 31, 2010 · Print This Article
Q. When you were talking to Brad on the court afterwards, you alluded to fan support that you received that helped you turn things around out there. Can you comment on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, especially from the first couple of rows in the stadium court, you could hear people what they say. Most of the comments throughout the whole match was positive my way. They tried to kind of lift me up. I had, of course, big support from my box. It was difficult for all those people even to sit on that heat. Yeah, I’d just like to thank everybody who was with me, kind of give me strength and wings to turn the match around.
Q. While you were playing, it was 109 degrees on the court. Talk about that experience.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, it was very hot. It was just very hot. It’s same for everybody. That’s all basically I can say. You know, heat issue is something that, you know, it’s just there. You cannot affect it. The weather is weather. You just have to try to be patient and wait for the shadows, like I did (smiling).
Q. What is your worst, hottest, most uncomfortable moment out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I’ve been in those situations before, played a lot of long matches in very difficult conditions, feeling very exhausted. You know, you kind of start panicking a little bit when you don’t feel great physically. Then your opponent takes the advantage. And it’s not easy. Definitely those moments are very challenging for an athlete. But I overcomed it once again and this is what matters most to me.
Q. When you start to panic, talk about that moment.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just told you. I mean, I don’t want to get into that too much. I mean, I just talked about heat issues too much. I’d just like to keep it simple.
Q. What was the turning point for you? What did you find that helped you to turn things around out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I guess middle of the fourth set is when I started kind of reading his serve a little bit better, especially on the advantage side. When I made the break, it obviously gave me more confidence and I got back into the match. Then I had, more or less his every serve game, chances till the end of the match. I was just trying to tell to myself, Okay, you know, he makes a serve winner. He was serving extremely well. The whole match he was serving unbelievable. I never saw him serve that way, which gave him a lot of free points, a lot of aces, winners, things like that. So I just tried to tell myself, Hang in there, you know, the chance will come. He will get tired, as well. Under those conditions, in a long match, he did. When I got the chance, I used it. You know, I got the match.
Q. How well do you two know each other? What is the history of your backgrounds?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We know each other for a very long time. We grew up together playing in juniors. We’re practicing together for a long time. We know each other since we were I think nine years old. My first tournament in my life that I’ve played, first match officially, it was under 10. I won my first round and then I played him second round. He destroyed me. We keep on talking about that. But we are very good friends for a long time already. We won many things together with Davis Cup, a lot of matches. We won European team championship under 18 together. So we share a lot of nice moments. It’s never easy to play a good friend on the court. Just bad luck for him today because he’s been playing really well, you know, lately. Today he was the better player on the court for a while. Just too bad.
Q. Is it an added challenge to play with someone you have an emotional connection with?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is. You try to put the winning attitude when you step into the court. You’re a professional. You have to do what you have to do. You have to try to win regardless of who is across the net. There is always in some moments a little more respect, just better behavior to the opponent because he’s your close friend.
Q. You said you never have seen him serve like that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yep.
Q. What was different today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he made a lot of aces. As I said, he made a lot of free points. I don’t know the statistic, but I’m sure it’s around 80% of the first serve in throughout the whole match. Was incredibly efficient, good angles, giving himself an easy shots after that. It was just a big weapon for him.
Q. Have you seen the Federer video on the Internet when he knocks the can off somebody’s head?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No.
Q. Did you see the replay or the actual live shot of his tween the legs shot last night?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I’ve seen it live last year passing next to me (smiling). That’s enough traumatic experiences for me. Today when Viktor tried to do the same thing, I said, No, no, please. He was running for the ball between the legs. Please miss it. Please don’t embarrass me again.
Q. When it happened last year, did you see the moments of your lives pass…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: They keep on repeating that. I mean, it’s amazing shot. Just incredible. At that stage, as well. It was the last game. You know, once in a while you get that shot.
Q. It had a lot of zip on it. It wasn’t just putting it back in play.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I got to the net. I did what my coach wanted me to do: covered the long line. I was just standing there, following the ball. Okay. Everybody applause. I applause.
Q. As somebody who does very good imitations, is that something you can imitate?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, definitely not. I am not as good as he is in that. I’d like to be very careful with my racquet (smiling). You know what I mean.
Q. You made a comment about sleeping with your girlfriend out on the court. What was that analogy to?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know. He asked me for the comparison of the feeling, what kind of feeling was it to feel the shade. The sun came down and I didn’t have any more heat, what kind of feeling was it. It just came up to me. It’s one of the best feelings, I guess, when you’re sleeping with your close one. So I compare it to that.
Q. Must have felt good.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It felt unbelievable (smiling). Let’s get back to tennis now (laughter).