Novak Djokovic Interview - Australian Open, Jan 23Posted on January 23, 2010
An interview with: NOVAK DJOKOVIC
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was that the best performance you've put up in the tournament so far?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Probably was, yeah, out of three matches. But, yet I don't think my opponent played on the level that he could. He was helping me out with a lot of unforced errors, and basically we didn't have a lot have long rallies.
So, you know, I just needed to be consistent and try not to ‑‑ ‑ you know, try to maintain the focus and get it over with as soon as possible. So that's what I did.
Q. It seems it's gonna be a replay of the Belgrade final against Kubot.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah definitely we talked about it in the locker room. Yeah, he's a good player, singles player, and doubles as well. I think he's playing best tennis of his life in the last year or so.
So it's ‑‑ for him, going to the fourth round, even though he got a walkover today, it's still a great result. He's a quality player. I had a tough match against him in finals, actually.
He's very aggressive and I know his style of the game. I'm gonna do everything to prepare well.
Q. You chose not to play in a ranking tournament before coming in here. What was the thinking behind that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was one of the main reasons is because I've played almost hundred matches last year, and it was ‑‑ I got fed up, to be honest, with tournaments and matches. I didn't have a lot of time really to recover and just to relax like most of the top players.
I already started preparing, so I ‑‑ first of all, I wasn't ‑‑ tennis‑wise I wasn't ready for those tournaments, so I didn't want to go there to play one or two matches. Didn't make any sense.
So I just decided to come here earlier, ten days before the Australian Open starts, and put in some intensive workout. That's what I did.
Q. Do you feel fresh now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I do. Actually, I do. I think this workout is paying off.
Q. The top players say you like to work into a tournament. How much of a game like that today will actually help you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think at some stage in the tournament you want to have a straight‑sets win, an easy win, so you can get fast off the court and try to save all the energy as much as you can for the upcoming challenges, which are obviously gonna be more difficult.
So it was good to have the match like this.
Q. You seem to have a slightly perhaps lower profile here this year than last year. Are you enjoying that more than usual?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, look, I think there is many other players that you can talk about that are playing well. I think the player who's a little bit undertalked is Davydenko. He's playing the best tennis of his life. He's on the roll and he's definitely one of the players that can win the title this year.
Besides him, of course Federer, Nadal, Murray, Del Potro. I think it's very exciting for the fans as well to follow the men's part of the draw and just wait and see who's gonna win the title.
Q. Has the locker room respect for Davydenko grown over the past couple months?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In my own opinion, I don't look at him in a different way. I always had the respect for him because I always was aware of his quality as a player. He's an incredible fighter.
As I said, he was one of the players that was kind of underestimated in the last five years. He's already five years in a row in the top 10, top 5 in the world were you got to give him credit for that. Basically 80, 90% of tournaments he's reaching quarters. That proves his quality.
Lately he just stepped it up. I think he feels it as well. He feels that he can beat anyone now.
Q. Are you kind of just quitely excited about looking forward to next week? Would that be a proper descriptor?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I am excited. Of course I look forward to it. It's a big challenge for all of us. Most of the top players are still in the draw.
As I said, it's gonna be very exciting interesting for us and for the fans to see who's gonna go all the way through.