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Novak Djokovic Interview - Wimbledon, June 30
Posted on June 30, 2010
Q. You looked excited by your performance today.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's really refreshing, you know, to perform this way I'd say after a while. You know, I was struggling with the level of my performance throughout the last five, six months. It was a lot of ups and downs.
But right now I'm playing great. It definitely makes me happy.
Q. What were your thoughts when you heard that Roger had lost?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, all the credit to Berdych. He played a good match. I've seen the last couple of games.
But, you know, regardless of who I play, I mean, if I perform as well as I did today, I think I have a good chance.
Q. Can you describe the matchup in more detail against Tomas, the strengths you need to try to exploit in your game and what you need to work on against him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He's a big server and he has powerful groundstrokes. Obviously, his weapon is his forehand. Plays a lot of flat shots.
So, uhm, he's played semis of French Open. He's got some great results in last couple of months. So he's one of the toughest players to play against I guess lately.
I'm gonna have to be patient and wait for the chances. Obviously, both of us, we gonna have a great motivation to proceed to the next round and finals. For him, that would be a first finals. For me, third.
But, still, you know, I would give everything to play finals in Wimbledon.
Q. It's two years since you won a Grand Slam. Do you think you're playing at your best now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't know if I'm able to compare my present game with the one from 2008 when I won the Australian Open. But definitely close, close to there. I had the best tournament in Australia.
Right now I think I'm raising my confidence level and performance level match after match. This is something that is very encouraging in this stage of the tournament.
Q. You expect a very difficult match in the semifinal. Berdych in place of Federer means for you a better chance right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we all know Roger always plays his best tennis in the end of the tournament. He has played, what, 23, 24 consecutive semifinals of the Grand Slams. He has definitely, you know, more pressure, I guess, and a bigger challenge playing against him in the semis.
But still, you know, Berdych, he's a player who won against Roger in four sets. We cannot forget that. He's gonna go for the shots. I think he has, again, not much to lose. He's gonna be motivated. So there's no favorites, I guess.
Q. You said the game has changed for you. You've been struggling for the last couple months. What has changed or turned the tide for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't think game‑wise I was far away from my maximum and from my top game in the last couple months. It was more like a mental struggle, I guess. I wasn't finding myself on the court. I was ‑‑ uhm, had too much distractions, meaning mental discomfort on the court; wasn't feeling great; had a lot of ups and downs.
But it's a part of the sport, part of the career. You just have to accept it that way. I'm sure everybody has been through that little mini crisis if you want to call it.
But it's important to take the best out of it and continue in the right way. That's what I did. I just want to look forward now.
Q. The last time you reached this stage at Wimbledon, you were far from fit. Are you a hundred percent now? Are you looking forward to making up for that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. It was a much different situation back then. I was less experienced, but yet I wasn't fit as I am today. I had to play three matches in three days, very exhausting matches. When I got to the semifinal stage, I wasn't ready for that.
But this time I'm ready mentally and physically. Just barely waiting to get on the court.
Q. What does this opportunity at this stage of your career mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, look, you know, playing a semifinals of any Grand Slam is a huge result. But being able to have the opportunity and to reach the finals is even more encouraging, of course, and more challenging.
So, as I said, you know, I'll give everything to be in the finals. I'll give my best on the court. If the guy's better, I will congratulate him, but I will definitely fight till the last moment.
Q. Will it be more difficult to fall asleep tonight knowing that in the semifinal you have a bigger chance since you're playing Berdych?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I already answered that question, so...
Q. You played Berdych twice. You never lost a set. It's a different Berdych, the one that you have to play now. How different do you think he is?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He has improved I think a lot from the baseline. He had the powerful strokes and shots always, but he was making a lot of unforced errors before. Now he's cutting that to the minimum. He's becoming more patient.
Of course, physically he's very strong, very compact. And, of course, serve is always there. So if he serves well, he can be very dangerous.
Q. And you spoke also about your personal problems or distractions. What were you meaning, apart from maybe the tournament in Belgrade?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I mean, that was not one of the distractions. You know, you always face some things. Sometimes on the court you think about things off the court which you shouldn't and you keep your focus away from what you should do. That's about it.
Q. Are you really surprised that Berdych beat Federer today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I mean, Federer is the best player that ever played this game. And still to be able to play this way after he has won so many Grand Slams is just great. I mean, you have to give him credit for everything he has done.
So it's normal for him to lose. I mean, you guys, you know, you think he shouldn't lose at all? I mean, you have to congratulate to Berdych for playing that well.
Q. Are you a hundred percent fit going into the semifinals?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.