Novak Djokovic Interview
March 13, 2011
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - BNP PARIBAS OPEN
N. DJOKOVIC/A. Golubev
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about the match. Seemed like you were pretty much in control most of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. It was great start of the tournament, you know. With those first matches you don't know what to expect.
I mean, I've played great at the start of the season, obviously, with winning streak of, you know, 12 matches. But still, you know, I haven't played a match for around two weeks. I really tested myself today, because I had Golubev, who is coming up from a big Davis Cup wins, and he's a very good player.
He showed that in the second set. He started hitting the ball from the baseline really hard. But, you know, I was in the control most of the match. I am really happy with the way I was playing. I want to keep on moving.
Q. When do you plan on joining your teammates again for the Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, for the next one most likely, you know. We're playing quarterfinals against Sweden away, you know, a very, very tough one.
If we want to win that match, we will have to have the best team, you know, the team that won Davis Cup last year.
Q. How do you like this court, the surface?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The ball bounces very high, you know. The ball get a little too big, fluffy, you know, and it's quite slow, especially during the night.
But I like it, you know. The speed of the surface can compare to the one in Australia, for example, so it's quite suitable to my game.
Q. In baseball, when a hitter is on a real hot streak he says the ball looks real big to him. Is it the same way in tennis? Does it look like the ball is...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Like a watermelon.
Q. Like it's sitting up there for you to hit it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, if you can say so, I guess. Confidence is -- it's crucial. It's very important thing to have, you know, in this individual sport. If you're on the run, you know, you don't want to mess up. You don't want to stumble. You just want to keep on going and hold the momentum, so this is what I'm trying to do.
Q. You have been confident at different points in your career. It comes up and down, but it seems like now you've hit a point where you've been able to sustain the confidence. Is that something that is just something you practiced or that you can feel you're keeping it up there, or is it just happening naturally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think it's years of experience playing on the tour. You kind of expect that with the time you will gain more experience that is necessary for you to, you know, use in the important tournaments, important matches, and to stay calm, to stay confident, to know what to do in what moments.
I guess that's the situation that I'm facing right now. I did have a feeling of winning a Grand Slam in 2008, and I won Indian Wells 2008. I had a great first couple months of the year.
But then, you know, I had some, you know, opening-round losses: Miami, Wimbledon. So I was still young, you know, and inexperienced. I kind of was confused, and I didn't know how to react in those situations.
But now it's quite different. I have a great team of people that, you know, is obviously responsible for their own, everybody for their own parts of, you know, of my career.
You know, we are very compact together, and we're working well.
Q. Who has been the hardest audience to play in front of?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The hardest? That's a tricky question. I don't know. I remember only the good ones. I remember obviously the Davis Cup, you know, in front of my people. It's, you know, the best feeling you can experience on the tennis court, 20,000 people supporting you all the way through, you and your team.
You know, I had some really great support here in the States, I had some in France, as well as in Italy and China, you know. So anywhere you go, you try to, you know, to get the crowd on your side. It's really important.
You're alone on the court, and, you know, in those moments it is really welcomed to have the support.
Q. Where would you place Australia?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: And Australia. I'm sorry for forgetting. (Smiling.) They're gonna say, Oh, he doesn't like Australia. No, of course. I won two Grand Slams there. That says enough, you know.
Q. What's up with your brothers' careers these days?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, the older one, Marko, he started to play really good. He's around 600 in the world, but, you know, he struggles with injuries a lot. You know, the last three years it's been really a difficult time for him to maintain good health and good physical condition.
He's been more, you know, out of tournaments than playing tournaments, so it's really hard for him now to see in which direction he wants to go. He's still 19 years old, and he has maybe still a chance to go to college. But he'll -- it's his decision, you know, to work this out. He'll try another six months or ten months and then see, he will see how it goes.
And the youngest one, he's in Bollettieri's now; he's in Florida. He's practicing hard. He's very talented, and actually Stepanek was just telling me a couple days ago that he practiced him with him and he's a copy/paste of my forehand.
Yeah, I mean, I'm really happy to see my brothers, especially the younger one, doing well now, you know, in the tennis. Because it's not easy for them. They're still not matured enough to be able to -- you know, they're facing these really difficult mental struggles all the time and practicing in front of 20, 30 people, because, you know, they're carrying the burden of Djokovic, you know, family.
For them it's not really the best situation you can ask for, but it makes them stronger, you know. They are really fighting. They understand that they have to fight their own way through and hopefully they will.
Q. Do you ever talk to Patrick McEnroe about that? He came up under the shadow of John.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I haven't spoken to him. It's a good idea .
Q. Just getting back to the match tonight, if you had to tweet what you thought about the match, what would you say?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's a good question. I don't tweet usually about matches and practices and things like that. I tweet only about some pictures and crazy adventures that we had.
So I don't know. You got me there. I don't know what I would say. A hot first set. (Smiling.)
Q. You were with adidas and you moved on to Sergio Tacchini. Obviously you probably help them out designing your outfits. Are you going to continue doing that, bringing that hot flame and the dragon style out again? I thought that was really cool.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it was. And the owner actually of Tacchini the last few years is a Chinese private businessman, so the dragons have had symbolics, because it's a holy, very respected animal back in China.
So I did have my own part in designing the clothes, but the last, if I can say touch, is from, you know, designers there. They're doing their job.
But I like it, you know. Tacchini always has been famous for very nice but conservative clothes. You know, now since I signed with them for last two years, we have been mixing it up with some colors, and, you know, I like that one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports