Novak Djokovic Interview
Sony Ericsson Open - Miami, Fl., U.S.A.
March 25, 2011
N. DJOKOVIC/D. Istomin 6 0, 6 1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Considering that you played so much tennis, is it helpful that tonight's match was so short?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, definitely helpful. You know, in opening rounds, especially in the first round, you're trying to get used to the conditions and you don't want to underestimate your opponent, so you want to step into the court and try to be focused from the start and try to, you know, get as quickly as possible out of the court.
So I did a great job tonight.
Q. How did you feel out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Um, I mean, I couldn't feel better, you know. Most of the shots I was hitting were winners, so I wasn't making a lot of mistakes.
Everything was working perfect.
Q. When you're playing like this, are you just chomping at the bit to get back out there as quickly as possible? Is it hard to wait between matches?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's confidence that plays a very important role in our sport, and in any other sport. So I guess you're trying to keep that confidence level very high, and when you step on the court, you know, you're hitting the ball and everything comes in.
You know, you have a lot of self belief that, you know, you can hit the ball hard and you can step in and take your chances, be aggressive, and that was the case tonight. That's the case, you know, lately for me.
I do look forward to my next challenges. You know, I've played a lot of matches, so it's good that I have an extra day tomorrow where I play doubles and where I take some time and get ready for next one.
Q. How much do you think you'll have to rely on your net game this tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Excuse me?
Q. How much do you think you'll have to rely on coming to the net in this tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Coming to the net? Well, look, I'm not a classic serve and volley player and I'm not coming that often to the net, but I try to put some variety in my game and use the chances that are given to me to come to the net.
It's something that I've been working on lately. It's well. You know, it takes time. I know I have to, you know, mentally kind of convince myself that I can come to the net, I can play well. I'm just happy with the way I'm playing.
Q. Considering the fact that you've been really unbeatable this year, does playing so well bring another level of pressure to maintain that high level of play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, but, you know, I'm not thinking too much about being unbeaten this year or, you know, what it carries with it, you know, some kind of pressure or expectations.
I got used to that. You know, I'm playing for many years already on a high level in professional tennis, and I'm using this experience this year to be able to perform my best on the court.
I'm fresh mentally, motivated to have even more success. I'm looking to upcoming challenges. I know it's only been a couple of months of the year, but I have been playing great, and I want to keep on doing that.
I need to stay physically fit and healthy in order to, you know, be consistent with the success.
Q. You've got James next; is that right?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.
Q. Your thoughts about that matchup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, James has been around for a while. He's a great competitor. He's very exciting to watch. He hits the ball very clean, very powerful. He's a great mover. He's very fast.
You know, he's gonna be having a lot of support from the crowd. You know, it's definitely not an easy one. I have to step on the court and be on top of my game.
Q. You talked about confidence. Andy at the moment has no confidence, I guess. Can you feel for him? Do you understand what he's going through at the moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I absolutely understand. Today when I saw when he lost, I mean, that gives you it proves and it gives, you know, another reason and another example, actually, that this sport is all mental in the end, you know.
You can work as hard as you can and you can practice for hours and hours, but if you don't have that self belief on the court, if you don't have that confidence, you know, it can easily turn against you.
I felt it, you know, last year in this period for first five, six months. I had similar early round losses. I know how it feels like, you know. It's incredible, you know, how mental it gets.
You know, if you believe in your shots, if you're just relaxed on the court, then you he has a quality, I mean, to beat anybody on the tour. He's just going through that period that I'm sure it's gonna be over very soon.
Q. What are you going to do in doubles tomorrow to cheer him up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I still haven't heard from him, so I'll let him sleep over and see hopefully tomorrow. He's gonna be fresh and motivated to win doubles. I'm really looking forward to that doubles.
Q. How does it come to pick Andy as a partner for doubles? You were both practicing doubles to be better later?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, it's idea we had for a long time already, but we weren't managing to kind of organize and play together. We played in 2006 I think in Australian Open and, you know, since then we had a lot of success in our singles careers.
That's what we prioritize, and we didn't play that much doubles. But now that we play together, we should enjoy it. You know, I really look forward to that.
Q. Would you like to see more top guys play doubles? Do you think it's good for the game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: At Indian Wells I think you had 9 of top 10 players, singles players, playing doubles. So, you know, it gives you example of, you know, singles players getting involved more in doubles.
You know, it's good for serve and volley, it's good for it's good for us to have some practice and enjoy sharing the court with somebody, as well. You know, because most of the time we're alone.
Q. You were this week in my country, in Colombia. How did you enjoy that experience?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I enjoyed it so much. You know, I didn't feel that kind of atmosphere ever in my life in exhibition event. It was incredible. It was very loved. It was just being a part of that exhibition event and the whole day being in Colombia, we felt like rock stars, you know. It's just great experience. I will definitely come back.