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Novak Djokovic Interview
Sony Ericsson Open - Miami
April 1, 2011
Q. Would it be fair to say you were a little happy to see the rain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it would be. After I came back from the rain delay, from the locker room and the break that we had, I felt different on the court.
First couple of games was quite strange. The wind of blowing. It was quite humid. Just different conditions, I guess.
I came to the match not really moving well, and was just lucky enough not to go a break down.
Q. You were skidding a lot. It was almost like you were playing clay court tennis for a while. Were you having trouble with the footing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's been like that for a while. I been sliding on every surface that I know, because that's just the way that I move.
I knew that he's going to be aggressive and come to the net often, so I needed to defend well. I did. I wish I just played a little bit better from the baseline.
But what I think made the difference today is my first serve. I got a lot free points there.
Q. When you get off to a patchy start like today, aside from the rain, is the fact that you've been winning for the last three months, is that something you draw on? You talked about confidence. Is that where that really comes into play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I guess it's a very mental game in the end. If you have a little mental advantage over your opponent knowing that you won against him every time you played and are very confident and winning a lot matches lately, I guess it's something that kind of guides me to the victory.
Q. What do you on breakpoints this tournament that just seems you're impossible to break? Today was key in the first set at 15 40 when Mardy was serving 3 5 and he hit a serve like right at you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ah, it was I can't say I've played that point well. It was just lucky that I read his intention with the drive forehand volley. I stayed on the same side and I hit as hard as I can through the middle and he put his volley out.
Yeah, as I said, you got to have some luck as well in some moments. When I held that serve, it was a different story in the second set. I kind of felt better and more comfortable on the court.
But any time I was breakpoints down and in trouble I served out really well. That's something that makes me happy.
Q. It looks as though when you're in those pressure situations you're able to find another gear and sort of just get an extra level. What is that? Is it focus and concentration kicks in a little bit more?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes, focus and just trying to get it right. You know, you obviously feel pressure and tension in these moments when you're breakpoint down, especially at this level where you know if you lose your serve it's going to be very hard to get it back.
But, you know, I tried to, you know, kind of play simple that stage. Tried to hit some good serves and hit one, two, shots, and it works okay.
Q. You said something in Portuguese. You tried to talk about Brazil. Are you planning to go there and maybe learn some soccer with Guga?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I got a lot of messages ib Twitter from Brazilian fans. Yeah, but don't expect me to talk in Portuguese. I can't. I cheated, okay, so I kind of looked at a translation.
Q. You looked at a translation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. So I have written couple of words, just words of appreciation for their support. That's all.
But I got in touch with Guga about eventually coming to Brazil and playing an exhibition there. Hopefully we can make that happen in the near future.
Q. Brad Gilbert forgot ask you the big question. You're going to watch from your hotel, but who do you think will win and who do you want to win?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's a question that I can't give you answer on, because I really don't prefer anybody of those two. (Laughing.)
They just have a fantastic rivalry, and it would be really interesting to see their match tonight, you know, to see who's going to win and prevail.
We obviously expect a great fight. They're both big champions, great players. You know, they have been so dominant in the last couple of years.
Whoever I play, I obviously wouldn't feel like a favorite on the court.
Q. You have an edge on Rafa on hardcourt, I think; not with Roger. If you're going to get Rafa, I guess you prefer a hardcourt; is that right?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I really don't know what to answer, you know. Both of them are playing great tennis over the years regardless what surface. They're such great competitors and tennis players that it doesn't matter really. Slow, fast, you know, they're always playing on a very high level.
So in order for me to win and by the way, it is a final, so in order for me to win I will be have to be on the top of my game against either of those two players.
Q. Do you think it was good to get a day match in before a final that's going to be at lunchtime just to get a sense...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Yeah, I didn't play a single match this year before today's semifinal during the day. It was all during the night, so it took me time to get used to conditions. It was good. I got a sense of what it might be like.
Q. You've been playing with a strap on your knee for a while. Any concern there? Seemed like one game you might have tweaked it a little bit.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it was just a quick move. Luckily it's nothing serious. You know, I carried this minor discomfortable I could say in my knee since Australia this year. So since then I been wearing the strap on my knee. Just preventional. Nothing that keeps me away from sliding.
Q. Have you been following the record, your match records that you've been creeping up on guys. Are you looking at this at all? How important is it for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, of course to be a part of history it's always a big pleasure and honor. I've been telling to my team, Don't come up with any records or anything. I just want to take one match at a time. So far it's been like that.
Q. You've been pressing the top of the rankings for years. A few years ago I remember you going like this a lot. (Holding up index finger.) It was when Federer was kind of in a slump. Do you feel that...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't understand. What do you mean?
Q. You were like saying No. 1 or whatever this gesture meant after you would win a match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. No, it's not true.
Q. It's not true?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No.
Q. Anyway, do you feel like this is your time or do you have any sense of invincibility now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't feel invincible. I don't feel that I can't lose on the court.
What I feel is big confidence. What I feel is that I'm playing best tennis of my life. This is as simple as that.
As I said before, it's mental game, so physically I've been working very hard and dedicating a lot of time to some elements in my game, like serve, and it's paying off now.
I feel that I'm serving as best as I think ever. It's really important to have this advantage obviously, because today there is so many great returners and movers, so to get a couple of free points on your serve a crucial.
I'm just trying to take one match at a time and mentally be motivated to have even more success. That's about all. You know, I don't really think about how long this winning streak is gonna go for, who I'm going to lose to.
I'm just thinking about my next opponent and what I need to do to win.