Novak Djokovic Interview - US Open, Sept 2

Posted on September 2, 2010

Novak Djokovic Interview
US Open - Thursday, September 2, 2010

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about the way you played and also coming through in straight sets after the first round, how important was that?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's great. It's important to save as much energy in the opening rounds, especially after the first match. It was very long.

Overall I can be satisfied with the performance today, even though there were some moments when I wasn't playing that great and I gave him chance to come back to the match, and I was not supposed to do that.

In the end, I played well when I needed to and was a little bit lucky.

Q. You and Blake are both capable of some really exciting, crowd‑pleasing shots. What kind of match do you expect?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: James always plays well here. He's been so many years, you know, on this level, winning against a lot of top players. He knows how it feels like to play on a big stage in important matches.

He's very aggressive player, and I have no doubt that he's going to have that mindset when we step on the court. You know, he's going to try to take the ball early, and I have to be ready for that.

Q. Do you think Petzschner's ranking was a little deceiving?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, you know, especially in the Grand Slams, the opening rounds, the players play great tennis even though the ranking is not really a great judgment of their game. But still, you know, it's kind of hard to keep up with rankings. There are so many great players on the tour, you cannot rely only on one, two good results throughout the whole year; you really have to be very consistent in order to have a good ranking.

And it's important to get in the top 30 in Grand Slams and be able to have ‑‑ to be seeded so you can avoid the top players, at least in a couple of rounds.

Q. What was the crowd like for you tonight on your first night match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I looked forward to a night match, especially after a tough one two days ago on extreme heat. I was really excited, not just for different conditions, I was excited for the crowd. It's different. I mean, crowd in the night and crowd in the day in US Open is absolutely different. You know, the crowd in the night enjoys it. They don't have a sun, so they just kind of relaxing. You know, they're looking for some entertainment.

Late in the third set, we gave it to them. They were appreciating that then. I think they wanted to see a longer match. It was okay. It was normal. I was just fortunate not to have that. I wanted to finish up in straight sets.

Q. Does the crowd get to you at all, especially when they start going for the underdog?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I've faced this situation ‑‑ many different situations with the crowd in my life. I'm trying to use that experience in my favor. You know, you cannot always have a crowd behind you, but you always try to have because it's very important in every match you play. It's a big support. Just big energy when the crowd is behind you.

Q. Did you watch Janko's match last night and what do you think of him, Ivanovic, Jankovic?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's fantastic for our country. We're just so proud to be able to represent the country so well on such a big stage. Of course, it's individual sport. You kind of represent yourself in the first place. But on the other hand, you know, you have a Serbian flag next to your name. Whenever you show up on a big stadiums like that, playing in front of 15,000, 20,000 people, it's a big deal.

For Janko, I think it's one of the best matches he ever played. Actually, he played a fantastic match. Andy wasn't playing that bad. It's just that Janko was hitting so many winners all over the court.

It was just his day. All credit to him. If he continues playing like that, he has, I think, a good chance against everybody.

Q. I'm going to ask you about the between‑the‑legs shot by Roger.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Shot (smiling)?

Q. Some people say that's the greatest shot they've ever seen. As a player, do you have a shot you've seen someone do that was the greatest shot you've ever seen?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: A couple of shots in my life that I saw that are just incredible. Actually, one of them was Janko's in the Davis Cup, I think, Serbia against Australia 2007, when he hit ‑‑ he was playing Hewitt. He was on the forehand side, kind of stretched out of the court. Hewitt, you know, hit an approach shot to his backhand side. There was no way he could make that ball. So he kind of played it behind like that, played a cross‑court winner. It was incredible.

There are a couple of shots that just come up for you in the right moment. You just, I guess, close your eyes and hope for the best. The odds of hitting those shots that well are not that big. You know, if you try 10 out of 10, I don't think you would make it.

But still, from my perspective, wasn't fun seeing Roger doing that shot last year. That's definitely a fact, yeah (smiling). But it was great. It was fantastic shot, definitely. For me, unfortunately I was across the net.

Q. Do you yourself have a great shot that you've hit?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I did have some great passing shots, a couple of those that I hit. This one tonight, you know, from the backhand was quite good. Through the legs, not yet. I guess I have to work on that.

Q. You almost doubled over backwards when you won, so thrilled not to have it go into another set. Was there a thought that crossed your mind like, He's going to win this tiebreak and I'm going to have to go another set?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely, a lot of thinking towards the end of the third set. Pressure is on. You feel it. I wasn't putting a lot of first serves in. You know, you could feel I was a little bit shaky.

But, yeah, just fortunate. Just patient, and he missed a crucial forehand on 6‑All. This is tennis. It can all turn around in a split of a second.

Q. There were a huge amount of dropshots in this match.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was trying to keep up with him. You know, he played so many great dropshots today. He was using wind very well. There was one side. Generally Arthur Ashe Stadium is very windy, one of the toughest conditions, toughest courts to play on. There's a lot of wind on one side throughout the whole day, and especially the night.

At one side I think people could notice we were winning more games playing with the wind in our back. From the other side, he was using serve well, serve and volley. He changes pace all the time. He doesn't give a lot of rhythm to his opponent. That was the case tonight. And I was aware of that. I just needed to, you know, hold on and wait for a chance and then use it.

Q. Sitting here now, do you feel more better prepared for the rest of the tournament or less prepared? What's your feeling after the match today?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: To be honest with you, I wasn't that skeptical after the first match for my physical condition because I know that physically I'm fit. I'm definitely ready for this tournament and mentally motivated to do well. Of course, every Grand Slam you play you want to do your best. It's one of the four biggest events in the sport.

Yeah, I have been playing really well in New York in last three years. The court is very suitable to my style of the game. I just hope I can maintain this high level of performance. I can build up my form towards the end of the tournament.

That's very important. In the opening rounds, you always kind of get used to the court, the crowd, the atmosphere, all these kinds of things. The opening rounds, you are favored to go through. A lot of people expect you to go through. So it's not easy dealing with all these things.

But, you know, once you get through that and kind of gain the momentum, you go as far as you can.

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