Re: Novak News!!
Interview October 8, 2010
N. DJOKOVIC/G. Simon
THE INTERPRETER: Questions, please.
Q. We noticed that on the court your shirt has a red Chinese style dragon design. I'd like to ask, was it your idea to design that or was it somebody's else's?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we went through the design options start of this year, so we went through it together. They finalized it, obviously, but we did have the starting idea together. I think it's nice.
You know, they took a step further in the designing. Sergio Tacchini was always very conservative, very nice brand with nice materials. Now they took it even a step further. I think it's great what they are doing. The new owner of the Sergio Tacchini company is a Chinese private businessman so obviously had some connection with it, as well.
Q. I want to get your thoughts on the match. You had a couple of long, tough games, it seems, particularly the first one. But it seems like it's pretty much smooth sailing. How do you see the match? How do you see the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: So far I didn't spend that much time on the court, which is great. I had enough hours already throughout the whole year, so right now I just want to get the win as fast as possible.
That's what I'm doing. I'm playing quite good. I'm feeling great on this court. You know, over the years I've lost only one match I think in three years, and I just like it. It suits to my game.
He had seven break points in the first set, so I was lucky in some moments not to lose the break, and as soon as I won set, I kind of raised the level of my game even a step further. I served out well when I needed to, which is very positive thing for me. Doesn't happen too often. So I'm very happy that my serve is getting better and better, and hopefully I'm gonna use it more.
Q. I think it's been at least about five times that you and Gilles have played against each other before today. I was just wondering if you had taken anything away from those previous matches for today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, every match that we have played before this one was a long match and went three sets. So I didn't expect any different today knowing that he started playing better last couple of months.
He won a tournament in France, and he regained his confidence back and just struggling after injury, obviously, but now just playing quite good.
But I managed to play well in the important moments, and especially in that first set, so, I mean, I knew that I needed to be aggressive, take my chances, because he always tries to make opponent play an extra shot and tries to make the opponent make some unforced errors, and that's his style of the game.
I was really quite good on the return and very good on the serve, so that gave me a lot of advantage.
Q. I just wondered how much your experience at the US Open and obviously straight after that in Davis Cup, obviously great inspirations, but has that inspired you, do you think, to get even better at this stage of the season when a lot of people are perhaps suffering a little bit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, definitely. I mean, I have been healthy and I have benefit, especially in the last, in the second part of the year where I feel more confident on the court playing the game that was characteristic for me in the past, but I wasn't able to perform that game in the first five, six months.
Now I'm doing that, so I'm trying to maintain that level. I played semifinals at Wimbledon, and since then it's all going uphill, more or less. And US Open has been the best tournament of the year so far, definitely had some big wins there and big wins in the Davis Cup, which is one of my priorities until the end of the year is to try to win a title. It's historical chance for our country, never been, our country has never been in finals of this competition, so it's quite a big deal to have it at home.
Q. Did the Mardy Fish withdrawal give you more advantage or more disadvantage?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Excuse me, I didn't hear. Can you repeat?
Q. Did the Mardy Fish withdrawal give you more advantage or more disadvantage? And the weather is quite different between your two matches. Do you have any problem with that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I already forgot about that withdrawal. (Smiling.)
I already went through a quarterfinal. Well, as I said, it's great if you can save some energy, you know, especially if you're playing back-to-back tournaments. Next week is Shanghai, which is a 1000 event, and it's not easy to play on this level that many matches, but the less time you spend on the court, the better.
Yeah, the weather has been a little bit strange in last two, three days, but, you know, we kind of got used to it. We kind of got used to it, because I think I've played in these conditions in 2008 in Olympics. There was a lot of pollution in the air, so it's not really the easiest thing.
But, you know, you have to accept it. It's same for you and your opponent. You have to not think about that too much.
Q. I just wanted to ask, how has the smog affected you all? How does that affect your actual game? And do you do anything with your foods, antitoxins or anything?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I have fried noodles and dumplings in the morning, Chinese. It's quite healthy. No, honestly I have a very high opinion about the food here. I think it's very healthy and it's great.
Considering the air, I mean, what can you do? I mean, I don't know; get into the chamber of the smoke, I guess, before the match, to get used to it (smiling).
Q. But how does that affect your game? Does it make you harder to breathe or slow down with it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It does irritate you a little bit, obviously, especially if you're playing against somebody that you expect to play long rallies with them. We had so many long rallies, and it's hard to recover when you don't have fresh air.
I don't know. A box of oxygen or something on the bench would be great, but we don't have it. I guess I will have to get used to it.
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