Novak Djokovic says he is ready to take on Nadal/Federer
Placing himself in the last eight at Roland Garros, the best tennis
player of Serbia Novak Djokovic made career high result. That was good
enough for journalists to greet him in huge number, just like they did
to Ana Ivanovic last year at the lounge of Hotel Intercontinental.
- Reason for this gathering is a very good one. I made career highest
result, raised my game to another level and shew that I can compete
with the very best. To be in last eight at Roland Garros is huge
honour, but I am disappointed cause I had to retire to Nadal - these
are the very first impressions of Novak Djokivic after his return from
His back injury is to be blamed for his disappointment, and that is why
Djokovic will have to forfeit from Halle tournament which starts next
- I was lucky the injury was not that serious, and very soon I will
start with my training. I will be in Germany next week, and then I'll
go to Holland where I'll play an tournament before Wimbledon - says
At Roland Garros you played four tough matches, even three of them were
with seeded players. Which one of them left the highest impression on
- Definitely the one against Gonzales. There I gave my maximum, and to
win against ninth player in the world is a prove that I can play top
tennis. Match with Monfilis was infront of 10.000 people who cheered
for home player. It's not easy to play against French players in
Match with Nadal?
- I spent lots of energy in previous three matches, so I had less
energy against Nadal. I must work harder on my physical condition if I
want to beat him and Federer. I think that Nadal and I were even during
the match, but you have to be 100% ready against him.
Are you still with the statement you gave after the quarterfinal that
it was you who dictated the match, not Nadal?
- Yes, I do. Maybe it didn't look like that to people around, but that
is how I felt. It was me who was winning or losing points, and he is a
type of player who waits for faults. That will help me a lot in future.
The idea to write "Vamos Nole" with colored pencil on your shoes was
- Yes, with my physiotherapist Milos Jelisavcic I decided to do that
before the match. We just wanted to have some fun.
There were no coach with you, with whom will you work in future?
- Most probably with Slovak Marian Vajda. He used to coach Dominik
Hrbaty. He used to work with him since he was 15, and when he was 14 in
the world. I need a coach now, I don't think I am strong enough to work
alone. By the way, Marian Vajda was born on 24th of May 1965, and in
September 1987 he was 34th player in the world.
Stamping the ball many times before serving was making Eurosport
commentators mad. Was that your plan, or you were nervous?
- It wasn't something I used to do. It's hard to play important
matches, so I suppose I needed some time to concentrate myself better.
You seem very self-confident on the courts.
- That means a lot to me. Besides physical, tennis asks for mental
strength, every player gets bothered to see his opponent full of
When new ATP ranking is announced on Monday you will enter top 50
players in the world. Does that change anything?
- I'll be around 45th place. That gives me opportunity to skip
qualifications for big tournaments, which is important. After
Wimbledon. I plan to play Gstad, Amersfoort and Umag.
Your expectations from Wimbledon?
- Last year I played for very first time on grass and I made third
round. It turned out it suits me fine, so I really don't have best
surface. I hope to get well soon and manage to defend those 90 points.
Where do you think you'll stand in rankings at the end of this year?
Many believe you can make even top 10.
- I hope to enter top thirty by the end of this year. And for top ten,
there is still time, I'm only 19, I have no reason to hurry. There are
still some elements in my gave I need to work on. Of course, my final
goal is to become number 1.
He's not becoming British!
Recently, British media were emphasizing story about possible change of
citizenship, underlining that as a Brit, you would improve a lot better
and would earn much more.
- The fact is I would earn a lot more, but I don't care about that.
English journalists talked a lot, but my job is to play tennis. I am
satisfied with my sponsors, and since with Monfilis and Marry I am one
of the best teenagers out there, I believe interest for sponsors will
be higher - Djokovic denied rumours of possible citizenship changing.