Re: Novak News & Interviews Vol.2
[Toronto] August 10, 2012: R3 vs Querrey 6‑4, 6‑4 || QF vs Haas 6‑3, 3‑6, 6‑3
Q. You changed your T‑shirt after you lost the second set. Is that a superstition? You change from white to black.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No.
Q. How much of a challenge was it to play him tonight playing the second match of the day?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, Tommy is a great player. After years of injuries and surgeries, he comes back very strong, very fit, plays really well on faster surfaces. He made a couple really good wins here and he was on the roll, so it was a really tough match.
For me, a long two days. Definitely not the best time of the day for me to play a match. I'm still very jet lagged. I don't know how I found a way. I think I was fighting very hard, and that's the positive of tonight's match. That's why I won, I think.
Q. Getting a chance to play your fellow countryman Tipsarevic, what's that like for you? He said you know each other really intimately as players and friends.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's never easy, you know, but we are professionals. We try to win the match whoever is across the net.
Yeah, we do know each other really well. We met first time probably 12, 15 years ago back in Serbia, and he was the best junior in the world and one of the players I was looking up to, you know.
I'm very glad that he managed to come to top 10. He's playing probably best tennis of his life in last 15 months.
So we'll see. You know, it all depends how fast I will recover from this day.
Q. Just to follow up, you said you looked up to him. Obviously he's a little bit older than you. Maybe the relationship's changed a little bit with all the success you've had. He said you set the mark for him. How do you think your relationship has changed since you initially met 15 years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, we stay friends. Regardless what happens on the court, whoever wins the match, we stay friends. We know each other so well. He's one of my best friends definitely off the court. I spend a lot of time with him and with the rest of the Davis Cup team.
But as I said, when you step on the court, it's a semifinals of a Masters event, so we both want to win.
Q. Do you feel things are catching up with you at the moment after all the hype and emotion of London and traveling over here and the time changes?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm fighting it. I'm fighting it. It's not easy, but I'm fighting it.
Q. It must be a while since you played off this stadium. There was a lot of atmosphere tonight and interaction with the fans ‑ some good, some bad. What was it like?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was definitely interesting, you know, in whatever sense you want to take that.
But, yeah, you know, as I said, it's been a very long day. I don't want say it would maybe be different if I played on stadium, but I haven't played on that Grandstand for a long time. Took me time to get used to it, the atmosphere and everything.
Fortunately I played well when I needed to.
Q. What's the one thing Tipsarevic does that gives you trouble that you know about?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He's very aggressive, you know. He started believing in himself, in his ability on the court, and that's why he became a top‑10 player. He always had qualities to be out there, but he was couple years struggling to find that mental strength on the court.
I believe with a couple big scalps in the last 15 months and big wins, he managed to get there. So, yeah, I'm sure he's going to go for his shots. I will have to be aware of that.
[Toronto] August 11, 2012: SF vs Tipsarevic 6‑4, 6‑1
THE MODERATOR: Tomorrow Novak will attempt to win his third ATP World Tour title of the season, and also his 12th ATP Masters 1000 title. Questions.
Q. The match seemed a lot closer than the score indicates. Just wondering what you feel you did better tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I agree. Really could have gone either way, especially in the first set. You know, with the several interruptions because of rain delay, it was very important for both of us to start off well after those delays.
You could feel that there was a lot of tension going on and we both were trying to find the rhythm on the court and be more aggressive. He had some break balls on 4‑All, I think, or 3‑All in the first, and I managed to play a good return game on 5‑4.
When you're a set up, I felt that momentum is on my side and that I should use it; second set I played really good.
Q. Last night you said that you were physically tired. Another rain delay today; two matches yesterday. Are you starting to feel a mental fatigue at all at this point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, for sure it is, you know. Not just for me, for everybody. It's a headache for tournament, for people waiting. But, you know, weather is something you can't effect, obviously.
We were very close of cancelling the match tonight and trying to play tomorrow because the weather was so unpredictable. The radar was indicating that we had a window of two, three hours without the rain, but then we had the interruptions.
Look, the only thing I can take out from this experience aside trying to be calm and save as much energy as I can, as any other player and then try to perform and focus on the court, is that I don't see any reason why hard court tournaments don't have covers on their courts.
I think this tournament, after this year's experiences, should strongly consider having covers for next year. I got an explanation that it's because the surface itself gets very humid if the covers are on the court, like on the grass.
But if they inflate the covers, like they do at Wimbledon, for example, it saves us time. Every time the rain was falling for five, ten, or fifteen minutes, we had to wait 45 minutes to get on the court. We lost a lot of time.
I think that would be a good solution to the these problems.
Q. Has the court been noticeably different with the conditions and after the rain delays?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Maybe a little bit slower, I think. Obviously taking in consideration that we played very late and during the day ball travels through the air faster, so conditions are a bit faster; during the night it's slower.
I think the rain also had its effect on the speed of the court.
Q. What would be the first one or two things that you do when you get back to the locker room to get your energy back?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, the biggest problem for us players is what we are trying to explain to people in organization of this event and any other when we have so many rain delays, is that we need to know approximately how long they going to keep us waiting.
Because off the organizational part, off court, scheduling, the food, the warmups, the cool downs, the naps or whatever it is that the players do, you know, body suffers a lot and takes a lot stress if you warmup five times and cool down five times and don't know if you're going to go on court.
That's the priority when we go on court and we have rain delays, is to try to keep the body in good condition.
Q. When you get back to the locker room, what is the first thing you do to get some energy back after the match is over?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Just try to go back to the hotel as quick as I can and get on my recovery and get some sleep.
Q. You said that probably floor was a little bit wet. What I saw after rain your eyes more sharp, and even when you are asking for the balls to be checked. Do you think that visibility changes after rain also because light is artificial or something as that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think that visibility change much. I think only the speed of the court is affected by the rain, not so much the lights.
Yeah, I mean, you have to adjust to the conditions, whatever they are.
Q. During the match, are you having to keep reminding yourself to stay calm, stay focused, because of the frustrations and all that that's going on.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Exactly. That's the first thing on your mind when you have this specific situations with the weather, it's to try to hold your compusure on the court and stay mentally strong and play each point and not thinking about what's going to happen.
Any minute the rain can come, so something that you cannot effect. What you can effect is the way you're thinking on the court and try to be as positive as possible.
Q. Is that the bigger factor compared to the physical or the technical side of the game when you have these frustrations?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't want to talk in the name of all the other players, because every player obviously has a different physical condition. Obviously every player is affected more or less depending on how he feels.
You could be right. Mentally in these situations you need to stay strong in order to perform your best.
Q. Can you just look ahead to the final with Richard? 6‑1 record in your favor.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Well, Richard has been playing well this week. He hasn't played many finals of 1000 events. Maybe it's the first one. Not really sure.
But definitely considering that fact he wants to step into the court tomorrow and have nothing no lose and is motivated and wants to win. I expect a tough match, of course. It's finals.
Maybe the head‑to‑head record is on my side, but that doesn't really count now.
Q. Where is your team? Where are Marjan and Miljan? Where the other guys? Will they come back in Cincinnati our US Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, this is my team as well.
Q. I know.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Marjan and Miljan are taking some time off with their families, so they will rejoin the rest of the team in New York.