[US OPEN] Sunday, September 2: R3 vs Benneteau 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Q. Benneteau just said that your baseline game was quite outstanding and you can't miss a shot. It's true you can't miss a shot since three rounds now. Do you feel like this on the court, that it's one of these moments where you are totally.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's definitely nice to hear that from your opponent and a fellow tennis player. He's a quality player and has a lot of variety in his game, so I came to the match knowing that I have to start very strong. And, you know, winning the first set obviously brought me a lot of momentum and confidence to continue on playing well. Yeah, I felt from the start that from the baseline, you know, I was very comfortable, defense, offense, in that position. So I tried to, you know, be aggressive and not allow him to come to the net because, you know, he plays good when he's in control.
Q. You're a bit of a premier player and probably more used to playing at night. How do you get ready for an 11:00 a.m. match? Looked like you didn't have a chance to shave today.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I actually did last night. (Laughter.) Thank you for that. Usually get used to being criticized from my mom for not being shaved fully, but thanks for reminding me of that. I will make sure next time I'm looking nice and shaved. You know, 11:00, I haven't played the first match of the day session for a long time, so it's not that easy, you know. Not always the morning person, to be honest. You try to go to bed early and try to wake up early and get your body moving obviously. As I said, you know, I wanted to start very sharp from the first point, and I've done that.
Q. You're winning so easily. It's almost like you're going quietly through the draw, if I can say that. Andy is making headlines and there is always Roger. You're just going out there winning in straight sets and getting off the court. Does it seem like almost strangely enough you're under the radar so far?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have had situations and periods in my career where I was under the radar, where I was in the spotlight, you know, if you want to call it that way. I really try not to pay attention on that too much, if you understand. The attention comes and goes. It's normal. This is sport. Obviously Andy and his retirement attracted a lot of attention, so everybody is excited to see him play and see how far he can go. You know, I have been playing really well in US Open last five years. My goal was to, in these seven, eight days I had off after Cincinnati final, to really try to recover, charge my batteries, work on some things in my game, and come out strong from the start. That's what I've done. I feel great on the court. I'm really trying to keep that up.
Q. What are your comments about Dolgopolov, a guy that comes from the country that doesn't have too much history in tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he's an unorthodox player, you know. He comes up with some unexpected shots, but I guess that's something that makes him good and very dangerous player on any surface. Because he can serve really well; he has a really quick and fast motion; he's probably one of the most dynamic tennis players that there are at this moment. You know, very fast on the court and good forehand; comes to the net; very good slice. We played last year here I think third, fourth round, and had a very long first set. You know, he can be a dangerous player. I think hard court is his surface.
Q. You have such a great return of serve. Many say it's the best around. Could you sort of break it down? What's the key to the return? How have you been able to be so good?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, there are a few things that are very important in that part of the game. Obviously reaction, the agility, the position. So my game is based on the baseline, and, yes, return has been serving quite well throughout my career. So I try to use it always as a weapon. Today you have, I think, better returners than servers. That wasn't the case maybe 15 years ago. You had more serve and volley players. But nowadays, since the return game has improved so much in our sport, not many players come to the net. I mean, I guess it's good to have that as a weapon.
Q. Who is the toughest for you to return against? There are a lot of big servers out there.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Isner is right up there. You know, Isner, Karlovic, these two guys, 6'10", serving very high first‑serve percentage and very strong and precise. The angle that they create is just incredible. So, I mean, it's always very difficult to return against them.
Q. Do you have to guess?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, sometimes you have to play your luck. I mean, you have to guess. It just depends again from the surface. Isner has proved over the course of two years that he can play equally well on clay. I mean, he has beaten some top players. You know, with that powerful weapon, you know, he puts a lot of pressure on the opponent.
Q. We live in a small world. You had some really nice things to say about Andy last press conference. There was that situation a few years ago back and forth. How did you come to resolve that with Andy? I assume you worked something out.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah. We had that situation. I think it was in 2008, US Open. We might have been through some misunderstandings and arguments. It was very emotional I think for both of us, playing against each other quarterfinals, and it's a very important tournament. So it happens, you know. You learn from those experiences. You know, we have been in a very good relationship ever since. And even before that. It's just that period, you know, that situation. It happens. You know, he was actually one of the few top players that was very nice to me when I started playing professionally. He has all my respect.
Q. When you came into the sport, did you expect to be on such good terms with your closest rivals? I mean, the top 4, you always seem to get on pretty well. You work together well. It must be very difficult because you're real competitors, aren't you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that's true, you know. The tennis represents something very good in the sport. I think in general if you look at the other sports, not many sports can say that they have their toughest and biggest rivals paying so much respect and appreciations to others. I mean, that's a very strong message that we are sending from men's tennis. It's really important. It's really good. I have learned a lot, you know, from my biggest rivals on and off the court. Nadal and Federer, they're big champions. We always had lots of respect with each other, to each other. Of course we are rivals and we want to win against each other and we are always playing lots of matches for major titles, but in the end it's only a sport. It's only a game. You need to always appreciate your opponent.
You should watch around the 2nd question/answer part.