Friday, 25 June, 3rd Round vs. Montanes
Q. After a bit of a tricky start, you seemed to have found a real rhythm in the last two games. Has the confidence built up with momentum?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it is. It's building up. I'm happy about that. It's important prior to the second week of the Grand Slam, which obviously gets more difficult. I'm gonna have, of course, a better‑ranked opponent, playing a winner of Monfils and Hewitt, which is going to be a very tough one.
So two days are going to help me to work on my game a little bit and get physically and mentally fit for the upcoming challenge.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the relationship with your coach? You've been together for a few years. Don't want to compare it to a marriage, but how do you keep it fresh?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's not getting too personal (smiling).
Q. How do you work on things so the messages keep coming across?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think every player has a different personality, character. And, of course, with it he has a different way of approach to the tennis and a person who wants to be next to him.
From my side, it's very important for me to have, of course, somebody who has a lot of experience in tennis, but in the other hand, somebody that I can talk to on and off the court that I can share my emotions and thoughts and everything.
He's been like my second father. So we kind of built up that relationship from the start. It's been great. You know, he's always going to be the part of my team hopefully as a coach always. You know, I'm just happy with the way things stand.
Q. What is your tip for the World Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not following it anymore. Serbia is out. I'm very frustrated now.
Q. Are you a sore loser?
(Oh, my.. :tape)
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: When my football team loses, yes, I'm a very bad loser. I had a sleepless night after we lost to Australia.
(Djokovic Looks To Avenge Football Loss Against Hewitt In Last 16
Q. Given that Australia beat Serbia, do you think you might try to get back at Lleyton?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We joked around in the locker room. He said, What, we are not good enough for you guys now?
No, no, of course, I mean, they deserved to win because they were the ones who were attacking. I just don't understand why we were defending in the second half. (This sounds very familiar to me.
) But that's football, you know. We should have gotten the penalty in that last couple of minutes of the game. If we had the draw, we would go through.
But next time. Next time, I guess.
Q. Was it any consolation meeting the Queen?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that's definitely a great experience, not just for me, for all the players who were there that day, all the people who had the honor and privilege to shake her hand and have a couple of words with her.
It's the experience that I'm going to remember for a lifetime.
Q. Can I ask you how you are assessing your serve at the moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Serve? I'm happy with the way my serve goes right now, comparing to the serve that I had in last couple of months that I struggled with. I know everything that has been going on. It's been more of the mental fight.
But it's going in the right direction. It's giving me now more confidence on my service games. I'm getting more free points. That's what matters.
Q. Your aces were quite high. I think your placement was very good. You seemed to have lost a bit of power. Would you accept that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As long as my placement is good, I don't argue about the power. It's important I think ‑‑ I think it's more important to have the good placement and, you know, lots of free points.
Q. One of the great things about our sport is that we basically have the three different surfaces. Could you take a moment and talk about which one you think demands the most of an athlete, how they compare?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's very hard to say. I think what makes tennis a very interesting sport is that we have this variety of the surfaces and we have different kinds of tournaments that, you know, provide you with some interesting tennis.
It's hard to say which one is most challenging, I guess. You know, every surface has its advantages and disadvantages. I think, in my opinion, for me the hard court is my surface, you know, my favorite surface, the surface where I did the biggest success. You know, I won the Grand Slam there.
Grass obviously requires a lot of attention to the serve and quick points, quick shots, shorter swing. Mentally it's very demanding, I guess.
And clay is the slowest one and requires a lot of physical strength, a lot of long rallies.
So I guess everybody has his preferences. I have played over the years well on all these kind of surfaces. It's good to be an all‑around player and have the success.
Q. Does any one of those particularly require the most from an athlete?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I cannot speak in general because, as I said, you know, everybody has preferences, everybody has different feel on every surface. So I can only speak in my name.
And I think, for me, the grass would be the most demanding.
Q. You're the greatest mind we have in our sport, the greatest comic. We're in the print media. Before you did your imitation of John Isner, what qualities would you think before you went into a monologue?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, the interesting thing is we do a player's show in Monte‑Carlo every year. So Isner‑Mahut is definitely going to be there, is definitely going to take a very funny sketch for next year's show.
Q. Is it going to be Michael Jackson doing John Isner?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Actually, we were talking about getting that show into public more because if, of course, nobody minds, the players who are taking a part on that show, which I think is going to be very interesting for the people to see players in some other activities off the court. I have been doing it for last five years.
Let me tell you, I've been enjoying every single moment of it. I just like having fun.
The locker room sketches are always the one that is the funniest. It's where the players show their real characters, if you know what I mean.
Q. You mentioned, as a fan watching the Serbia game how frustrating it was, their loss. Do you think you're a frustrating player to watch on behalf of your fans?
(What a quality question this is!
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I do have lots of friends in the football team of Serbia. I know a lot of athletes around the world. I know how frustrating it is. It's easy for me to say on the TV, Hey, you run on this side, pass the ball and score. It's not the same on the pitch, you know. It's a lot of pressure involved, expectations.
Of course it's a team sport, so the one individual cannot carry all the team, same for my sport. From their point of view, I could have done some things better on the court. You know, they are cursing and throwing the remote controls when I play.
(I've never done that.
) It's all in best wishes toward your friend, of course. But it's not as easy as it seems on the TV.
Q. If for one day you could be a fan and watch yourself on TV, what kind of advice would you give to yourself?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm very self‑critical, so I don't think I would be very calm.
Q. You've been pretty outspoken about your work on the players council. Can you talk about if you feel satisfied with your term on the council and talk about the election.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Uhm, I was very happy that I kind of contributed on the changes there that are about to happen hopefully in the next couple years for us schedule‑wise and some other things.
And, yes, I've tried to take part in those discussions as much as I could. I was delighted that Federer and Nadal were there. That was the idea, you know, us three to get in and try to do something in a favor of the players. And I think we have done great work.
I'm not anymore in the council, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to stop taking a part in those important issues. So gonna continue on.