Anyway, I started already from the bottom part to be sure I avoid overlaps. I guess it's still ok, because questions are not connected too much, so no big difference changing the order. The whole interview is kinda big, so maybe better to add parts as I go through, than to make you waiting for for everything to come?
Of course, please cut me some slack if I made mistakes, it's been a long day today.
Q: From a guy's standpoint, what do you think about women tennis players? Is it possible to have a steady relationship with a girl, because tennis players are always on the move?
99% of men tennis players can't stand women's tennis. There is no sport where, considering how much women tennis players earn, there is a significant difference in quality between men and women players. A friend of mine says: "If I could have it my way, a woman tennis player who wins a Grand Slam would get free air tickets and that's all". If there were no Ana and Jelena as, in a way, my friends, I could've said a lot more about all that. Of course, I respect and appreciate their efforts, because they don't spend any less time training than me.
Back then when I was a 16 year old junior, my friend of the same age, a Swiss guy, spent one month preparing for a tournament, training with Martina Hingis. Then she was as dominant as Federer is now, but during that one month she didn't win more than two games from him, and he was just 16 year old.
I put aside the fact that women serve 160km/h and men 220km/h. That's another thing. However, women’s thinking on the court cannot be compared with men’s thinking. Women’s tactics is "send the ball where your opponent isn't". And that's all! They don't have "put some spin, now is the important point, now raise it up a bit, now send to backhand...“, no way! It's all just "close your eyes and blast the ball to the other side". The worst part is that they get away with such tennis today. Look at Williams sisters, Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, who hits like a truck on steroids. With all her might - to the other side! I'm feeling a bit sceptic about all that when I see how much money they make and how the seeds fare through the first rounds. That's what's bugging me the most, I feel like going to the WTA and ‘explaining’ them a thing or two... Just follow closely the next tournament and you will see I'm right. I see Federer who is the greatest, and yet he has to break a sweat playing against Staracce, Almagro, and even he can lose a set... Then I see Ana or Maria losing three games in four matches on a tournament, or I check the women’s draws and see that out of top 16, top 15 advanced to the next round, losing like 50 games altogether. Altogether! That's when I start feeling not so well... I feel very glad to have a girlfriend who can understand my profession. She is at moment sort of her own boss at her work and she can organize her time so we can spend together. And for this two and a half years that we are together, it's rare we spend separately more than three weeks. We use every chance to be together. She knows this kind of life isn't easy, and that for around 40 or so weeks in a year I live in hotels and I hope she understands that until the end.
Q: How often can you go out with or without your girlfriend, in Belgrade or while you are on the road?
During a period I was totally nuts for going out and I lived for Fridays and Saturdays. Those were wild parties and experiences, and after partying almost I wasn't able to walk. Luckily, it's all in the past now. Now I'm more serious about my tennis game. Of course, there are still "breaks", but much less than before. When I'm Belgrade, when I go out I'm almost always in "Stefan Braun", that place suits me best. I don't like those situations like we spend upstairs separated from other guests, and you downstairs are maggots. That's why I like Stefan Braun. I feel pleasant there, same as the drunkards and the people from the gutter, somehow feels damn good.
Q: If you could settle down, where that would be?
Aside from Belgrade, probably it would be Barcelona. Their mentality is similar to ours. They have that siesta thing, or like, where are leaving in 15 minutes, actually we are leaving in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Besides that, Catalonia is quite different from the rest of Spain. They are more disciplined, in some ways remind me of German system, which I adore. Ok, I could never live in Germany, because the weather and the language are horrible, but people, service and kindness are on a level of its own. Everything is known there, if something is impossible, a German will tell you why. Unlike Americans, to whom you can say that two plus two is the same as three plus one, and they will say it is not, because their boss said so. I like discipline when I'm on a tournament. That's why I like Barcelona, cause there they have a mixture of "siesta, tequila and sombreros" and a certain responsibility. It is sure I could never live in the States. It is dumb to say I hate the USA, however I don't like their way of life, and I don't like their personality. They are not natural and they don't have "middle". Either they are extremely unkind because they are frustrated by their jobs they work on for small money, or they are so kind that I'm under the impression I could spit in their face and they would say Thank you. It has nothing to do with me being like Serbian patriot and calling them villains because they bombed us and so on... Simply, I cannot spend more than two weeks in the USA because I start feeling too nervous. The exception is New York because it reminds me a little of Europe. Shopping is their strong side, because you cannot find such discounts anywhere else. Whenever I go to USA almost I don't carry any clothes just to have more reasons to shop. It's never enough. I buy a mountain of clothes and pay overweight at the airport.
Q: You like philosophy, Nietzsche, Goethe, Dostoevsky, I've heard you are interested in psychology too...
It's not true I like Goethe. I've read one book, Faust, and it was great, but I didn't want to read anymore. Just a few days ago I called the ATP and told them to remove from their site the information I read Goethe, because somebody will ask me something about it someday and I won't have a clue, all that I know is the devil is Mephisto. My mother had a big influence on me regarding that. She is a law graduate, though she is a housewife because she didn't want to work, rather she wanted to stay at home and raise kids. She pressed me when I was 13 to read Dostoevsky. I did read it, but didn't understand a thing. Right now, many people around me says I like to manipulate people. It is possible that is connected with my love for psychology, which is indirectly linked to philosophy. Maybe subconsciously I'm trying to gain something from it and manipulate people, I'm trying to foresee a situation, to assume what will somebody think or do. In any case, I really like psychology.
Q: You were no.1 junior player. What is missing for you to go to the top and to enter the top 10?
For 10 months I was at the no 1. of junior rankings, but I finished that year as no. 2 with same amount of points as no 1, but had less points from the first category that I didn't even know to exist. There is time; it's never too late... There, Ljubičić from Croatia was completely unknown, and then for three years he was no 3. and he solved his every problem. I'm still convinced that the biggest obstacle is that I'm not totally committed to tennis. I still think I'm my biggest opponent. My coach, a top expert made two players no.1 He started working with Carlos Moya when he was no. 700 and they achieved no.1 in the end. Also he worked with Coria when he was third and he started with Ferrer when he was no. 50 and brought him to the no.1 He told me the big truth: "You put yourself to a position where you beat the best because you have the knowledge, but you still have to learn a lot to become a complete player". And that is 100% true. I can quote even my dad, which the thing I hate the most: "The idea of tennis is to beat big names, on big tournaments, on big courts. Tennis is not winning five challengers that nobody heard of. The goal is to beat Federer on Australian Open".