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It was a great match today against vasek. Novak looked really good. Vasek played well, and it was a very attractive match.

Novak is looking relaxed, happy, strong, healthy.

I am very happy to see our man on the trail back.

Donald Young tomorrow. :cheerleader:

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 2017 - AEGON INTERNATIONAL - June 28 - Novak Djokovic

June 28, 2017

Novak Djokovic
Eastbourne, England

N. DJOKOVIC/V. Pospisil
6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I know it's your debut here at Eastbourne. Wonder if you can just tell me what you've made of the town and the tournament.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's nice to experience a new place and a new tournament. So far it's been a very positive experience, all in all. A few days ago we had a beautiful day, so got to see a little bit of the town and went to, it's called Beachy Head, I think, and incredible, stunning views. Just beautiful nature.

It's a small town, but there is a lot of people on the courts in these days. Combined event, also a lot of matches on the centre court, outside courts. Full schedule. If the weather permits, it's really a tennis festival.

The people really show their appreciation and respect for tennis players. So far, as I said, it's been a really nice experience for me. I have been enjoying every day.

Q. How relieved are you to get the first win under your belt?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first official grass court match for me this year. As I was saying before, I haven't had any leadup tournament to Wimbledon for seven years. Since 2010, actually, was the last year I played Queen's. And other than that, this last six years was only Wimbledon.

It was also due to lots of matches on the clay courts and first part of the season. I was fortunate to have lots of success in the first part of the year. But the schedule changed and we gained a week on grass. Obviously now it's easier -- you can have a little bit more time to kind of adjust to this unique surface.

I'm glad that I came here to Eastbourne. I have had a great couple of days of training with good players, different styles of game. Yesterday obviously commenced the match, and it wasn't really enjoyable to, you know, see the rain falling all day.

But today we kind of played a full match, so I'm glad for that. I felt good on the court, considering it's the first match. I have played against an opponent that has a really good game for grass. Serves well, comes to the net, has a good variety.

It was a really, really solid win. I'm happy with it.

Q. We talk a lot about match toughness which covers a lot of different aspects of the mental game. What is it you're looking for in the however many matches you play here this week that you haven't got coming into Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think the first thing I'm looking for is to experience that match play. Mentally, physically, tactically, every way you look at it. Just try to get as much time on the court as possible, first of all, because grass is very different surface from any other.

The movement is very different from clay or hard court. You've got to be very soft, very gentle, but yet very reactive. Sometimes when it's raining and when it's a bit humid, then the grass courts get quite slippery.

So, you know, it takes a little bit of time to really adjust to all of these aspects. But what I'm looking for is exactly that, trying to get as much of the match situations as possible, hear the referee and chair umpire say 30-All, 4-All. Those kind of intense moments is something I'm looking for, obviously, and I'm sure most of the players here before Wimbledon.

Q. Who's helping you here scouting your next opponent and preparing game plans? Is Andre watching on TV at all and talking to you afterwards?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Well, actually Andre is following a lot. He's watching TV, my matches, trying to follow any of my next opponents.

But here I'm with my physiotherapist and my agent/coach this week (smiling). He's helping me out. He's right there. He's smiling. He beat Stefan Edberg in -- where was it? In Napoli, Under-18. That was a big win. He was very talented, although he stopped early to play. You know, he's helping me out with, you know, with tennis, with the organization, with scouting, as well.

I actually, the other day after my training session, stayed for a couple of games to watch Pospisil's first match. Try to do that as well today. It's very kind of informal tournament, as well, here in a good way where you can go around the grounds and kind of interact with people.

Sure, people come up to you, but they respect, as well, if you're going with a purpose to a certain court to observe a match or something like that. That's what happened the other day. People are really kind of respectful and giving me space for certain time until I finished with my scouting.

So that's the nice thing about this tournament. I don't get to experience that. Usually I am, as most of the top players, in the locker rooms or especially in the areas where the players are going around. So it's nice to go around the outside courts and observe, because that's what we all used to do. It's good to do that again for a change.

Q. Might you speak to Andre later just to have him talk you through...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, of course we will. That's what we do. Even though when we are a distance from each other or not together, we still keep the communication on more or less daily basis. He shares his thoughts. He obviously wants me to share what I feel and how I see things.

You know, it's still quite early in the relationship, so we are still getting to know each other, getting a sense of how we go about tennis, about life, and what are our perspectives and analysis of the match.

But so far we have managed to connect very quickly. That's the great thing.

Q. This time a year ago you came into the grass court system with all four slams. How different do you feel now mentally? Is it liberating coming in maybe less of a favorite?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, in a way it is, to be honest. I was very fortunate and privileged to have so much success in the last eight, nine years, and kind of entered most of the tournaments as one of the biggest favorites to win it. So for a change it's good to not be one of the top favorites.

It is, as you have mentioned the term, "liberating" a bit. It releases a bit of the pressure. It's always there. I mean, you still feel it. It's part of who I am, what I do. And what I have achieved so far has added to those expectations from the people around. I try to lower those expectations myself, you know, because I really want to be as much as I can, in this stage of my life and career, in the moment and trying to focus only on what comes up next, which doesn't mean that I don't want to win the trophies and so forth. Of course I do. That's why I'm playing professional tennis. But it's just that I need to take things a bit slower and try and recalibrate so I can get to the level where I want to get.

Q. In the past you have obviously played Boodles as your warmup, which is a completely different kind of scenario. Do you feel returning back to the tour for a warmup is something you might consider going forward, or do you look forward to going back to the sound of Champagne corks popping in the stands?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's exactly what I wanted to say. The only difference -- not the only difference. One difference that makes Boodles special from the other tournaments is the sound of the Champagne bottles being opened, and glasses, and a lot of chanting and talking and laughing in the first rows especially (smiling). People get to enjoy themselves there. And players, as well.

You get really some good matchups, but you don't play for points. You know, it's different. It's still a match, so your score is being called, which is good, you know, for a player mentally and to get some match play, you know, and play points on the grass.

But in the other hand, you don't feel that pressure of "I need to win." You know, I like Boodles. Patricio Apey is one of the people in charge there. Has always been very kind to me.

You know, I have always felt like at home there. Came with the family, with my team.

So this time, this year, it was not to be because I came to Eastbourne, but in the years to follow I'll sure consider it to go back.

Q. You said it's been liberating for you not to be one of the favorites. Do you think it's the opposite for Andy Murray right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. To be honest, you've got to ask him that question. One thing is for sure: him being a home and crowd favorite, and, you know, also defending champion, he does get a lot of expectations and pressure. I mean, undoubtedly so. But also, it's expected because he plays so well on grass, and he won couple of Wimbledon trophies and played a couple of finals and won Olympic Games. You know, it's probably his best surface.

I'm sure that people put a lot of hope and faith in him, and I'm sure he feels it. But in the other hand, he knows how to deal with it. He has demonstrated that so many times in his career.

Q. Can you really talk about less pressure when you're the No. 2 seed? We don't normally talk about No. 2 seed at Wimbledon having less pressure.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I want to thank Wimbledon for getting me two spots ahead than I'm actually ranked. So it's probably due to also the good results I have had in the last three, four years in Wimbledon.

Whether it helps or not, I can't say at the moment. I mean, it doesn't make too much of a difference other than I'm not going to potentially meet Andy in semis rather than finals, but it's too far away. I don't see things that way. As I said, I don't see myself as one of the top few favorites.

I'm glad that I'm one of the top four seeds, which is important, in a way, but whether I'm, you know, 2, 3, 4, it's not a significant difference.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
I dont like the way he failed to capitalize the two break points in Donald's serve only to get broken in his next service game. I've seen that way too many times since last year. Good thing Young is well Young, so he got the break back just in time to finish the match in straight. The second set was stressful for so many wrong reason (Novak getting passed a lot, DF in critical moments etc)

In a positive note, Novak's volley is getting very very delicate which is very delightful to see

1,420 Posts
I dont like the way he failed to capitalize the two break points in Donald's serve only to get broken in his next service game. I've seen that way too many times since last year. Good thing Young is well Young, so he got the break back just in time to finish the match in straight. The second set was stressful for so many wrong reason (Novak getting passed a lot, DF in critical moments etc)

In a positive note, Novak's volley is getting very very delicate which is very delightful to see
Yeah, Novak played a lousy match, even worse than the Pospisil match in my opinion. Novak pulled it off in straights only because Young played so poorly in critical moments. But you reminded me of a very good point. Some of Novak's feathery volleys & half-volleys were downright McEnroe-esque. It was surprising to see him volley so well in just his second match on the grass this season.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 2017 - AEGON INTERNATIONAL - June 29 - Novak Djokovic

June 29, 2017

Novak Djokovic
Eastbourne, England

6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a bit of a test today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was. I enjoyed it, especially in the second set. The first set went my way and I played good. Felt good on the court. Had some break point opportunities early in the second set. Haven't capitalized on those. I think Donald started playing with less unforced errors, putting more variety, you know, using his forehand very well from all over the court.

You know, he served for the set, had a set point, had set point in the tiebreak. It was very close second set. Obviously could have gone easily his way. But it hasn't, and I'm just glad the way I kind of held my composure, my nerves. You know, this is the kind of match situations that I was looking forward to have, and I'm glad it happened today and managed to overcome that.

Q. Was the support from the crowd helpful for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was great. I really want to say how grateful I am, you know, to really feel very pleasant, very much like at home on the court and off the court, as well. There is a lot of people thanking me for coming to Eastbourne. You know, that's something I haven't really expected. I'm really grateful for, you know, for their kindness, obviously the good vibe that comes around the town these days because of the tennis.

As I have mentioned, as you can see, there are so many matches and so many courts. There is always something to see. The town is vibrating and kind of breathing for tennis this week.

Q. Andy pulled out of Hurlingham again today injured. What was your take on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's the first time I hear that news. I mean, Hurlingham is an exhibition event, so it's not really too significant. I'm sure that he'll be ready for Wimbledon. I don't know the nature of his injury, but I assume he didn't want to risk it.

Q. The problems keep piling up. He hasn't played hardly at all on grass, and now he's got physical problems.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, you can't expect things to go perfectly smoothly every single year all the time. We are all humans. We all experience our ups and downs. You know, you learn from those experiences.

I'm sure that this is a challenge that is not unknown to him. I mean, he has faced these kind of circumstances before where he hasn't maybe played as much, where he didn't have as good of results that he had over the years.

But, you know, he's a champion. He's someone that has proven so many times, you know, to people that he's one of the best players in the world. He's defending champion of Wimbledon. You've got to take this in consideration rather than just focusing on this very present moment.

Q. Would you not read too much into it, the fact that he's having these problems?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I try to pay attention to myself.

Q. You know what it's like to win so many Grand Slams. How difficult is it if you're not feeling completely 100% physically fit going into a Grand Slam?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have faced these kinds of circumstances before where maybe you're not at your best physically. You have to work your kind of way through and figure out what's working for you best in terms of preparation, recovery.

I'm sure, you know, Andy does everything in his power to get himself ready and prepared for his first match. He's got a team of great professionals, and, you know, most of the top players do. There is a reason behind it, obviously, because they all have their own role of expertise in our careers to make sure that every single aspect of our bodies are being taken care of and worked on and kind of gotten to the state where you can perform your best.

Obviously at times it's not possible. Sometimes those circumstances are such for various reasons, but, you know, we have learned how to play through pain. Professional athletes are very familiar with pain on a daily basis, basically, whether it's just a small stiffness, a tightness, a soreness, whatever you want to call it, or sometimes something even bigger.

There are times when you have to take anti-inflammatories. There are times when you try to do it without the tablets. You know, I'm sure all the athletes can relate to that. They understand that. Me personally I'm against, you know, tablets and anti-inflammatories, but at times I have to take them because, you know, I've got to play a match tomorrow in a Grand Slam. If I have an issue or for some reason I can't serve or whatever it is, you know, I put myself in a position where I have to ask a question whether I want to play kind of 50% or I want to play 100% if I have an opportunity to do that.

So it's a conscious choice, although I know that affects obviously -- it has some kind of side effects and consequences on your body later on, but that's another story. But in general, you know, you try to do your best to be in shape but at the same time stay conscious about your own health, about nature, and about the processes that go through and that take time.

Q. With all the matches you have to play all the time, do you ever feel 100% physically fit, or is that almost impossible?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course you feel you are doing everything that you can with people around you to get yourself in that kind of in-the-zone type of state, of mind or body or emotions. But if I'm thinking about it now and kind of taking the percentage of the matches the way I feel always 100% and where I don't feel, I think it's less than 50% where I feel 100%, completely, let's say, taking emotional, you know, mental, and physical aspects in consideration.

There is always something that is, you know, going on. But we are not robots. We are humans. We have to deal with those things. Actually, those adversities that we have to face on the court and challenges are actually there to be, you know, presented as an opportunity for us to learn, to get stronger, to grow from that experience.

So, I mean, there are obviously two ways to either take that and grow with it or let it break you. So of course at times you're not able to perform at your best. You lose the match, but it's not the last match you lose in your career. You learn how not to be too hard on yourself, even though at times you are.

You know, if tennis teaches us something, it's the kind of ability, because of the schedule, to kind of recuperate and recalibrate very quickly. Week after week we have always another tournament and another opportunity to shine.

Q. You have talked about the adjustment to grass, which is quite difficult after clay. You also were around in the Rebound Ace time in Australia when people were worried it could be too hot and too sticky. Do you think there are problems about grass that they do require such an adjustment to the body that it does risk a player getting injured? A general question as opposed to a specific player.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we talked about the uniqueness of this surface. I mean, just simple fact that when it's humid and when there is moist on the grass, as smooth as it is, it's still slippery. All it takes is to have one wrong move, lose your footing. A lot of things can happen, obviously.

Q. Is it more dangerous than other surfaces?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Yes, I think so. I mean, again, it really depends on which surface you're playing on in which particular time of the year, because the weather conditions and the nature obviously affects a lot, because this is an outdoor sport so we play mostly outdoors.

Of course sometimes clay can be very dangerous if it's too soft. Then it's not that great for ankles.

But grass, yeah, I mean, grass is very demanding surface. Especially those, you know, far reaches and those gets when you're running all over the court, especially if you're further back, that's where you are in kind of a danger zone in terms of movement.

Q. Do you pull out of some of those in the early stages of the tournament? Do you not go for a ball out wide because you fear...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I mean, it's hard to say. I'm not that kind of guy that kind of, you know, lets the ball pass. I try to get more or less every ball.

Just sometimes you can't get it. You feel maybe it's too much. You know, I like to try to reach for every ball because it's not that I'm doing that for the crowd or for my opponent. I'm doing it for myself, as well, because it keeps me in that good intensity.

Q. You and Andy have split the last four Wimbledons. What do you think are the elements of your game that work especially on grass and what are the elements that work particularly well for Andy on grass?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, for me, over the years, hard court was most successful surface, but for some reason, you know, I made a lot of good results in Wimbledon, especially. I think this surface, you know, makes us baseline players kind of move in a little bit more, you know, try to take the short balls, come to the net, put some variety.

I think because of the grass I also learned how to play a better slice and, you know, and also serve and volley. I'm not a natural serve and volleyer, but it's important to have that, I'd say, tactic/element in your game for this surface, depending on who you play, whether someone is blocking the shots or so forth.

There is a lot about movement. I think both Andy and I have, you know, over the years worked a lot and perfected our movement on any surface, as a matter of fact, especially on grass, and we try to put a lot of balls back in play. And grass is a surface where everything happens very quickly, so if you have a big serve, then really you have a big advantage because it's hard to return.

But I think both Andy and I have managed to return a lot of balls back in play over the years in Wimbledon and also have good anticipation on the court. That gains a lot of space, a lot of time and good positioning on the court.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Less stresful with this SF match vs Medvedev. Novak showed the glimpse of Serbinator early on second set (injecting pace so much on his groundstrokes and creating unbelievable wide angles on the run) before reverting to his grinding mode. The serve saved his ass so many times, especially when serving for the match. He still DFed quite too much, but at least not on crucial moment. And he made a little too much UE when he had chances to break. HOWEVER, his backhand down the line is really back in this match, so many clean winner on that shot alone. His return is very consistent, often very close to the baseline (I know it's Medvedev, but the Russian can serve hard). And his volley is still as extraordinare as the last match, I'm getting too hopeful for this grass season :lol:

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #28
Let's talk a bit on his Wimbledon Draw:

[1] Andy Murray (GBR) v [LL] Alexander Bublik (KAZ)
Joao Sousa (POR) v Dustin Brown (GER)
Jiri Vesely (CZE) v [Q] Illya Marchenko (UKR)
[PR] Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) v [28] Fabio Fognini (ITA)

[20] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA)
Rogerio Dutra Silva (BRA) v Benoit Paire (FRA)
[WC] Denis Shapovalov (CAN) v [PR] Jerzy Janowicz (POL)
Malek Jaziri (TUN) v [14] Lucas Pouille (FRA)

[12] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) v [WC] Cameron Norrie (GBR)
[Q] Simone Bolelli (ITA) v Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE)
Carlos Berlocq (ARG) v Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO)
Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) v [24] Sam Querrey (USA)

[31] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) v Kevin Anderson (RSA)
Norbert Gombos (SVK) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)
[WC] Tommy Haas (GER) v [Q] Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)
Daniil Medvedev (RUS) v [5] Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

[4] Rafael Nadal (ESP) v [PR] John Millman (AUS)
Donald Young (USA) v Denis Istomin (UZB)
Thiago Monteiro (BRA) v [Q] Andrew Whittington (AUS)
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) v [30] Karen Khachanov (RUS)

[21] Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v Aljaz Bedene (GBR)
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) v Renzo Olivo (ARG)
[Q] Lukas Rosol (CZE) v Henri Laaksonen (SUI)
[WC] Marton Fucsovics (HUN) v [16] Gilles Muller (LUX)

[9] Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Marco Cecchinato (ITA)
Julien Benneteau (FRA) v [Q] Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR)
[Q] Peter Gojowczyk (GER) v Marius Copil (ROU)
[PR] Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT) v [18] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)

[26] Steve Johnson (USA) v Nicolas Kicker (ARG)
Facundo Bagnis (ARG) v Radu Albot (MDA)
Viktor Troicki (SRB) v Florian Mayer (GER)
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) v [7] Marin Cilic (CRO)

[6] Milos Raonic (CAN) v Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
[Q] Andrey Rublev (RUS) v [Q] Stefano Travaglia (ITA)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [25] Albert Ramos-Vinolas (ESP)

[17] Jack Sock (USA) v [Q] Christian Garin (CHI)
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) v [Q] Sebastian Ofner (AUT)
Robin Haase (NED) v Francis Tiafoe (USA)
Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) v [10] Alexander Zverev (GER)

[13] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) v Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
[WC] James Ward (GBR) v Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
Dudi Sela (ISR) v Marcel Granollers (ESP)
[Q] Taylor Fritz (USA) v [23] John Isner (USA)

[27] Mischa Zverev (GER) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) v Taro Daniel (JPN)
[Q] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) v Dusan Lajovic (SRB)
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) v [3] Roger Federer (SUI)

[8] Dominic Thiem (AUT) v Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
Gilles Simon (FRA) v [Q] Nicolas Jarry (CHI)
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) v Jared Donaldson (USA)
Horacio Zeballos (ARG) v [32] Paolo Lorenzi (ITA)

[22] Richard Gasquet (FRA) v David Ferrer (ESP)
Steve Darcis (BEL) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Borna Coric (CRO) v Ryan Harrison (USA)
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) v [11] Tomas Berdych (CZE)

[15] Gael Monfils (FRA) v [Q] Daniel Brands (GER)
Kyle Edmund (GBR) v [Q] Alexander Ward (GBR)
Yuichi Sugita (JPN) v [WC] Brydan Klein (GBR)
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) v [19] Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

[29] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v [PR] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)
[PR] Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)
Adam Pavlasek (CZE) v Ernesto Escobedo (USA)
Martin Klizan (SVK) v [2] Novak Djokovic (SRB)
To be honest, i'm a bit nervous with his first round match against Klizan and the possibility of him meeting Del Potro in R32. Of all low seeded player it has to be the Tower of Tandil. I mean it's not like we were in 2013, but I still can remember how Novak's Olympic dream got shattered by the gentle giant :lol:

It's safer not to look to far ahead I guess. My hope of course he can win this against all odds. But realistically speaking, getting into SF will be an achievement at its own. I'm crossing my fingers hard for him.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #29
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4,768 Posts
He needs to put on some Muscle and weight, too fragile, and not too long before some ballbasher blows him off court, Touchwood it shouldnt happen so.

He need to shed this Organic Lifestyle stupidity and start preparing the way an Elite sportsman should do.

Anyways,Good news is Eastbourne

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
ASAP Sports Transcripts - Tennis - 2017 - AEGON INTERNATIONAL - June 30 - Novak Djokovic

June 30, 2017
Novak Djokovic
Eastbourne, England

N. DJOKOVIC/D. Medvedev
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made pretty short work of a very good young player.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Well, he's one of the NextGen group of players that, you know, plays very well and has a promising future. His game is quite fitting for this surface. Has very flat, very quick shots off the ground. Especially, you know, he's very confident from the backhand corner. Moves well for his size and height, and obviously the serve is a big weapon. If he serves consistently well and accurate, he can pose a big challenge to any player on this surface.

Yeah, it was a close first set. He had a couple of break points and 4-3 could have gone different way in the first set and maybe changed, you know, the dynamic of the match, but I think winning that first set and playing well at the end of the first set has kind of put me in the position where, you know, I'm taking the momentum away from him.

So I started off very well in the second. Break of serve that I held all the way through. I did struggle a little bit with my serve today and wasn't as accurate as it was in the first two matches, but also, that's due to his quality of return.

Just all in all, it was a really tough match. Straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, but, you know, it took a lot of work and energy to break the resistance.

Q. You seemed to be really enjoying yourself this week. By your sky-high standards, it's not been the easiest last 12 months. Is this the most fun you have had in the last year on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I am enjoying undoubtedly this week and, you know, the fact that I'm in the finals obviously makes it even better. But I felt very welcomed from the first day by the people in Eastbourne.

As I was mentioning before, many of them have approached me and expressed their gratitude for my arrival and my participation in Eastbourne tournament, which left a very nice impression on me and obviously gave me even more motivation to do well this week.

So I'm really glad that I'll be able to fight for the trophy tomorrow. I haven't had too many opportunities to fight for the trophy in the last 10 to 12 months. I haven't had too many finals, so it's actually, you know, it's a good feeling, of course, and it's something I'm working very hard for, as all the other players.

You know, it comes in the right moment, because I need, you know, to build that kind of level of confidence and, you know, the matches won obviously help that. And coming into Wimbledon, I'm hoping that I can continue in this path of raising the performance and the quality of tennis.

Q. Is it almost like this week has been a holiday, and then next week is back to being really serious?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Does it look like a holiday to you (smiling)? I mean, it's not really nice to this tournament to say that.

Q. But I mean the crazy, intense pressure of a Grand Slam, you said yourself, you felt maybe a little bit more relaxed this week.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course Grand Slams are different from any other tournament, but a tournament is a tournament. Going out, especially, you know, for a top player to go out on the court, regardless of the, say, the level of competition or the category of the event, you always are, you know, expected to deliver. You know, people come and they pay tickets, they watch you play. TV broadcast, everything is there. There is that level of responsibility that you're aware of.

Of course it's up to you how you deal with it and how you carry that, but for me it's always about how I feel personally and whether or not I'm enjoying my tennis life and enjoying playing tennis. That's the No. 1 priority, but it's not only about me. And this is something that I'm very, very much conscious of. And I try to -- even though if I don't try to pay attention to that, it's there.

As soon as you arrive, the people come and greet you. You know, they have their expectations of your performance on that certain tournament. So that is no different here nor Wimbledon or any other event, for that matter.

Q. Do you think Eastbourne could become a permanent or regular fixture in your pre-Wimbledon warmup if you've enjoyed it so much?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wouldn't make that promise, because it was a particular situation this year, although I wouldn't rule it out, considering the nice experience I have had so far this year. It just really depends. I'm not accustomed to play in the week just before the start of the Grand Slams, but I still will not rule it out, of course, for next year.

Q. Have you ever been attacked by a seagull on court before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, wow, yeah, that's actually -- it happened few times here and there in certain tournaments, but not to this extent. They are really regular visitors to the tennis courts and they love to fly low.

Q. Ga毛l has just gone up a break. Also Richard. Can you just give us a few words on either matchup for you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ga毛l, he's such a dynamic player and unpredictable. He's got an overall game. He's got a full package, if you want to call it that way.

He's so athletic. He has a big, big serve. Of course moves around the court very well. Plays well at the net, as well. Returns. If things come together for him and if he really wants to, you know, perform well that day, he can be really tough. I mean, he can beat anyone, especially with that serve. I mean, if he has a high percentage of first serve, and I have seen today a little bit of the match, current match, and, you know, he serves 130-plus miles regularly, first serve, that's huge. So, you know, it depends a lot on how he feels, how he serves.

I have played him many times before, so I have very good head-to-head, but I don't think we ever played on grass. It would be a first.

And Richard, obviously somebody I have played on grass, semis in Wimbledon, actually, few years ago, and one of the nicest-looking and most accurate backhands ever. And also, he's someone that loves to use the variety on the court. Doesn't have as big of a serve as Monfils does, but he uses his slice well, and from back of the court, he's as talented as you can be.

You know, I'm going to play a French player tomorrow. Preparation is the same (smiling).

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #33
Finally a trophy! :lol: It feels like been 84 years

He did very well in the first set. Outplaying Monfils on both wings. In the second set Novak made some uncharacteristic groundstroke errors which cost him many opportunity to break early. His deep return though: it's very relieving that he still has it intact. And the BHDTL is getting more and more precise. Despite not playing power tennis, he made a positive winner-UE ratio, which is good. Serve is okayish, but it helped him a lot erasing the breakpoints. In the second set he sometimes got outhit by Monfils which is a bit frustating. But his defense was excellent, which I hope will he keeps up in Wimbledon, especially against big hitter like Klizan and Delpo.

Overall: so happy! Hope this good form will remain during Wimbledon weeks

ps: on Ancic, it's really surprising. I thought Mario had completely abandoned tennis. Let's hope his can sharpen Novak's accuracy on serve and netplay :)

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I went away for the weekend and missed the final, but just saw some highlights and Novak looked good.

What a great idea to play Eastbourne as preparation!

So nice to celebrate a trophy! Doha feels like an eternity ago! :lol:

I knew he would get a criminal draw-.All the claycourters surrounding him in Roland Garros are nowhere to be seen. It's big hitters now: Delpo and Lopez before he even gets to the QFs.

Oh, well. Never mind. Let's take it one match at a time. I love the look of his team: Ancic and Agassi. I adore. :inlove:

On we go, dear Nole. On we go. :sport:

1,420 Posts
ps: on Ancic, it's really surprising. I thought Mario had completely abandoned tennis. Let's hope his can sharpen Novak's accuracy on serve and netplay :)
Yes, I was quite surprised as well, although very pleasantly so. I wonder what Ancic's situation is with his job such that he can afford to take out two weeks to be at Wimbledon. Or is this his only two weeks of vacation all year, and he's choosing to work? Anybody know??

I don't think Mario can do much to help Novak in terms of technique because a player needs to work on technique before a tournament starts. Trying to make changes during a tournament is way too tricky. Instead, I think Mario's presence will be more to support, motivate, and calm Novak.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
July 1, 2017

Novak Djokovic
Eastbourne, England

N. DJOKOVIC/G. Monfils
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you in a rush?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In a rush? No, no (smiling).

Q. That was a nice way to build up to Wimbledon, wasn't it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was a great week. Obviously it feels right to, looking back on the decision-making process and whether or not I should come here, now it feels like it was a good decision.

But also, a few days ago it felt right, because I had a lot of time spent on the court, some good match play. But most of all, I felt very welcomed here by the people. On and off the court I was greeted. I was respected. And so, for me, it was just a phenomenal experience that I will definitely take with me to Wimbledon. As I was saying yesterday, you know, I will not rule out coming back to Eastbourne next year or the following years. But obviously it does depend on the schedule and on the tournaments and my results.

But yeah, it was just a great buildup, and hopefully I'll be able to take the confidence from here, good level of performance, into London.

Q. You mentioned pretty much every day how much you felt the warmth and affection here. You're obviously very popular at every tournament you go here. Has it been even more here than normal or than what you expected?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it's different here in a way because I spent a lot of time every day interacting with people on the grounds, because there are no kind of underground tunnels to get to the court or, you know, secret entrances (smiling). Once you go out from the players' locker room area to go to the court, practice court, match court, you know, you're out, interacting with people. You're in the midst of all the crowd.

So that allowed me to be close to them and to obviously communicate, and, well, every single person that I met in this eight, nine days that I spent here was warm and affectionate and kind.

If you have that kind of energy that goes around the grounds, of course it gives you even more, I guess, inspiration to play your best and of course to finish up with a trophy. It's the cherry on the cake.

Q. Any conversations that have stood out in particular with supporters?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Well, I had more than a couple conversations about seagulls. A lady just recently, when I got off the court now, she told me, I hope you'll thank the seagulls. I said, I already have. They were in a mood to talk and express themselves today. They were really loud.

And there is plenty of seagulls going around. I guess that's a side of the usual tennis stories that's probably something that would stand out and that I will remember.

Q. After the first match you said Andre was following everything back in the States, watching matches.

Q. What's his feedback been? Pretty good, I would imagine.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Pretty good (smiling). Pretty good. He was mentioning, you know, what I also felt, that he has noticed that my game has kind of raised the level and quality of tennis, is going in the right direction every match, and the competitive spirit and fighting spirit was there.

I'll see him in person tomorrow already, so I'll talk it through more with him there.

Q. What is it that you feel you have a need for having Mario on board, as well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was saying before that Andre cannot be committed full time. I mean, he's someone that has a very busy life, has family. He's probably going to come on the biggest tournaments, and whenever he has free time in the schedule, he's going to come and support me and help me out.

Mario, on the other hand, as well is someone that is very busy. I think he works on Wall Street for last couple of years, so he went completely, you know, kind of other direction from tennis. He was always very nice guy, very smart. I remember even during his career he studied law. You know, he had a lot of energy put into education, as well, which not many athletes do these days. Most of all, we stayed friends.

We always had that respect, mutual respect, and appreciation for one another. We have talked, obviously with Andre first, and we have made a conclusion that we need someone, you know, next to Andre that is going to be maybe more frequently with me and more often on the small tournaments or maybe some practice weeks and so forth.

You know, Mario was the perfect guy. At the moment he was definitely on top of my list. And Andre agrees, as well.

But, you know, we don't have, Mario and I, any long-term commitment, as well. He was anyway prescheduled to be in London for his own commitments, so he's going to use the opportunity to be with me. So whether we're going to build from there a long-term relationship or not, we'll see. I don't know.

I think what we talked about kind of between the lines is just to be now in Wimbledon and maybe, you know, if we decide to continue, to maybe spend a few more weeks till the end of the season and then see where we take it from there, because, you know, he's obviously engaged in a lot of businesses and he's working for, you know, big companies. It's not easy just to give up the work like that, you know, because we just talked about this potential work in couple weeks, few weeks ago. So it's still very fresh.

Q. Would it not be easier to have someone who is always available as opposed to...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, I don't like things easy (smiling). I have certain criteria, I would say, for the profile of a person that is going to be next to me. It's not just anyone who was on the tour. Everyone has their own preferences. I'm looking to have someone that fits into the values that I stand for and not just in sport but in life in general.

Andre and Mario are there for a reason, and I'm very grateful to have them.

Q. You have enjoyed the informal atmosphere here. Wimbledon has upped its security after the terror attacks in London and Manchester.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: So no seagulls there?

Q. No seagulls there. Would that detract from your experience? You obviously enjoy being among the people. I imagine you'll be less among the people than ever before.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's very understandable, of course, and it's expected after devastating events in Manchester. The security levels in Grand Slams in general, especially nowadays, last few years, are very high. Better safe than sorry, obviously.

But I still feel like the crowd is very close, I mean, to the players, the stands. It feels very intimate, you know, playing on the courts. You still have an opportunity to go between the crowd if you want, because usually the walk from the Centre Court to Aorangi Park where we usually train, you have a choice whether you go underground or you go between the people. Sometimes it's nice just to go between the crowds. It lifts you up, gives you good energy and good vibe.

I think not many people are thinking about potentially something happening. Of course you have to take some measures, precaution measures, but generally once the people come there to enjoy tennis, to enjoy sport, to celebrate sport, support their favorite players, that's why we are going there.

Q. You arrive in London this time with no Grand Slams, having arrived last year with four. How do you feel this year compared to last year both physically and mentally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, quite different, as you can imagine, from that standpoint. You know, it's been a while now that I have been trying to find my best game and kind of consistency with the performance level of tennis. It hasn't been the case for me in the last 12 months to win many big tournaments. As a matter of fact, only one. I think it was Toronto. Played finals in US Open and World Tour Finals. Other than that, the results were really up and down.

But not to get into too deep, I mean, as I was saying before, it's the way it is, and life throws certain challenges at us when we expect the least, and you've got to go out and face the adversities and learn from these experiences and try to evolve, try to grow.

That's kind of my approach, my mindset. I don't try to, you know, pity myself or life or anything like that. You can't always have it all. In order to, in a way, reach the next peak, you need to have a little drop, because, you know, that's how life kind of circulates around, as waves going up and down.

You know, I try to have that kind of mindset that will allow me to, you know, to become a better player and become a stronger character. You know, I have been in the game long enough to know what I need to do. Playing at Wimbledon and playing at any other tournament, as a matter of fact, gives me a lot of joy, and I think that's the key. That's the essence of me still being professional tennis player and traveling. So as long as there is a flare inside of me, I'll keep on going.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #37

I dont really like the way this author "shade" on Novak, but some of the info here are pretty new to me.
Obviously as @rvf35 said what Novak needed more is some sort motivating people to blanket her with "let's win but make it balance with your personal life" atmosphere. At least that's the vibe I get...

The disappearance of the Djoker: DiManno
Former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic isn't laughing as much anymore after struggling through a year of disappointments.

Sun., July 2, 2017

WIMBLEDON鈥擧e was the eternal jester, making mock-face from under the halo of a winner鈥檚 glow, genially impersonating rivals.

Novak Djokovic came naturally to the pantomime and self-effacing humour that earned him a marquee moniker: The Djoker.

Even if, sometimes, not everybody warmed to the juvenile japery. Despite his open nature, an obvious yearning for the public鈥檚 embrace, Djokovic has been rather un-loved by the tennis masses, nor revered for the extraordinary string of Grand Slam successes. There鈥檚 been precious little idolizing, as enjoyed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, for a player who spent 223 weeks as world No. 1.

In a strange way, it鈥檚 taken drastic reversal of fortune for the not-long-ago monumentally dominant Serb to approach the realm of endearment.

Djokovic doesn鈥檛 laugh so much anymore. He isn鈥檛 so silly anymore. In the past year, he more often has appeared utterly bewildered by his sudden thumping fall from quasi-immortal to struggling human.

That tumble began here, at Wimbledon, where he arrived 12 months ago on top of the tennis world. He had just won Roland Garros, becoming the first man to concurrently hold the titles at all four Grand Slam events since Rod Laver in 1969. There鈥檇 been not a hint of vulnerability on the courts. And then it came shockingly un-done, an upset in the third round by bazooka-serving American Sam Querrey.

A freak occurrence, surely. Sometimes even a cat can look upon a king.

Except it wasn鈥檛 a one-off anomaly, as Djokovic staggered from upset to upset, including a second-round exit at the Australian Open.

In the aftermath, Djokovic has jettisoned just about everything that got him to the top of the mountain, from coach Boris Becker to his fitness trainer to his physiotherapist. As if the fault lay around him instead of inside him.

It鈥檚 been a kind of self-inflicted shock therapy. Most notably, Djokovic brought on board Andre Agassi in May. At Wimbledon, the ever-expanding coaching platoon includes former world No. 7 Mario Ancic, now otherwise toiling as an investment banker with Credit Suisse.

鈥淗e鈥檚 someone I鈥檝e known for many years,鈥 Djokovic said of the Croat. 鈥淗e was one of the players on the tour that I鈥檝e had closest relationship with, even during the active career. We were competitors and rivals. But we also had a tremendous respect and support towards each other.

鈥淲e spent a lot of time off the court, we speak the same language. He beat me here, as well, I remember that, in a long four-setter.鈥

On the eve of Wimbledon, the attention has been focused primarily on Federer, Mr. Renaissance Man, and the resurgent Nadal. Djokovic, seeded fourth 鈥 and ranked fourth in the world 鈥 is viewed almost as a curiosity. Can he get back on the rails to collect his fourth Wimbledon title?

The 30-year-old has sought to mitigate his decline by emphasizing the importance of other areas in life, making oblique references in recent months to problems in his personal life that required a re-set. Or, as Agassi put it during a promotional appearance, as reported in The Guardian: 鈥淲hen you see somebody who accomplished so much and then somehow to our eyes it overnight changes, it doesn鈥檛 have anything to do with tennis, it has to do with reason, inspiration, find that thing that fuels you. Your heart and mind is a bank account, you鈥檝e got to give it more than you take out of it. When you cross that line you file for bankruptcy.鈥

Agassi can certainly relate to Djokovic鈥檚 turmoil, having fallen much further from his own No. 1 supremacy before rising Phoenix-like from the ashes to regain the No. 1 ranking.

Djokovic, for much of the past year, has seemed temperamentally out of sorts, uncharacteristically testy and, at times, looked frankly miserable on the court 鈥 like a stranger in a strange land.

A victory at Eastbourne on Saturday 鈥 the low-tier grass-court Wimbledon tune-up where he hadn鈥檛 appeared since 2010 鈥 dispelled some of the gloom and put a smile on his face Sunday. 鈥淥bviously I was not playing too many of the events in the week prior to the beginning of the Grand Slams in my career. But I decided to go this time because I felt like I needed more matches in general, but especially on the grass, that鈥檚 very unique surface that requires time for adaptation and adjustment, especially for the movement.鈥

Makes sense. And boosts his self-confidence, even though the field was thin. 鈥淧eople were very kind. It was a great week of positive energy.鈥

Asked what advice he would give if time-travelling back to his former self: 鈥淭hat鈥檚 probably a thing many people would love to do, go back in time and kind of influence certain events and certain things differently from your present, right? I guess patience, that鈥檚 something that lacks a lot to young people. For myself it was the same, kind of trust the process as I go along.

鈥淕enerally I don鈥檛 like to revert back and have regrets. I鈥檓 not holding anything back because I feel that life is just orchestrated in such a way that鈥檚 best for us at the moment to evolve as human beings. I think everything was happening for a reason, on the tennis courts, off the tennis courts, to get me to place where I am at the moment.鈥欌

Djokovic sounds weirdly New Age-y when he talks about this unanticipated journey of self-discovery and reinvention.

鈥淚t鈥檚 constant evolution. It鈥檚 just that when things are completely going your way, in this case in professional tennis, when I was winning consistently and being dominant in the tennis world, you know, you鈥檙e happy and you鈥檙e content, you feel like everything is kind of revolving around tennis. But it鈥檚 not like that. Some other things were suffering during that time.

鈥淪o it鈥檚 always, I guess, figuring out what鈥檚 the right balance and right formula to be completely in peace and satisfied with yourself. I used to base all my happiness on winning a tennis match. I try not to do that anymore. It鈥檚 not like I don鈥檛 care . . . I would love to win every single match I play. But I don鈥檛 try to take that as a very essential moment in my life which determines my happiness.鈥

Except that he鈥檚 been so obviously unhappy not winning.

鈥淚t鈥檚 hard in professional sport to go through that kind of process. Because sports is one of the fields of life where there are many . . . virtues that are presented to people in the best possible way. That鈥檚 why people relate to athletes 鈥 because of the sacrifice, because of the fight, because there is no way around it. Basically you have to earn the respect and earn the trophies and success by yourself, especially in tennis.

鈥淚t seems to me that, especially nowadays, everything is observed through the lens of material success, who lifts more trophies, gets more respect, more fame, more money and a better status in society.鈥

Of course, it didn鈥檛 seem so hollow to him when Djokovic was lifting all those trophies.

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #38

1,441 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
6-4, 2-0 win over Klizan. Double fault when serving for the set and a little slip early in the first set were slightly worrying. But he made it through safe and sound. Let's hope he will improve as the he goes deeper in the tournament.


4,465 Posts
I couldn't handle that article: full of shade. I just skipped through it and saw a factual mistake: she claims Novak is seeded 4, when he is seeded 1. She calles Novak's team "platoon". I call it "Team Pretty" :lol:

I thought I would get used to the shade and negativity, but I don't. It's so off putting.

Novak needs to shut them all up and win this thing.

I love Agassi going with Novak: can you imagine the adulation he would be getting if he had said YES to the other top players who asked him? We know one of them was Murray, I think the other was Roger, before he hired Ljubicic, but we'll never know. Yet, he decided to say YES to Novak. He's doing the right thing and following his heart, as he himself said. May they be the most successful pair ever. :yippee: :yippee:
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