An interview with:
Q. You read much into your loss to Tomic the other day?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, not really. I was saying that the result really
doesn't matter that much for me. I just wanted to get some practice
matches under my belt before I come to Melbourne Park because I haven't
played the opening tournaments of the year. Considering the amount of
the matches I played last year, I tried not to commit to any events and
just practice and be fresh for Australian Open, which is, you know, the
most important tournament.
Q. Are you happy with your preparation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, I'm happy so far. In Kooyong, I haven't
played a hundred percent of my capabilities because I was focusing on
some other things and I was working hard off court, what people don't
But in these two days I will lower the intensity and just get ready for
the opening round.
Q. Who do you think is the biggest threat to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Uhm, well, obviously Federer, Nadal is the best two
players of the world are the two biggest favorites to win it again this
year. Then you have Del Potro, Murray, Roddick, Davydenko. They're all
in great shape, great form.
I think it's getting very interesting, men's tennis. It's good for the
sport to have a good group of the players that are able to win a major
event or a Grand Slam. I think over the years this can be one of the
most exciting Grand Slams.
Q. Do you rate Lleyton Hewitt has a chance at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, absolutely Lleyton is a big fighter. This is
another year for him. He's trying to get back in the top 10. I think you
can never underestimate his abilities. He's been winning against all the
top players in the world, so there is no reason to believe why he
shouldn't do it again. He's able to do it; it's just a matter of
Q. Your win here in 2008 seemed like it could be the break of the
duopoly of Nadal and Federer. Now they started dominating again. Does
Del Potro's win at the US Open give the other guys more confidence that
it could be the end of the two guys leading the way all the time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course, it does. The last five, six years the
dominance was obvious from Federer, Nadal. They've been winning all the
Grand Slams they've played. But now in last two years or so the things
are changing a little bit.
As I said, it's good for the sport and it's good for us, the group of
the players that is trying to catch up with Federer and Nadal. We have
more belief that we can win a Grand Slams.
You know, but they are still the best two players in the world. So as
long as is like that, you still have to rate them as the biggest
Q. Davydenko has been around for the last five or six years. He's been
playing unbelievable. What do you put that down to? Why is he playing so
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I really don't know if he's doing anything differently.
But he's definitely, definitely one of the fastest players in the game.
And he was always a tricky opponent to play against on any surface. He's
an all‑around, all‑court player. Very fast.
I think the element of the game that he has improved most is his serve.
I think he hurts his opponent with the serve a lot, and it gives him a
lot of advantage, I guess.
Q. You played Tomic yesterday. Did he take you by surprise a little bit
with the way he played?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He has a great serve and I think he's a very talented
player. He can have a bright future if he, of course, continues this
way, to practice, to be professional, dedicate himself to this sport. I
think he has the right people around him.
He's very young. He's only 17, 18 years old, and he's still able to play
on this level with no problems. I think Australia can expect a lot from
Q. How much better are you as a player than you were when you won here a
couple of years ago? How much have you improved?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think I improved on my net play and my, you know,
physical ability, strength. Maybe because of the work that I've put into
some variety in the game, some volleys and serve, that I've changed some
things. Maybe I lost a little stability and confidence from the
baseline, you know. I might not play as well as I did in 2008 from the
baseline, but I still have a lot of belief that I have a great game.
I mean, as I said, I worked a lot on serve‑and‑volley game. Todd Martin
had an influence on that. So I know it's a process and it cannot happen
overnight and I cannot learn all the things as soon as I try to practice
So I'm going slowly. I'm taking things step by step.
Q. Do you enjoy it as much as you did a couple of years ago? Has it
become very hard work all of a sudden as you get older and there's more
pressure on you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, winning a Grand Slam opened a lot of doors for
me, gave me a lot of opportunities, of course, a lot of self‑confidence.
But on the other hand, it took a lot of responsibility, pressure and
expectations. It was all new for me. I've been through ups and downs
mentally and experienced some things that I never did before.
Right now I still feel that I enjoy tennis and I love what I'm doing. I
love playing, traveling around, competing. I just can take that 2008 and
'9 as a big lesson to my life.
Q. Do you think Roger might be in any way a little bit less sharp now
that he has twin daughters keeping him awake at night a little bit
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You have to ask him for that. But he definitely still
plays, you know, one of the best tennis in the world. He always tries to
set up his form for Grand Slams, and we all know that. You know, maybe
he has a little slower start, but then in the end his form picks up just
before Grand Slam, and that's where he plays his best tennis. He plays a
semifinal or more in last 25 Grand Slams. That proves it all.
Can't find what you're looking for? Try Google