Friday, 6 May 2011

Novak Djokovic - Pre Tournament Interview

Q: To have come this far in the season without losing a match is clearly an extraordinary achievement. How big of a test is in playing on clay against a field of this quality?

A: Well it´s no secret that it’s been the best five months of my career. I´m on a great streak and I definitely want to keep on going. I took some time off after Miami and I didn´t play in Monte Carlo so that gave me a couple of weeks to recover and really get ready for clay courts which actually require quite some time to get ready for. Then I went to my hometown, to my country and played a couple of matches there. So far I´m feeling good and very motivated to keep on winning.

Q: You know how tough it is to win back to back Masters Series – Indian Wells and Miami. What do you think of Madrid and Rome back to back tournaments, on clay with just seven days between each?

A: You said it all. It’s a huge challenge for us to win back to back Masters Series. I´ve done it for the first time I my life in Indian Wells and Miami but we got a bit more time between those two tournaments and between Madrid and Rome there is no time – week after week and it’s clay court which requires a lot more physical strength and because it’s a slower surface on the Tour you need to work much harder for your points. But here the conditions in Madrid are a bit different to other tournaments on clay because of the altitude, the ball flies quite fast through the air. The only time that I’ve played here was two years ago and I played a great tournament, played a fantastic match against Rafa so I have nice memories of the centre court and I look forward to coming back and I´m not thinking about my streak, I’m not thinking about how long this run will go for or if I can win every tournament I play in. I’m just trying to take it easy, take one match at a time and that’s all.

Q: So you say that you are not thinking about how long that streak will last even though you’ve got three tournaments on clay with the clay king in it, who normally plays the final at least in the past. How realistic is it to go through the clay season without a loss?

A: Well I didn’t think it was realistic to go without a loss in the first 3/4 months but it happened. I guess anything is possible if you really believe that you can achieve and if you’re fit, physically, if you’re mentally fresh and motivated and if you’re dedicated to the sport and this is something that I have been doing lately. I’ve been working very hard on my game, on my mental approach as well and my stability and now it´s paying off. There is no secret; it’s just something that I’ve been working on in the last couple of years playing on the Tour. I knew that I had quality and I just need to get some things together and it’s happening right now. If I’d believe that I can win every match on clay until the end of the clay season then no, I don’t believe that. I will just try to take one match at a time and we’ll see how far it can go.

Q: You were given a special passport at home, the you were honoured by the Orthodox Church, what´s next, Oscars?

A: There have been many commitments off court for me in Belgrade. It’s obvious; I haven’t been in my country for a long time. Of course I am very flattered when I have a lot of appreciation from the people that I receive awards. Every award is special in it’s way but the honour that I got from the Serbian Orthodox Church is by far the most precious, the most meaningful honour that I ever got and I think that I will ever get because it’s the highest honour that you can get in our church. People who receive it are people who usually get involved in helping other people and just for who you are as a person and not as an athlete and for what you have done in your career so that means a lot to me and definitely it’s been one of the nicest experiences in my life.

Q: Talking of experiences in your life, we all remember the extraordinary semi-final you played here with Rafa two years ago when you went over four hours and had the match points of course there´s a lot of tennis to be played before Sunday but IF it comes to you and Rafa in the final how much will THAT performance where you competed for four hours against him, give you confidence?

A: Let´s be honest, I don´t really feel like talking about An eventual final against Rafa because as you said there is a long way to go and there are many other great players who want to win this title as much as we do. But remembering that match, it was one of the best matches I’ve played on clay courts and that was I think, the closest I go to beating Rafa on clay courts It took me a while to recover after that loss. It was a really painful loss because I had three match points and it took four hours but on the other side, as I said, the nice memories are something that I keep from this tournament and this match, even though I lost it, I remember it in a good way because I know I can play well here and I know I can beat top players if I’m playing my game, if I’m having a good day – I just need to believe that.

Q: Are you surprised with the level that Juan Martín Del Potro is showing coming back to the Tour now and do you think that by the end of the season he could be a top 5 contender as he was in 2009?

A: I think he will be top 5 by the end of the year and I’m not really surprised with the way he is playing because he has always been one of the best players in the world, even at the time when he won the US Open, when he was at the very top and he was beating everybody in men’s tennis. It’s really difficult to come back after nine months off injury but he has a quality to beat any player on any surface. He has a big serve, he has very powerful ground strokes, mentally he´s a strong player and he´s definitely motivated to win some matches now and he’s been coming back in great style.

Q: What do you think about your first opponent, Kevin Anderson?

A: Well, we had two encounters so far and both of them were in Miami. I lost 2008 and won this year. He’s a big server and a very dangerous player to play against especially in these conditions because a we said the ball flies very fast through the air here and for somebody who is that aggressive as he is it’s quite suitable. A lot depends on me but also on his serve as well. If he serves very well and if he has a lot of efficiency on that serve he can be very dangerous so, I expect a tough match.

Courtesy: UBITennis

No comments:

Post a Comment