Monday, 30 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Final Press Conference

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Many of you stayed this late.  Thank you.  

Q.  We have to.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I know you have to, but make it look like you want to.  (Laughter.) 

Q.  Was that the greatest win of your life? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Ah, yes.  Right now, yes.  

Probably Wimbledon because Wimbledon is right up there next to this one because it's just the tournament that I always dreamed of winning.  

But this one I think comes out on the top because just the fact that we played almost six hours is incredible, incredible.  I think it's probably the longest finals in the history of all Grand Slams, and just to hear that fact is making me cry, really.  

I'm very proud just to be part of this history, part of the elite of the players that have won this tournament for several times, and I was very flattered to be playing in front of Rod Laver, in front of the alltime greats, and in front of 15,000 people that stayed until 1:30 a.m. 

It's incredible, really. 

Q.  How did you keep going in that situation? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Look, you know, it's finals.  It was the fifth set.  I had lots of chances to finish the match in the fourth, but he came up with some incredible serves and incredible points.  

So he deserved to prolong the match in the fifth set, and then really both of us could have won the match.  It could have gone either way.  I felt my body started to slow down, but on the other hand, I was aware of the fact that he's not as well feeling that great and fresh on the court. 

I'm sure that physically it's taking a toll on him, as well.  So I tried mentally to hang in there, to hold my composure, to hold my emotions.  And, you know, even when I was 42 down I still pushed myself up to the limit.  

You know, one of the points I think of the match was at 4All, fifth, the first point after 35, 40shot rally I think we both went down on our knees. 

But these kind of matches  I'm a professional tennis player.  I'm sure any other colleague tennis player would say the same:  We live for these matches.  We work every day.  We're trying to dedicate all our life to this sport to come to the situation where we play sixhour match for a Grand Slam title. 

Q.  Apart from the breathing problems you have been having, what other physical issues did you have to go through today and during the tournament? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Everything you can imagine.  (Smiling.) 

I mean, I don't think it's worth of talking now about these things.  I mean, I overcomed everything, and that's the most important thing for me.  

And to be able to mentally hang in there and physically, you know  I mean, it was obvious on the court for everybody who has watched the match that both of us, physically, we took the last drop of energy that we had from our bodies.  

You know, I think it was just the matter of maybe luck in some moments and matter of, you know, wanting this more than maybe other player in the certain point. 

You know, it's just incredible effort. 

Q.  It was remarkable achievement.  Rafa spoke about enjoying the suffering, actually building for this moment and enjoying the suffering.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I absolutely agree with him.  I think I maybe had a similar feeling in couple of matches, but nothing like this.  You know, you are in pain, you are suffer, you know that you're trying to activate your legs, you're trying to push yourself another point, just one more point, one more game. 

You're going through so much suffering your toes are bleeding.  Everything is just outrageous, you know, but you're still enjoying that pain. 

So I would agree with that comment of Rafa. 

Q.  Can you talk us through your postmatch celebration with the shirt ripping, etcetera, and do you have energy to celebrate further tonight? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  It's already 4:00 a.m.  I don't know how far I can go, but right now I'm up for everything.  (Laughter.) 

Q.  Maybe some breakfast? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Breakfast?  

Q.  Yeah.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  Food is not on my mind right now.  (Smiling.) 

Q.  You talked about believing you could repeat 2011.  If it's going to be this tough, do you really want to go through this four times? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, if that's the way, you know, then I guess I will have to go through it.  I will have to accept it the way it is.  

I mean, I'm not really concerned about the rest of the year how physically I'm gonna endure and all of that.  It's just the start of the year.  I'm gonna have some weeks off now, and I'm gonna try to enjoy this victory as much as I can.  

Then back to office, you know, back to work, preparation.  There is much that awaits for me, but I definitely should enjoy the present moment. 

Q.  Can you go back to the 44 point, 31ball rally.  You hit the backhand; you miss it; you fall on your back.  Was there any point when you're on your back and you're thinking, Maybe I should just stay down; I had a great year last year and I don't want to get up? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, not at that point.  At that point I was just thinking of getting some air and trying to recover for next point. 

A thousand thoughts going through the mind, you know.  Trying to separate the right from wrong, trying to prioritize the next point and taking it step by step.  

I mean, I'm playing against one of the greatest players ever, you know, the player that is so mentally strong, and he always comes up with his best game and best shots at the right moments. 

We both knew that we can't really go too far in the rallies, so you could feel that we all tried to hit the ball as much as  as hard as we could and tried to go for winners. 

You know, he's not usually the one that takes the advantage over the point in being aggressive and hitting full shots.  He always tries to construct the point, and, you know, playing some variety in that game. 

But then in the last game when I was serving I had a feeling that he was really trying to step into the backhand and forehand and just try to go for everything or nothing. 

That's what I have done in game before, so at that stage you have nothing left. 

Q.  In the last game you were crossing yourself after the break point.  Did you actually say a prayer at that point? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  I mean, yeah.  I was trying to find every possible help and energy that I can.  It paid off, I guess.  

Q.  Is there any part of you that feels a little bit sorry for Rafa?  I mean, he keeps coming up against you in the final and he keeps losing.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, I was in that position.  I was in that position a couple years ago, you know, losing most of the semifinals and finals against him and Roger in Grand Slams so I know how it feels.  

I really thought what I said sincerely on the court, is that unfortunately there had to only be one winner because we both gave it all.  We both put 100% of our abilities on the court and played to the last moment. 

Unfortunately there couldn't be two winners, but he definitely deserved to be a winner as well tonight.  You know, I would be saying same thing if I'm sitting here as a loser. 

Q.  How much time do you take off now? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know.  I don't know.  I have to sit down with the team, but I'm definitely gonna take off at least two weeks. 

Q.  You are on the road to a Grand Slam if you win Roland Garros.  How important will be your preparation for the French Open? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Very important, you know.  I'm prioritizing Grand Slams this year, as every year, and Olympic Games.  I think that's one of my highest goals. 

That doesn't mean of course that I'm not gonna prepare well and perform my best on the other tournaments.  It's just that, you know, the Grand Slams matter the most.  

So I want to do well and I want to get the first final at least in Paris, you know.  I have never been in finals there, and I have a feeling that I'm ready this year to achieve that. 
Q.  Were you pleased when they gave you the chair in the ceremony? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Oh, yes, very pleased.  I think we both were.  We both respect and  we are very much aware of the ceremonies and how they go.  Everybody has to talk, of course.  We agree with that.  

But, you know, if they could only consider a little bit our condition at that point, you know, and I think they did.  That's why I want to thank them for those chairs, because it saved our legs. 

Q.  After this tennis overdose you just had, what are you going to say to your friends or acquaintances?  Don't talk about tennis for a week or...  


Q.  Or a month? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Please, yes.  I'm gonna definitely try to get that message to them (smiling). 

Q.  You had a brutal match against Murray, very, very tough, and then came back with one day less rest and won in a long match like that.  How did you do it in terms of recovery?  Was it really hard?  Did you find a solution to help things out with regard to the breathing problems you had in the last match? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Generally it's very important to prepare well.  Everybody has a different routine and different scheduling and program of practicing and recovering, and, you know, just preparing for what's coming up. 

It's an individual sport, so we all try to rely on the people who are traveling with us.  That's why I have said on the court is this is a team effort, you know, because I couldn't do it myself.  I need all these people to take care of every aspect of my career, for my body, in order for me to be able to be ready to perform the way I did. 

Novak Djokovic - Post Match Celebrations

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Retains The Australian Open

Ok, I am not going to lie.  I wanted Rafa to win this match today.  I am a fan of both players but wanted Rafa to try level the playing field a bit.  A believe that having these two great players pushing each others to incredible heights is so wonderful to watch and I want it to continue.

But Novak had other ideas and I can take nothing away from that performace.  He looked literally dead on his feet, he collapsed on the ground during the 5th set and I was not sure if he would be able to gather the energy to get up again.

But he did and reached so deep inside himself I am sure he almost reached Serbia to find the strength to push himself over the finish line for him to be able to collapse again to the court but this time in victory.

I felt so sorry for both the players to have to stand there, then finally sit and wait through all those boring bloody speeches.  Kind words from both players and frankly I am surprised they had the energy to speak.

Now what is next for Novak, how does he top this match?  Can he ever do better than this?  I believe his next tournament is scheduled to be Dubai where he is going for the Quad, 4 in a row.  Will he still play or will he take a very well earned rest to soak up all he has achieved?

I guess we will know in a few days time, when Novak has got his breath back.  Until then, Ajde No1e!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Semi Final Photos

I normally only post around 10 match photos but as today was an EPIC match with many great photos so I will post more today. Enjoy.

Novak Djokovic - Semi Final Press Conference

Here is what Novak has had to say following the marathon semi final against Andy Murray:

Q. During the match, you got messages coming in from around the world people wondering how you managed to look so dead in the second and third sets and still managed to come through. How did you manage to come through?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You have to find strength in those moments and energy, and that keeps you going, I guess. At this level, very few points decide the winner, as it was the case tonight.

I think we both went through a physical crisis. You know, him at the fourth set, me all the way through the second and midway through the third. Had some chances in those sets.

But it was a very even match throughout, from the first to the last point. As I said on the court, I think we both found it easier to break each other's serve rather than just, you know, serve it out and keep our serve going.

We both have great returns, and it was very difficult because we put a lot of pressure on each other's serve. So even though I was 5‑2 up in the fifth, I knew even playing against the wind on 5‑3 I'm not the favorite in that game, you know. It's proven to be the truth.

But I held my composure. I was happy to react the way I did and win in the end.

Q. This breathing problem, are you seeing a doctor about it or is it related to hayfever or something?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I've seen doctor and I've talked with some people. I don't know. I've talked with couple of players that have a little allergy problems this year in Australia for now reason, ones they didn't have in last couple years but they had reactions this year.

I suppose that's my problem, as well. I've been trying to, you know, do everything possible to clear that out. But, you know, we are all surrounded with the flowers. It's really difficult to take that away. But still, you know, I mean, no excuses.

It was very physical from both sides, from both players all the way through the end. For these kind of matches, you really practice all your life to be able to be a winner out of five sets.

Q. You played many tough matches in your career. Where do you rank this one?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely one of the best ‑ under the circumstances. I had a couple matches in New York against Roger in last couple years which can be compared to this one.

But time‑wise, I think this was one of the longest, if not the longest, that I've played in the later stages of a Grand Slam.

Yeah, I have to be satisfied. I have to be happy. As I said, as a tennis player, you practice hard every single day knowing that you will get an opportunity to be part of such a great match and on such a high level.

Q. You know Andy pretty well. Have you noticed a difference in his attitude compared to last year's final?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. He was more confident on the court. He was taking his chances. He was being more aggressive. I think he was playing better.

Q. What effect do you think it will have to have spent so much physical energy and have to play Nadal?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is no secret it is going to be physical again. I will do my best to recover. I have a day and a half. I will try to get as much sleep and recovery program underway and hope for the best.

I think that's going to be crucial, you know, for me to recover and to be able to perform my best, because Rafa is fit. He's been playing well. He had an extra day. He definitely wants to win this title.

Q. Do you take any encouragement from the fact when Rafa won it here a couple years ago the role was reversed?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, we are all different so we all have different scheduling, different programs that we respect with our teams. We all have different bodies that require more or less time to recover, so I can't really compare that to him.

But I have been in similar situations, let's say, before where I had the long matches and I'm supposed to play, like, for example, a couple years back with Roger I had a very long match, and then the next day I was supposed to play finals.

So, you know, we are familiar with these kind of conditions and situations, so we will try to take the best out of it and recover.

Q. What will you do for the next 48 hours to get yourself ready?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, try to get as much sleep. I don't think I'll practice much. I think I had enough time spent on the court. Now it's all about recovery.

Q. You had a great run against Rafa whenever you met him last year. What, if at all, will that play on your mind or on his mind?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's something that we are about to see, you know, on Sunday. Yet again, I'm repeating that physically I need to be fit. I know that I maybe have a mental edge because I've won six finals the five or six times we played in 2011 and I've had lots of success against him.

On the other hand, it's a new year. It's a new challenge. It's a different situation. As I said, he has maybe a day advantage over me for recovery and for getting ready for the finals.

That's going to be my main priority and concern the next day and a half, to physically be able to perform my best and be ready to play five sets.

If I am able to do that, then I can believe that I can win.

Q. Were you ever scared in this match, a thought that ever came to you that you might lose this match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Definitely. It was so close. Both of us believed that we can win, and that's how we played. We played with courage a lot of shots. In decisive moments we were aggressive and wanting to win this match.

I think crowd enjoyed as much as we did in competing. It could have easily gone the other way. He was couple of points away from winning the match, so I was lucky to go as a winner.

Q. Comparing him to when you saw him here a year ago, is his forehand a very much more aggressive shot?


Q. Technically changed, as well?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, you can't significantly change in technique a stroke, especially if you're at this level. He's already a complete player. Even last year he was.

It's a matter of, you know, having a little bit of luck combined with a choice of the right shots at the right moments, and that's it.

I mean, he's so close to winning the Grand Slam. He's one of the best players in the world, that's for sure.

Q. Did he give you a reminder that as No. 1 it's going to be very, very hard for you to keep your No. 1 ranking, let alone stay in the top 3?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm very much aware of that fact. Obviously there is Rafa, Roger, and Andy who have been probably my biggest rivals in the last couple years. I managed to get to the No. 1 place, win a couple of Grand Slams last year, and have the best year of my career.

I'm aware now that everyone wants to win the major title, get that No. 1 spot. It's normal. It's something I'm prepared for. I've been working hard in the off‑season.

The year is long. It's a great way for me to start the year, playing finals in the Australian Open, first Grand Slam of the year. It's going to be huge confidence boost for me to continuation of the season.

Q. You had some breathing problems in the middle of that match. How do they compare to some previous matches you've had in the past? Was it worse or about the same?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, we both had some physical crisis and felt the difficult physical moments probably end of second and beginning of the third. I mean, that reflected a little bit on my game. I wasn't taking my shots any more. Every time we got to a longer rally, I made mistakes. That's what happened with him in fourth.

So it's normal to expect that. We are competing on a very high level where each points goes to 10 and plus rallies. You have to expect that you have some ups and downs throughout the match.

Q. How do you solve it, with medication during the match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. You try to get energized in every way. A lot of liquids, try to eat something, as well, that gives you energy.

Q. Your girlfriend was in a lovely red dress today. She stood up many times cheering for you in crucial moments. You were looking at her, as well. Did that help you that she was here and she was standing up there?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course. She is my love and my big support. It's great to have her around. You know, we had lots of success together. She's been present at the US Open and Wimbledon and many other tournaments that I have won.

Actually, she was present at the first tournament I ever won in Amersfoort in 2006. We have a long relationship and understanding, so it's great to have her there.

Q. Do you think missing the warmup tournaments here in Australia has been a help to your fitness?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Could be. You know, I've said before that my goal was physically, mentally to prepare for the Australian Open. I played so many matches in 2011 that I didn't need any, you know, warmup events or any first‑week events in 2012 seasons.

I played in Abu Dhabi couple matches against top players, so I felt that I am ready.

Q. Have you seen Rafa's matches during this tournament?


Q. What do you think of his play?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, the last one I've seen is obviously against Roger. It was a fantastic match I think from both of them. Roger started off really well. It was an incredible effort from Rafa to come back and some incredible passing shots. That's why he's a champion. That's why he's one of the best players to ever play this game. He's never giving up. He has a fighting spirit. He has very few weaknesses.

Yeah, I mean, he's very much eager and motivated to win the title ‑ as much as I am. It's the final. It's unpredictable what's going to happen.

Q. The four of you have real clear water between the other players behind you in the sense that you're always in this point of the tournaments. Has that been contributory to each of you keeping each other honest, motivated, and the desire of winning in an era when there are yourself and three others?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's great for the sport to have I think more candidates to win the major titles; whereas maybe three, four years ago it was only Roger and Rafa. It was only two, and now we have four.

I mean, it's great. I wouldn't exclude Berdych and Tsonga. Tsonga played finals of the World Tour Finals.

There are more players in that group. There are more players that are really believing they can win against the top four. But it's an incredible effort. It takes a lot of effort for top four to be here where we are.

Obviously that confidence and maybe mental advantage and experience that we have in the major events, playing on this high level, helps us to be where we are.

Novak Djokovic - Into The Final

My God I am knackered after watching that match!!!! God knows how Novak is feeling.

I am in work now so no time for a full report but once the Presser & media reports are available I'll post them here.

Ajdeeeeeeeee No1e!!!!!!!!!

Novak Djokovic - Open Drive Video

Courtesy: AustralianOpen

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Makes It Into The Semi Final

He looked down the barrel a few times today but finished in style.

Slight concern when he looked to have tweaked his left hamstring but no treatment was needed. Novak had to dig deep in the 2nd set & in the TB but he turned the screw and from there onwards it was all one way.

Next up is a repeat of last years final and I really hope for a similar scoreline :-)


Match Photos

Monday, 23 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Fights His Way Through

That was tough and I think that is just what Novak needed. 2nd week of a Major rarely gives you an easy match so I wanted Novak to have to move up the gears so not to be caught cold.

Next up will be Ferrer who is an eternal runner. He will not give up on points so this again will be a hard match for Novak. One, like today I expect him to come through but I expect another set to be dropped, maybe in a TB.

The only slight worry from today was the amount of games broken, ok against Hewitt but not against higher ranked players. He has a few days to work on his game and I have no doubt he will be giving it 100% to have sorted by Wednesday.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Round 3 Press Conference

Q. It's looked pretty clinical out there. How has it felt?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it felt great. Obviously I feel for my opponent, who evidently could not move on the court. He could not get over, you know, into the rally two, three strokes.

You know, I think most of the people expected him to just retire the match and walk out of the court. But he managed to stay. So all the credit for him and happy birthday.

Q. Could you feel your level at all as a result or not really?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, considering the fact that I lost two games the whole match, I think I've played really, really well. You know, I'm not taking his situation right now in matter. But looking just of my game was really well, really fantastic from serve, the return, all the shots, going to the net.

I'm happy with the way my first week went here in Australia, and hopefully I can continue the same way in the second one.

Q. Can you recall at a Grand Slam where you've started in such form?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, obviously the goal for every player who's taking part in this Grand Slam is to do as best as he can and to start off the 2012 season in the best possible way.

I think to all of us, especially the top players, it's important to go far here in Melbourne and feel that, you know, we have enough confidence that we are in the right shape and just start off this season the way we want to.

I always played well in Australia. This is the only Grand Slam I won twice. As I said before, the reason that I skipped the opening week of the season was because I wanted to get ready for Melbourne.

The conditions are great. They're very suitable to my style of the game, day and night. I'm really looking forward to next week.

Q. Now that you're through, will you watch tonight? If so, what will you take out of it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I will try to watch the match. It's going to be quite interesting because Lleyton has been playing some really good tennis I think the best that we have seen him play in last two years.

On the other hand you have Raonic, who is one of the upandcoming players, very young but strong, powerful hitter from the baseline, great serve.

I think a lot depends from his serve, the way he's going to serve.

Look, you know, Lleyton is playing probably his favorite court in front of his home crowd. It's not going to be easy for both. I hope they go distance (laughter).

Q. Would you rather play Lleyton and the crowd or the young Canadian?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Doesn't matter really. Just try to focus on my game.

Q. Of all the surfaces you play on around the world, do you consider this the best suited for your game in terms of speed, how the ball bounces, how you feel moving on it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Probably, yes.

Q. Given the conditions we could face in the second week with the weather here, how important is it to be fresh both mentally and physically?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's really important. You know, the positive out of this first week is obviously my performance that has been great, you know. I don't think that I need to work particularly in some shots of the game. Maybe just serve and maybe a little fitness today, just get ready for the second week.

You know, I didn't spend that much time on the court. I don't think I'm lacking any match play. I don't think I'm lacking any practice. I've had lots of practice in the last five, six weeks.

Right now I just want to take one match at a time, focus on the next one, and use this, well, physical let's say freshness that I have in this moment.

Q. Some people might think that after what you achieved last year, coming into a new year it might be perhaps a burden, something heavy on your shoulders. You seem to be in sort of a chirpy mood, relaxed.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think that helps me to stay committed and stay focused. But it's not just oneman effort. The team of people that is around me is helping me to perform my best on the court and to keep the very simple style of the life, you know, concentration that I had for every preparation for every season so far in last five years.

It hasn't changed, even this year. Even though I do have, you know, a particular situation, let's say, which is different from last couple of years where I didn't have to defend every single point in first six months in every single tournament.

But, look, you know, it is the way it is. I don't want to spend my time and energy thinking about dropping points, you know. I'm really thinking only about improving my game, improving myself, staying really focused.

The bottom line is that, you know, I'm 24. I feel that I'm playing the best tennis of my life. I'm at the peak. So I should use every moment and enjoy my tennis.

Q. A lot of women, female tennis players, get to pose in their swimsuits for the Sports Illustrated magazine. Do you think that men should have the same opportunity?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Okay. I will choose my next words very carefully (laughter).

Well, I don't know. I guess, yes. We should all have equal rights. But I am not thinking about that too much. I guess, you know, women are more attractive than we are. They have a lot more to show, I guess.

Q. So you wouldn't say no if it was tastefully done?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm not getting naked for anybody, except my girlfriend (smiling).

Q. When you were 17 you were playing in Italy with Piatti. Then you were a big supporter of AC Milan. Now you have a media manager who is Italian and you are sponsored by Sergio Tacchini.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Which is Italian.

Q. I would like to know if there is a reason for all that. You trying to put up the image of Italian tennis, which is a disaster?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, don't be hard (smiling).

Q. How do you explain it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's simple: I like Italia. I like their mentality. I think I always got along really well with the people from Italy. I know Eduardo for many years. Well, he's not working anymore for Sergio Tacchini, but he used to work. That's kind of the connection. I just feel comfortable. I spend a lot of time in Italy.

I really feel that Rome, for example, is one of the tournaments where I have probably the most support after my country. You know, I feel that I am very welcomed there and the people appreciate what I do. So it's really comfortable.

Q. What is the biggest advantage and the biggest danger of having an easy week like you did in the first week of a major?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don't think there is any disadvantages considering the fact that I've played so many official matches. In some ways maybe some would think the match play is going to affect maybe my next match, that I'm going to play somebody who is, you know, more difficult opponent, I guess, higher ranked.

But I don't think so because I've had enough matches, especially in 2011. I've had a lot of practice. I think I'm physically fit. So, as I said before, I think the advantage of it is that I didn't spend that much energy, you know, so I'm getting fresh into the second week.

Q. The year just started. But from what you have seen till now, do you think by the end of this year we will talk more about the Fab Five, including Del Potro, instead of the Fab Four?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Can be possible. Anything is possible, especially if we are talking about a player who has won a Grand Slam before. You know, Del Potro has always lots of respect from all of us, is one of the best players in the world, even now that he's not top 5 or top 10. I think gamewise he deserves to be there.

I think there is not just him, but there is a lot of other players who are still contesters for top 5, like Tsonga, Berdych. I think they're all performing very well here in Melbourne. Tennis has improved a lot.

I think in general men's tennis is experiencing some really good times.

Novak Djokovic - Stroll in Melbourne Park

Awwwwww, it was Nico's 30th birthday and Novak crashed the party in spectacular style. At least he let Nico get on the scoresheet.

I am wondering if all these easy matches might not come to bite Novak on the bum in later rounds. Of course it is nice to conserve energy but I also want him match sharp for when he is in a dogfight match. It is not easy to just switch on that kind of mindset.

Anyway it is still undecided who he will play in the next round, Milos & Lleyton are currently on court. I would prefer for Novak to play Milos:

a) He is the future and more likely to meet Novak again. Will be good to get some experience against him.

b) Milos has had a fantastic 12 months and he will relish a crack at the defending champion & World Number 1.

c) It will be good to see Novak against a big hitter, will help with his return of serve.

Anyway, we shall see what happens in the next few hours with the match on Rod Laver Arena.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Adorable

Novak has a hit with a young fan during practice in Melbourne

Courtesy: Idshinod

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Novak Djokovic - Round 2 Press Conference

Q.  What did you get from such an easy win? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  A win (laughter).  A win is a win, you know, however it comes to you.  You know, I try obviously to not underestimate any opponents in early rounds.  This is a Grand Slam, the most prestigious  one of the four most prestigious tournaments in our sport, and everybody has a lot of motivation to perform their best, especially on the center court, on the big stage.  

Santiago came out early hitting the ball quite flat.  But I knew that, you know, sooner or later he's going to drop the rhythm and I just have to hang in there.  I've done a good job.  

Q.  In that fifth game when you got broken, I think you made four unforced errors.  Do you still get a bit nervous even after what you've done the last year or so? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  To be honest, you know, I've had lots of situations where I was break down, you know, in my career.  So I guess that doesn't affect me, especially early in the first set.  I knew that, you know, I will start hitting the ball better.  

Q.  You came back to win love the next game.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  From one side there is a lot of wind.  Actually, even if you don't have a feeling watching it from the outside, it's windy, but it is quite windy.  It's consistent wind that blows from one side and at your back.  When you're playing against the wind, it's really difficult to make shots happen.  

But, you know, as I said, I maybe started a little too defensive because he was hitting the ball very strong.  

But then after, it was the other way around.  

Q.  You say you don't get really nervous anymore.  You've had so much success on that court particularly.  Are there times when you kind of feel a little bit invincible out there on Rod Laver Arena? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  First of all, I don't think anybody is invincible.  It's a matter of the confidence that you have, selfbelief on the court, qualities as a player, being out there physically, mentally fit, being able to perform your best on a daytoday basis.  

You know, it's true, probably this court is one of the most successful courts in my career.  I've had two titles here, 2008 and last year.  Coming back to that court is always bringing me nicest memories.  I like the conditions, the speed of the court, the balls, everything.  

It is true from one side that when I step in there I feel that I belong there, that I know what to do, that I feel more confident maybe than the other courts around the world.  

Q.  Next is Mahut.  Do you remember the first time you played him? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Maybe at a challenger in Besançon.  

Q.  Cherbourg.  And he won.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I remember.  It's been a long time ago.  I think we had just maybe one or two matches we played against each other.  

Look, you know, he's a very talented player.  Has a nice onehanded backhand.  He's somebody that prefers, I think, faster courts and surfaces.  Plays very nice on grass and had that epic match with Isner.  

He uses his serve really well, I think, has really nice precision.  Is one of the rare serveandvolley players nowadays.  

Yeah, I guess if we get to play on the center court or any of the bigger courts, I will try to use my, let's say, experience playing on those courts.  I think surface here is a bit slower and bounce is a little bit higher, so maybe it's more suitable to my style of the game.  

Look, now it's the third round already.  The opponents are definitely getting tougher.  

Q.  You know Bernard Tomic quite well.  Have you been watching him this Australian Open? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, yes.  I've seen his match last night.  It was an impressive performance again.  For somebody his age hanging in there mentally, knowing what to do, looking really comfortably on the court.

Q.  Do you have an impersonation of Bernard yet? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, that technique is going to be really hard to impersonate, let me tell you that.  

Q.  When are we going to see some more impersonations? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I really don't plan anything, to be honest.  So if it comes, it comes very spontaneous, I guess.  

Q.  You're on Twitter a lot.  Who do you like to follow on Twitter? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I follow mostly the tennis players, I guess.  I don't spend that much time.  I try always to update my fans on what I do, some pictures, crazy videos.  Other than that, you know, I keep the phone away from me.  

Q.  Did you see Marcos Baghdatis smashing his racquets last night? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I haven't seen that.  I heard about it.  I haven't seen that.  I'm going to go to YouTube now, check that out.  

Q.  You've smashed one or two racquets in your time.  Is it useful to you?  Does it help getting emotion out? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah.  I mean, look, you know, individually it depends from a player, from a person, you know, who has more temperament, let's say, how you handle yourself, how do you react after, you know, smashing the racquet.  

In my case, I've stopped doing it.  I'm not doing it as often, which is good for my coach, good news.  But when I have a smash of the racquet, smack of the racquet, I usually feel relieved afterwards.  I feel that the pressure is out.  But a bit embarrassed, as well.  So I try to hold my composure. 

Q.  Who is the best racquet smasher you've seen? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think Ivanisevic and Safin are right up there.  Loved watching them.  

Q.  Can you tell us a bit about the movie you're in?  What is your role?  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's Expendables 2.  

Q.  Do you have a line in there? 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Sorry, I can't say anything about the role.  They've forbid me.  But it's a very interesting one. 

Q.  I heard you say you're in a fight.  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  It's all about fighting, that movie.  

Q.  You communicate a lot with social media.  Is it a way to show another face of yourself, or is it a way to change the media world, if I can say?  

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you guys know better than me.  But I think media world has changed quite a bit with social networks and Internet and everything that is going viral nowadays.  That's the first thing that people see.  Everybody's communicating nowadays even for work through Facebook and Twitter, things like that.  

I think the positive of social network is that, you know, you can interact with your fans and with the people that are following you.  And it's interesting.  For me it's interesting.  I find it funny, you know, to publish some funny pictures and things that I notice, that I see, that are unusual. 

Novak Djokovic - Easy As 3-2-1

Sorry for the lateness of this post but I am trying to catch as much of the tennis as I can and a lot of the matches today have gone the distance.

No such problems for Novak, although once again he dropped his serve in the 1st set.  There really was no doubt about the winner and 3 routine sets followed after the break back.

Match Report

Novak Djokovic was pleased to have continued his untroubled progress through to the third round of the Australian Open today.

The world number one and defending champion backed up his first-round defeat of Paolo Lorenzi with a 6-3 6-2 6-1 win over Colombian Santiago Giraldo....More Here

Match Photos