Thursday, September 6, 2012
Q. It took a while to get this match played, but at last you got it played and you made short order of it for the most part. Talk about the match itself.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as you said, I mean, very difficult conditions because we had to wait the whole day yesterday. Spent 10 hours in this club, and then, you know, got eventually to the court and played two games with several interruptions because of the rain. It's never easy, but it's not the first time we are experiencing that. The rain is a factor here in New York. For last four years we had Monday finals and it keeps on happening. Yeah, it is something you cannot affect, obviously. It still believe that it is the most logical solution obviously if you still don't get a roof here is to get covers on the court. I don't understand why a single hard court event does not have and didn't think of covering the court.
It obviously saves at least 30 minutes of time if they have ‑‑ if they inflate like they do at Wimbledon and they just get the water down. The courts are practically dry, you know, after the rain stops. It saves 30 minutes and gives more time to players and to play and to tournament. You know, I was asking questions in last couple of years and to the people, you know, at events, Why didn't you come up with this? Really no answer, but they are just saying, It's a good idea, you know. (Laughter.) So it's the most logical thing you can think of. I really hope that they will reconsider in this event and any other hard court event to put at least the covers if the roof is no option.
Q. Were you surprised that Stan retired from the match? I mean, he took the medical timeout in the third set. If he had an injury, didn't seem like it was affecting him too much beforehand.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I really don't know exactly what it was, but by the look of it, I think it was more of a probably a dizziness or something. He called a doctor. So I don't think he was injured, in a way. He served well, he played well, but he was ‑‑ you could see that he didn't feel great on the court. So I guess he'll tell you better.
Q. What is the routine you have to keep your focus and to keep the warmup yesterday and today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think patience is the key in the end, but is the same for everybody. Obviously you try to get, you know, the best information possible, you know, to know at least what time will you eventually have the rain stopping and how long it will take from that moment on to dry the courts. That will give you an idea of, let's say, an hour and a half window that, you know, will give you an option to eat or to prepare or to rest or to get warmed up. So that's something that you always try to do. As I said, weather conditions is something you cannot affect, but you can always try to be ready on time.
Q. Obviously it's a frustrating scenario that you're faced with and you have had to face a few before and you haven't gotten straight answers. I would imagine there is a sense among players that share your point of view and that there is some exasperation.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah.
Q. Does that detract from the overall experience of coming here and playing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, this is still a Grand Slam, still the US Open. I mean, it doesn't change my opinion about this tournament. I still love playing here. But I just think that considering the experiences that we all had with weather in last four, five years, I mean, it's the most logical explanation and solution you can come up with, you know. So I'm sure that they are already thinking about several solutions for upcoming years, but, you know, obviously roof is something that would help the players, the tournament, everybody. But covers is a temporary solution that I don't think it's so difficult to arrange.
Q. Is it frustrating from a scheduling perspective too in that your first three rounds are being done over the course of nine days and now you have to play four matches in five days assuming there is not a Monday final here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, scheduling, you always try to focus on the next opponent and the next match that you have. From scheduling point of view it is frustrating. I mean, you know, in the back of your mind that if you win the match you are gonna have to play the next day. So that's my case right now. You know, so it's not easy because you're playing best‑of‑five. It's a lot of intensity on the court, playing top players, but it's the way it is. It's not the first time we are experiencing that.
Q. When you have asked about these covers, you said they have said it's a good idea. Have they given you any explanation why they haven't done it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The explanation back in Toronto I remember couple weeks ago where we had really terrible weather conditions ‑ we had to stay two days to play two matches in a row in one day ‑ so the explanation there was the humidity is a concern for those hard courts. If you put the covers down and then it's too humid and, you know, it's not good for the surface itself. But then, you know, I said, Okay, so why don't you just inflate it like they do in Wimbledon? Oh, it's a good idea. Okay. (Laughter.) So that's all I got. I really hope they will seriously do something about it. There is no reason not to. I mean, not just here but in Toronto, big hard court tournaments, Washington. Everywhere, they have the rain at this time of the year. So, you know, you have to try to change something in order to benefit from it. I mean, it's definitely frustrating not just for players but for the tournament that they are losing people coming to the courts, you know, they have to refund the tickets. There's a lot of different angles that you have to, you know, try to cover after the rain.
Q. How do you feel about the way you played? Moving on from the buildup to it.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was good. Obviously playing just couple games last night and then starting today in a very humid conditions, started a little bit slow and we made couple of breaks in the first set. So it was really important for me to get the first set under my belt so I could get that mental advantage. I think I have done well in important moments I served well. You know, I felt better and better as the match was going on. It was obviously a bit different, because Armstrong is a different court from Ashe. It was my first match there. But, you know, it's great that I haven't spent that much time on the court. I played well, and I'm looking forward to the quarterfinals.
Q. Roddick or Del Potro next round.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, both of them are quality players. Roddick is in a very specific situation here. I mean, it's his last event of his career. He gets a lot of support, you know, which was expected from the crowd. He's the home favorite. Everybody wants to see him going far in the tournament. I mean, he's been playing really well, I have to say. He's always a tough opponent because he has a big serve. If it works well for him, he can beat anybody on a given day. On the other hand, Del Potro is a quality player, you know, somebody that when he's physically fit he can challenge anybody on any surface. You know, it's quarterfinals. There is no really clear favorite anymore. I have to try to play my best.
Q. All the top guys seem to be sailing through at the moment here. Do you feel like the drama is about to start in this tournament in the quarterfinal stage?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, that's something to expect. I mean, as I said, as the tournament goes on the opponents are getting more difficult, and, you know, you have to perform your best. You have to be on top of your game in order to win those matches. You're playing against the top 5, top 10 players now. It's the final stages of a Grand Slam. Everybody has motivation in order to perform their best.
Q. Are you watching your rivals playing on TV?.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. Yeah, I do. I like it. I mean, tennis is my life, so I love watching also tennis. Not myself, though. I don't like watching my matches. Any other is good. Also analyzing the upcoming opponent.
Q. You're scheduled for the night match tomorrow night. Obviously if Andy gets through, how much will you enjoy that atmosphere almost playing the villain?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, as I said, he's the crowd favorite here. In the last tournament everybody wants to give him that confidence boost and extra support to make some upsets, you know. If he gets through, you know, it's gonna be an interesting, definitely interesting match, night session, and we all know how special the night sessions here in New York are.
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