Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 24, 2016

Novak Djokovic – Press Conference

2016 Men's Singles Second Round: N. DJOKOVIC/M. Jaziri 6-1, 6-2
stadium from stands

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations on your milestone.



Q. Did you enjoy that win tonight?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I did. First set and a half I did, and then I started missing a lot of forehands, easy forehands from midcourt. It frustrated me, honestly, a little bit.

But, you know, I managed to win the match. Same scoreline like yesterday. I will take the positives out of tonight’s match and hopefully I will be able to raise my game even more.


Q. You’re playing Lopez next, and last year at the US Open you had a quarterfinal against him. What are your thoughts on that match? Do you think the conditions will be difficult playing against him here?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We have had many quarterfinals playing each other, quite a few quarterfinals. The only time I played him in this tournament was actually a quarterfinal three, four years ago.

I know he likes playing here and likes the conditions. He slices, and the ball travels through the air quickly and you’ve got to be very reactive, very quick with the baseline shots, especially when you play somebody like Feliciano who comes in very often.

I’m sure he’s going to try to use every opportunity given to chip and charge, come to the net, serve and volley, going to try to not let me give the same look on the ball. I know that. I know what to expect.

I’m going to try to prepare for this match well, and, as I said, you know, raise the game a little bit more than tonight.


Q. Against Malek, how difficult is it to maintain your focus and concentration when you’re winning game after game after game?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s obviously easier to maintain the concentration in that way than when you are down in the match. But look, as I said, I think I have played well first set and a half. Everything looked all right. And I think in every single game of the match I have had a game point or some break point.

I think that was pretty poor conversion of the break points, 4 out of 16 or something like that, and many of them, you know, I have had an open look from midcourt, and as I said, missed a lot of forehands.

But again, it’s what happens. You know, I can’t be sitting here and talking about frustrations or so forth. I have won 1 and 2. Solid match and performance. I will take the positives for tomorrow.


Q. You just said 4 out of 16 on break points. Do you check right away the stats?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I have seen it on the big screen. (Smiling.)

I don’t check the stats right away, but, you know, they are kind enough to show it on the screen. While waiting for interview I have a look at it.


Q. I think you told Serbian media you’re going to Madrid. Is that true?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, look, last year was planned, as it was the year before. Same thing. This year is also planned. But it’s not for sure. So let’s see how it goes.


Q. Can you talk about the atmosphere? Because we don’t get many Arabs playing here.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s great to see Tunisian flags and people obviously can relate to Malek. He comes from Tunisia, and, you know, he’s not from Emirates but they consider him like theirs.

It was really nice to see him getting that support because he deserves it. He’s a very nice guy, and I know him for several years, practiced with him a lot.

He’s very talented, very talented guy. Hopefully he enjoyed his experience playing tonight, and I did certainly.


Q. There has been some shouts in Serbian in the stands. Do you mind when people say something? Do you hear it at all or just ignore it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have heard many things throughout my career, mostly in Serbian, mostly people who would not understand, but you do understand.

But again, you can’t control what goes around. So sometimes they make me laugh. But most of the times I just try to not get distracted and not, you know, pay too much attention of what’s going on around the court.

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