Novak Djokovic Madrid Mutua Open press conference

Novak Djokovic attended to his first press conference today. Yesterday he canceled the press conference after citing that he was not feeling very well. “Good. Apologies for missing the press conference yesterday”, he said.

“I’ve had time since my last tournament in Monte Carlo to regroup and to prepare for what is coming up. I had to withdraw from my hometown tournament because of the circumstances I was in. I didn’t find that it was the right time for me to perform in another tournament and I wasn’t emotionally ready, so I got that extra week to rest, prepare and practice.”

“I try to take one tournament at a time. I had a very good 2011 and especially winning here and in Rome back to back, so there are certain expectations, but I have learnt how to deal with it. I just want to take play very slow, step by step and see how I go here.”

“This tournament has done a great job in the last couple of years as they have invested a lot in this complex as it was an indoor event and 2009 I think was the first year we had the clay court event in Madrid. It’s definitely interesting for everybody to see what is going to happen this week.”

Novak about the blue clay:
“The blue clay surface makes this year different. It is the first time in history. It will be interesting for everyone to see what happens.”
“There is a certain difference compared to red clay, but we have it (blue) in front of us. I tried to prepare for it as well as I could. But it’s the same for everyone.”
“My opinion is that it’s different; there are certain differences in comparing the blue clay to the red clay. The only thing that is a little disappointing from the players stand point is that this was decided without players agreement. I hadn’t tested the court and from what I know most of the top players have not tried blue clay and if you don’t have especially the top players testing the court and at least agreeing the change that should mean something. They should have a value in what they say, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I’m not blaming the tournament because they are fighting for their own interest, I’m sure that the ATP should have done a better job in representing the players rights and protecting what they want and what they say. I just hope for the sake of all the players that we will not have injuries and that we can have a decent week of tennis.”

About his charity match with Nadal at the San Bernabeu in Madrid:
“No, look I don’t look at him in that way [as a rival], I never did. Yes we are rivals [on the court], but we respect each other and are good friends. I think this event is a good opportunity for the people to understand that tennis represents a sport of fair play, a giving attitude and obviously I’m very privileged to be part of this exhibition. I cannot imagine what it is going to look like if the stadium is full for our event! I’m always trying and always happy to help a good cause and the Real Madrid foundation and Rafa’s foundation are doing a good job in helping people in need.”

Pic by Mutua Madrid Open

source: Tennis Grand Stand
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