19 April: Novak Djokovic

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Friday, 19 April 2019
Novak Djokovic
Press Conference
D. MEDVEDEV/N. Djokovic

6-3, 4-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked back on track after the second set. What happened in the third? Was it a focus issue or something else?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I was up all three service games that I lost in the third set. I had game point and, yeah, just some loose points on dropshots and double faults and can quickly turn around on clay.

I obviously still am lacking that, you know, I think determination to go for the shots maybe in some points. Just too many unforced errors. Too many unforced errors. He was very patient. He played well tactically.

But, yeah, I mean, I found my game end of the second set. I played fine. And then started off — the first couple games were pretty good in the third, but then, yeah, just quite a loose set. And it happens.

Q. How tough is it to play against Daniil? He looks very tough to play against.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he’s got a very solid backhand. He doesn’t make many mistakes from the backhand. He hits it very low with depth.

You know, a windy day like today, you know, conditions are changing every single game. It’s kind of tough, you know, to find the rhythm, and he doesn’t give you much rhythm. He’s got a big serve. His forehand can be effective, but also, he can make mistakes from that corner, so the backhand is obviously the more solid one. But he improved his movement a lot since last year. He definitely deserves to be where he is.

Q. We see Pepe Imaz in your box. Are you still working with him, or is it back on with you? Or you always work with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I always have him as a friend, yes.

Q. Is there any worries from your side regarding level of your game? Do you feel like it’s going to come back slowly because you need to peak at the French?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, for sure. I mean, French Open is the ultimate goal on clay, and I hope I can — I mean, for sure, it’s expected in a way for me to peak right at that tournament, because that’s what I’m aiming for.

This is only the first tournament on clay, and it’s a long season. Let’s see how it goes.

Q. How do you explain? You were so strong in Melbourne. Are even you yourself surprised by the fact in tennis things can change very quickly?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it can. Look, maybe I’m lacking the consistency with the top results in the last couple of years in the best tournaments, but Grand Slams I have been playing my best, and that’s what I intend to do.

Q. Do you think there is any reason why so many top players like you, Dominic, Sascha struggle here in Monte-Carlo?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, look, it’s the first tournament of the season on clay, and a lot of maybe lower-ranked guys, they play maybe one tournament before. That can be one of the reasons.

The other is, you know, you’re part of the same sport with everybody else, and of course it happens that you have a bad day. I cannot speak on behalf of Sascha or Dominic about conditions here. I mean, obviously for every player is different. But conditions are quite slow here.

But the balls are different this year. They bounce very high. So we had three different, four different days, four different conditions, really. You know, very slow, low bounce, heavy conditions. Then you had a lot of wind. Then all of a sudden, very hot. That does affect the game a lot. It’s definitely a big challenge to kind of adjust to that.

Our partners