Quotes from Novak Djokovic’s pre-draw Davis Cup press conference at Aleksandar Nikolic arena in Belgrade.
(On why he decided to play Davis Cup quarterfinals)
Novak Djokovic: Several factors contributed. I skipped Miami and I haven’t done much in Indian Wells, so the start of the season wasn’t ideal. A hard court tie is not an ideal preparation for the clay court season but given that I was away for a few weeks after a patchy start to the season, I need as many matches as possible to get back into my stride irrespective of the surface.
Davis Cup is the only official team competition, and this is the only chance to represent our country, in addition to the Olympic games. It is a very special event as it generates the kind of home crowd atmosphere you don’t see on the ATP Tour, so I am really looking forward to performing in front of our fans. I always draw very positive energy from the Davis Cup as it invariably brings out the best in me.
(On his elbow injury)
Novak Djokovic: I skipped Miami due to elbow injury. I practiced here three times in last two days and I had no pain, which is a good sign because I have devoted a lot of time to recovery. I am confident that I will be ready for the duel.
(On playing Spain in Davis Cup quarterfinals)
Novak Djokovic: Spain is one of the most successful nations in the Davis Cup. Their best players are not here, but we should not underestimate them. They are very strong, even if they are without their best players. When we are together and we play at home, we can take on any team on any surface. We believe in ourselves, our abilities and look forward to the upcoming weekend. This is for us a unique opportunity and we are proud and privileged that we are in the team. We hope that we will achieve good result.
(On missing Miami due to elbow injury)
Novak Djokovic: I had luck and pleasure to play at an exceptionally high level for six years and had fantastic results. Things are a bit different now. Of course I wanted to be on the court and defend my title in Miami but it just didn’t happen this time. At the same time, it was also rather refreshing to get some rest and sit out at home with my wife and son. It was quality family time which I don’t get enough of and it made me very happy.
(On Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal)
Novak Djokovic: Federer – Nadal is probably the biggest rivalry ever in our sport. What Federer has accomplished this year is admirable and it shows that one can play at the top level even at his age. He had his ups and downs in the last three or four years but came back swinging and revitalized after a six-month layoff last year. Nadal had an incredible start to the season as well. It’s great to see them playing at such a high level, because they are very important for our sport.