By Juan Carlos Cordero, UNO International News Service, August 8, 2012.- Toronto.- Serbian player and ATP World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated easily to Bernard Tomic in Toronto 6-2, 6-3, while Czech and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won Kensia Pervak 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 in Montreal.
British Andy Murray also won without problems to the Italian Flavio Cipolla. For Thursday, the order of play promised great games, especially the one having London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal winner Andy Murray and local favorite Milos Raonic. Djokovic will play against Sam Querrey, who won 6-2, 6-3 to Japanese . Tommy Haas also got his pass to next round with a victory over Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3. Jankso Tpisarevic got a 7-6, 6-4 over Mihkail Youzhny. Other winners, R. Gasquet, T. Berdych, M. Granollers, R. Stepanek, P. Kohlschreiber.
"Tomic is a good player and we have a decent game, different from the Olympics. You have to adjust to different conditions, time zone, jet leg and physical demand. You can see, Tsonga and Del Potro lost here today, Andy Murray was pretty tiured, but I am feeling physically well. You see, I played the shorter matches, less games, at the Olympics."
Q. Can you tell us how you're feeling physically and mentally after arriving from London? How difficult do you anticipate the transition from an emotional event like the Olympics back to regular ATP play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First of all, it's great to be back in Canada for Rogers Cup. I had lots of success in Canada in previous years, and I love coming back here and playing here. Lots of support, lots of people from ex‑Yugoslavian region that live here and come and support. People in Canada love tennis and appreciate the tennis players. For us it's great to be a part of such a great event.
You know, obviously at the start of the season we knew that the transition from grass court to hard court is going to be very difficult because we have very little time, only few days. But we were aware of that fact, as I said.
Now we will try to do it in the most efficient, best possible way. How it's going to go, I'm not sure. I cannot predict anything else in my opening match. But it will obviously take a little bit of time to do that.
You know, we played Olympic Games in last two weeks, and it was a great honor and privilege to be representing my country in the most recognized and the biggest sport event ever in the history.
So I had an unforgettable experience in the opening ceremony being selected as flag bearer for my country. So a lot of things that really make the professional athlete very proud happened in the Olympic Games.
Even though I missed the chance to win a medal, I still enjoyed the whole experience.
Q. Was there kind of any thought of taking the week off after the Olympics?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was planning to play Rogers Cup from the start, so I didn't give any thought of actually skipping this week even though I've played a lot of matches in London.
I've talked with my team, and we all agreed that it is possible for me and it is good for me to play this week.
Q. Can you talk a bit about the Olympic experience? Obviously as flag bearer you were very involved with your country. Obviously didn't exactly end on a great note for you, but can you talk about just what you did off the court in London?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I had an opportunity to visit Olympic Village couple times before the tournament started for the opening ceremony, flag ceremony. It was a fantastic feeling to be alongside best athletes in the world and just to be dining with them, exchanging words and experiences, making pictures.
It's something that you really don't feel too often as tennis player. Most of the tournaments you play, you play for yourself. You travel around the world and play individual events.
But Olympic Games are one of those very rare sport events where you get to represent your country in the first place. We, all men's tennis players, we all stayed at the same house, so we supported each other, we motivated each other, and it was in a way a Davis Cup experience as well.
But the fact that we played at Wimbledon courts was not that convenient for us in a way, because we wanted to see other sports but we didn't have this opportunity because it was one hour and a half by car away and we could not afford to go and spend a whole day watching other sports because we wanted to have the best possible performance on the tennis courts.
Q. When you were serving, just watching on TV you could see your shirt go up and you had the kinesio tape on the lower back. Is that something serious or is that always there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I didn't have it there. I just had it now during the Olympics because I had a slight problem with the back. Nothing major.
Q. Given your standards, I assume you're not very satisfied with the last couple of tournaments and your form. What are you looking to improve now as you get hard courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I had great matches in Wimbledon and Olympic Games as well. Maybe I would wish to go at least step further on those events, but you can't always have it all, you know. There is so many great tennis players around, and I had opponents that played better than me, especially in the Olympic Games. Andy Murray deserved to win the gold.
It's not the first time or the last time you lose. You have to try to be stronger and learn from those experiences. So hard court being probably my most successful and preferred surface gives me confidence that I can start off well here. Obviously that's something that I'm looking for.
Hopefully I can carry it on for next events, and most important one in US Open.
Q. I think you're almost the same age as Andy and he's a good friend of yours. How good did you feel for him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I felt glad, obviously. For me it was disappointing to lose in semifinals and obviously for bronze medal match, but I was glad to see him winning it because he really deserves it after all he has been through.
You know, he's a great quality player, and he's proven that over the years. He wasn't managing to make the final step on Grand Slams, and now it all perfectly fitted for him being a home favorite. It was really nice to see that.
Q. We know that on Wimbledon you have your poodle; did you take also for Olympic Games with you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't understand the question.
Q. Your dog.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It comes in a package with my girlfriend, so I can't really take it. Whenever she goes, he goes. They cannot separate.
Q. What do you know about Tomic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I've practiced with him many, many times, and we played twice. I think one time on grass courts in Wimbledon last year and one time this year in Rome on clay.
So I think it's going to be our first encounter on hard court. Obviously with his style of the game he prefers a bit faster surfaces and plays a lot of flat shots. He has a lot of variety, a lot of talent in his game. He comes up with some shots that are really unexpected, so he can be very dangerous.
Q. For your particular game, what's the hardest part of transitioning from grass to hard court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think it's the same as for everybody else. Just that movement and the timing of the ball, because it bounces much higher than on the grass. So really trying to work on that.
I practiced twice today and I'm going to have a night match tomorrow, so I'm going to try to practice again before that.
You know, I'm not expecting myself to be already 100% on the first match, but I will try my best.
Q. You had such a great year last year. Obviously pressure to repeat that had to be on top of you. Do you think there was a lack of urgency somewhat this year and that's maybe why you haven't repeated what you did last year? What can you pinpoint as to maybe why you've had a little drop off?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, it's hard to expect that you can always win every single match that you play in six months. You know, that's really hard to repeat that. (Smiling.)
But just knowing that I can play that well and win that many tournaments on different surfaces gives me a lot of confidence. I got into this season really successful winning Australian Open and Miami, and played three, four finals on clay courts as well and played finals in French Open. I played great match against Rafa.
So, you know, for me I had a great season even this year. It's been only what, six, seven months? So there is many more tournaments to come and it's played on my favorite surface, so I will try to use that in my favor and perform my best.
Q. There is a video going around online of Maria Sharapova catching you with a serve in a sensitive area. What was the story there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You will see in the new Head commercial. That's all I can say.
M. RAONIC/V. Troicki
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. With all the success you've had the last couple years, is it hard to believe for you that tonight was your first singles win here at the Rogers Cup?
MILOS RAONIC: It's a little bit weird, but knowing what I went through last year, not really. It just makes sense. It's not far‑fetched.
Q. How does it feel now that you've got it in front of your home crowd?
MILOS RAONIC: It feels good. I'm proud with the way I competed, with the way I played. I did a lot of important things well, and I have some space for improvement for my next match.
Q. It looked like you had some fun out there. Can you talk about just getting past maybe the first little bit of nerves early on and just being able to settle in and take some of the pressure off?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think there was really too much nerves. Maybe one ball I maybe overran a little bit and rushed through the point.
But other than that, sort of came out and was pretty fluid and relaxed throughout the match from the beginning to the end. I got a little bit sloppy and a little bit maybe trying to force a little bit too much in the last few return games on his serve. I was making some sloppy errors and giving away too many points at that point.
Q. You did say it was important to you to treat this like any other match and just go in with the same preparation. How much of a challenge was it to do that?
MILOS RAONIC: Not too much. Obviously it's a little bit different when you got on the court, but before the match I really didn't change anything the way I would normally.
Q. You mentioned you did important things well. Serving is quite obvious. What did you do beyond that that you thought was important that you did well?
MILOS RAONIC: I converted the opportunities I created on his serve. I was effective there. Then obviously taking care of my serve.
I felt like considering the whole situation maybe being a little bit tight and everything, I felt like I was moving my legs well. So that helps it all get out, and that is why I felt that I wasn't playing tight throughout the match. I got my legs going underneath me and felt like I was moving well.
Q. Are you trying to get to the point where your serve isn't the first point of every conversations everyone has about your game?
MILOS RAONIC: I think that is already:
Q. I mean, your serve is. Are you looking to maybe evolve to the point it's not the only thing people are maybe referring to about your game?
MILOS RAONIC: I hope so. That's definitely the plan. That's what I am going to need to do if I am going to achieve the things I want to achieve.
But no matter what, my serve is going to my best part, and probably be the first thing that comes out of people's minds and out of their mouths when they sort of come to describe me.
Maybe at one point people will get sick of talking about it and I'll be doing something else well.
Q. Talk about your Olympic experience, what it was like to stay in the Village and what you did while you were there when you weren't on court.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, as far as Olympics goes, it was a really good experience. The best part was being around other athletes. Didn't get to stay that many days during the competition. I stayed a few days before and the morning after the ceremony, and I left and was staying close to Wimbledon and came back for two more.
I think it was a pretty amazing feeling. Wasn't too much really to do. There was a game room, a game center. You go there, you meet other athletes, and you play. I was spending a lot of time with other Canadian athletes.
I went and I actually even met the Montenegrin athletes, Serbian athletes, everybody sort of. I think this was I think the most, let's say enticing and most exciting part about the whole experience is the feeling of being surrounded by so much greatness.
Q. After the match with Tsonga, you said that you learned a lot about yourself and you did a lot of things well. Was there anything from that match that you think you improved on tonight?
MILOS RAONIC: I think I was more effective on the return of serve, the break points that I created. Other than that, tonight I did a lot of things well and I wasn't in too really many pressure moments. I felt like I wasn't making too many sloppy mistakes and I was able to justreally ‑‑ so I didn't get to really, let's say, exercise any of the new things that I learned from that match.
Q. I know it's early, but the possibility of facing Andy Murray next, has that kind of went through your mind at all?
MILOS RAONIC: Not really too much yet. I played him earlier this year. I know if I play well I'll have my opportunities.
Q. Was there any sense of relief just to get this one over with and out of the way and move on to the next round?
MILOS RAONIC: I don't think it's‑‑ there was one point of relief at the end of the second set just because I was getting a little sloppy with my return game and just really to be able to hold it and not have to come back and sort of regroup on that part. So I think that was a bit of a relief.
But I don't think the whole ‑‑ just getting this match out of the way, I don't think of it that way, as a relief.
Q. And now you have to play doubles tomorrow with Viktor.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, it's a good friend, he's a really nice guy, and I enjoy playing with him. I look forward to it.
Q. You mentioned some of the athletes that you talked to in the Olympics. Have you had a chance to talk to Rosie MacLennan? Just wanted to get your thoughts on her gold medal.
MILOS RAONIC: I haven't had a chance really to talk to her. I've seen what's been said on TV and so forth, so I know what you guys really put out there in front of me.
I think it's pretty amazing. I think there is a lot of events. I think there are a few maybe that Olympics is not one of the big, glamourous events for us throughout the year or throughout the four years, but for those people it is and those events it is.
I think it's pretty special to really be able to come out that one peak moment and that one biggest moment that you look forward to for four years, which is a long time in anybody's lives. It can be a big chunk out of somebody's career depending on which sport they're in.
To be able to perform your best and achieve what you've been waiting for four years or how many ever it may be is pretty special. I don't think ‑‑ it's a big weight off your shoulders, it's a relief, and I can't describe it. She can for sure better than I can.
But I think she's over the moon with those feelings.
Q. You've got the doubles with Victor tomorrow. How easy is it going to be to smooth things over before that match?
MILOS RAONIC: We're friends. Doesn't matter who it is. If we don't play tomorrow, if we do play tomorrow, if we play in ten weeks, ten minutes. If we had to play right now, it would be fine to play right now.
Q. When you travel to different countries and are not playing, do you have a particular focus or interest that you participate in in the different cities you might travel to?
MILOS RAONIC: I try to experience something new. Depends what interests me specifically. I like to see things, but I'm not going to go and stare at the Eiffel Tower endlessly for hours. I'll see it, I'll walk in front of it, I'll take a few pictures, climb up it, climb down. That's good enough for me.
There are other things. For example, I think the one most amazing one was in Johannesburg getting to go to the safari and getting to hold the baby tigers and this kind of stuff. Something unique like this is pretty amazing, and I try to do those when I can.
Q. Is there a result this week that you could leave with satisfied, other than winning?
MILOS RAONIC: No. (Smiling.) I don't get satisfied until I'm achieving a lot. I expect a lot from myself, and I'm going to push myself to achieve that. When I get satisfied, I think my career is going to be in trouble.
Q. Is that especially the case this week given the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: Any tournament. Any tournament I'm going to push myself. I'm going to give it everything I have. Doesn't matter how much pain or anything I may ever be in, if it's the smart choice, I'm going to try to win and push myself as far as I can.
Q. We've had a couple guys talk about the challenge of transitioning from grass to hard court in such a short time frame. Was there any of that tonight?
MILOS RAONIC: No. I grew up on hard court, so coming back here, coming back on hard courts, is a relief. It's sort of happiness for me. It's easy for me to play on.
Q. Which part of your game you believe still needs maybe some improvement?
MILOS RAONIC: Every part, from the serve to obviously returning. Not just specifically the returns, but more so how I construct the points after the returns. Being able to get out of the defensive on the return games into an aggressive position a bit quicker. That's the thing that would probably make the biggest difference in my results.
Q. You were talking about technique. What about strategy?
MILOS RAONIC: It's pretty much a strategy. It's being able to convert from being in a defensive position to getting ahead in the point so I can dictate and control the pace of the point, making that transition a bit more effective.
In the serve game I normally get ahead with my serve and I stay ahead throughout the point; whereas in the return game, pretty much everybody starts in defensive or neutral. Just being able to transition that into an aggressive state is the goal.
Q. So how far you think you can go?
MILOS RAONIC: With what?
Q. With the results of your game.
MILOS RAONIC: I hope I can be the best in the world.