After beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (2) Sunday night to win the Australian Open for his first Grand Slam title, Djokovic knew a little public relations was in order.
True, he had kept the Rod Laver Arena crowd in stitches last week with his Maria Sharapova impersonation. But Djokovic also had upset Roger Federer in the semifinals and now had eliminated Tsonga, who was riding a great wave into the title match.
"I know the crowd wanted him to win more," Djokovic said. "That's OK. It's all right. I still love you guys - don't worry. I'm very, very happy that I won my first Grand Slam here, so hopefully we'll see you here on this stage a lot more often."
Djokovic felt as if he had to fight two rivals - the fans and his opponent - in beating Federer and Tsonga. He frequently yelled when things went wrong.
"Sometimes, you just can't control your emotions on the court," he said. "I'm still learning. I'm still young."
The 20-year-old Serb is the first man other than No. 2 Rafael Nadal to win a Grand Slam title from Federer since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open.
Djokovic said he was under extreme pressure to defeat Tsonga, an unseeded Frenchman who had beaten four players in the top 14, including Nadal in straight sets in the semifinals.