home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 28, 2014

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You've done historically well at this tournament, never actually losing a match on the way to four titles.  What is it about Beijing that lends to your success here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  First of all, I enjoy my time in China.  I think over the years the tournament has been growing in every sense.  You can see that more fans are coming to support their tennis players.  I have a big fan club here, teenagers especially, who come and support me, give me presents every day.  That's something that makes me feel very special and encourages me to play my best tennis here.
As soon as I arrive, I feel this generosity from the people and I feel their hospitality.  That's the first kind of positive feeling that I get as soon as I'm on Chinese soil.
Then the court itself and the balls and the conditions are pretty suitable to my style of the game.  So for the last four, five years I've been playing some of my best tennis on the center court.

Q.  You were recently voted as the best athlete in the world by Serbian citizens.  What is that like to have that type of support?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's a huge responsibility, but it's also a privilege to be voted from my people as the best athlete.  I thank them for that.  I thank them for the trust that they have in me, for the confidence that they have in me and my game.
It's an honor representing the country wherever I go.  It's an individual sport, but next to my name there is always a Serbian flag.  And I'm proud to be playing for Serbia and representing it wherever I go.

Q.  About a month left in the Race to London.  How do you think that will affect the play of guys like Berdych, Dimitrov and Murray, who need points in order to get in?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's why Murray is playing the week before Beijing in Shenzhen.  That's why most of the players, the ones that are in contention to get to the final eight, are definitely trying to perform their best tennis at this time of the year.  It is the crown for the whole year's achievement, being part of the World Tour Finals in London.
That's why these tournaments in Beijing, Tokyo and Shanghai, of course, then the indoor season in Europe, will be very competitive, very strong, great quality matches.
There is not only three, four players, but I think even more than that who are still in contention of reaching the last tournament.

Q.  You talked about being a fan favorite, all the presents, even some paintings of you up there.  How does that help you on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it does help a lot.  Obviously having the support is very much necessary anywhere you go.  Of course, I'm far away from my own country.  To be able to experience the support of such proportions, and that it's growing each year, is amazing to see.
I'm very grateful for that.  I try to return the favor with my tennis and obviously with my kindness to these people who follow me.

Q.  Nishikori and Cilic broke onto the global scene at the US Open.  Do you think there will be a change at the top of men's tennis anytime soon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, people have been talking about it, which is normal, after many years of Nadal and Federer dominance.  Murray and myself, we joined that group, of winning Grand Slams, being top players.
Now you have new up‑and‑coming tennis stars like Nishikori, Dimitrov, Raonic.  But Cilic just won US Open, his first Grand Slam.  They are all definitely contenders for the top spot.  They will definitely get encouraged by the good results they had lately to fight for No.1 of the world in the years to come.
But, again, what I was saying before is that to be able to have a shot at No.1 of the world, you need to play consistently well on all surfaces throughout the whole year.  That's how competitive men's tennis is these days.  A few months of good results cannot help you that much in that mission.

Q.  Last year here in Beijing you played Li Na.  Now Li Na retired.  She will attend the ceremony on the 30th of this month.  Will you join that ceremony, and what would you say to Li Na on that day?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it really depends on the schedule.  I still don't know when I'm playing.  According to that I will see if I'm able to be present or not at the ceremony.
But I was, to be honest, sad to see that Li Na is not playing in this tournament, sad to see that she retired from tennis.  But she definitely had her own reasons.  Obviously the injuries were a huge obstacle for her.  I think that's why she stopped playing.
It's a pity she could not finish her career here in her own country.  But, again, I'm sure it will be an emotional moment for her.

Q.  In the past you've been here four times.  You won the title here in the China Open.  You love Chinese characters.  You know Chinese.  In the near future you may get the 10th China Open title.  By then you may learn more Chinese culture, poetry, songs.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know about poetry in Chinese, but I would definitely give my best effort to learn more.  I love languages.  Wherever I go I try to get some obviously basic phrases.  Every year I have fun with my fans.  I always try to ask them to teach me something new, some new characters, something I can write, something I can say.
I think it's nice also, not just for me, but also for the people who come to watch me play.  You know, they appreciate that.  For me it's pleasure to perform in front of the people who respect what I do.  With this I try to have fun a little bit, as well.

Q.  Yesterday Nadal at the press conference mentioned that you dominate the tennis arena in Beijing.  On the hard courts you have your advantages.  What is your evaluation of Nadal?  He is back to the courts.  At this time what is his performance in your prediction?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, because of the injury he wasn't able to play in US Open Series and US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year.  That was sad for tennis not to have a great champion like Nadal.
I do have the greatest respect for what he does, what he achieved all these years.  We have a great rivalry that goes on for many years.  If we get to play each other here, obviously it will be another big challenge for both of us.  Of course, I always look forward to these big matches.
It's still a long way.  It's his first tournament after Wimbledon.  I am sure he still also is not aware of how his game is going to be on the court.  That's something that we're all going to see.
I can't really predict what his result and performance will be in this tournament.  But he's definitely always one of the biggest favorites to win any tournament in the world because he's Nadal and he's a great champion.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297