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September 30, 2014

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/G. Garcia‑Lopez
6‑2, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You never lost to Garcia‑Lopez in your career.  How did that change your mindset going into the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I had a tough match against him in Monte‑Carlo this year in quarterfinals.  Played three sets.  Very cold and slow conditions.  Something that is similar to today's match.
Obviously it's different surface.  Hard court is more suitable to my style of the game, where he is a clay court specialist.
I did not underestimate my opponent definitely from the start.  I wanted to step into the court and dictate the play, dictate the rallies.  I think I've done well.
There was a bit of a sluggish start from both him and me.  We lost a lot of service games.  Took a lot of time to get into the rhythm, used to the conditions.
Generally it's fine.  I cannot complain about the performance.

Q.  You've always played incredibly well through Asia and through the end of the season.  How do you stay motivated during this part of the season?  A lot of other players seem to struggle, it's the end, no slam waiting at the very end.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, first of all, I love competing.  I love being on the court, being part of the great tournament like here in Beijing.  Chinese people make me feel welcome, make me feel like at home.  This is definitely encouraging for me and for my motivation.
Of course, at this stage of the season, Grand Slams are over.  You're right, most of the players do feel a little bit exhausted.  The intensity appears to be going down.
But I'm fighting for No.1 of the world.  Of course, every tournament is important.  This is already a huge motivation.

Q.  Just to catch up since the US Open, what have you been up to?  How much time did you get to rest?  When did you get back on the courts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I spent some time obviously with my wife, helped her, supported her through the pregnancy.  Spent some time also with my family.  Went back home for a few days in Serbia.
Spent mostly time in Monaco where we live.  Started practicing eventually, got myself in shape to come here.

Q.  I think this is the first tournament you've seen Viktor back on tour.  Your thoughts on how well he's been doing since he came back?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Very proud of his performances so far.  He started from scratch, zero points.  He had to play I think couple times qualifications of challengers.
Quality is there.  I mean, he always possessed quality.  He was No.11 or 12 of the world, highest ranking.  Established top‑30 player.  Somebody that has played for many years on the highest level.
To go down and play, you know, qualifications of a challenger, it's definitely different.  He handled it very well.  I have to say we all expected him to do well.  But this fast to get to 150 of the world, already play here second round and win against players like Ferrer last week and this week Youzhny, it's pretty impressive.
I'm very, very happy for him.

Q.  Last week Viktor played in Shenzhen.  He talked in the tough times it shows who are the real friends, that you supported him publicly, and others did not.  Can you talk a bit more about your friendship.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You cannot blame the other players.  Maybe they didn't have the close relationship with Viktor as I had.  I know him since we were eight and nine years old.  That's the first time we played against each other actually in a tournament in Belgrade.  Ever since then we are very good friends.
He's definitely one of the closest friends I got on the tennis.  He's my best friend next to Janko and Zimonjic.  We won Davis Cup together.  We won many important competitions in juniors, circuit team competitions.  But most of all we have this personal relationship.
I know how much he suffered because of what happened with doping case.  I know that there was a lot of controversy there, there was a lot of things that were not right for him.
But, you know, I don't want to open that case again and talk about it.  I talked about it enough.  I tried to give my support to him in every possible way.
I know that not many players did it, but I cannot blame them as well because obviously they didn't want to get caught up in something that is not their business.
I felt responsible in a way.  It was natural for me to help my close friend in this particular moment because I know what was the truth.  He didn't deserve to be out for so long.
But, again, he's back and he's playing great.  Hopefully he can get to the top 100 before the end of the year.

Q.  You just said you're fighting for the world No.1, which is a big motivation right now.  Another thing you're expecting right now is the birth of your first child.  The question is, when will be the predicted date of birth of the child, and will that affect your plans for your next few tournaments:  Shanghai, Paris and London?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  We are expecting it to happen in about a month.  So for now I'm playing here.  I'm playing Shanghai.  I'm supposed to play Paris and London.  Nothing particularly changes in terms of tennis schedule.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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