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October 3, 2014

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/G. Dimitrov
6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  In the first set, how big was it for you to not give up the break in your second service game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That was pretty big.  I mean, we both started a bit rusty on the court, lot of unforced errors.  So it took a little bit of time to get into the groove, to get into the rhythm.
Pretty slow conditions because of the weather.  It's a bit cold today, which I think suited more to my style of the game.  And I was trying to mix up the pace, give him high balls to the backhand, serve efficiently.
Everything worked well.  The second set was up and down.  But generally was a good performance.

Q.  I noticed you threw your racquet on the second set.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You noticed, really (smiling)?  Thank you.  I was very discreet with throwing racquet.  Strange that you noticed that (smiling).
So what was the question?

Q.  What was your feeling at that moment?  Does it help you a little bit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the feeling at that moment was not so great.  Probably that's why I reacted that way.
You know, this is all part of the sport.  You go through different kind of emotions when you're playing a top‑10 player at this level.  Sometimes these things happen.
But it's important that after this happens that you don't waste your energy anymore, that you kind of regroup and get into focus.

Q.  There's been a lot of talk this year about the young players coming through.  Dimitrov is obviously a part of that group.  What is your feeling?  Is there still a gap between the younger players and the big four?  Second set he had some chances, breaking you twice, but didn't capitalize.  Is there still a psychological gap that players like him need to learn?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it is a process of learning, definitely, for him or any other younger player who is talented and has a potential to be a top five of the world and compete for Grand Slams.
Obviously you already have these three, four players that are showing the great talent, great skills, ability to play with the best and win against the best on the big courts, like Raonic, Nishikori, Dimitrov, and Cilic just recently won the US Open.  There are new players coming up.
I think it's logical to expect that in the sport over time after so many years of dominance of three, four players, there are some others who are coming up and challenging.
But on the other hand it's still not happening that they are the ones who are winning Grand Slams and being top three, four in the world.
It takes time.  How long?  I don't know.  I'll make sure that they don't come any time soon.

Q.  Your book is just published in Chinese.  Chinese people who like spicy and oily food, do you think they can accept your diet?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's a good question.  I don't know.  I think that's what we're going to see (smiling).  I'm interested to see how the book is going to go here in this market, which is a very big market.
Obviously the culture is different.  The way of perceiving things in life is different.  Of course, eating habits are different than Europeans or the West.
Let's say every nation, every culture has something different to offer.  So I'm happy that this book is now available in China.  Hopefully the people here can find something interesting in the book because the content of the book is mostly based on my own experience and how it affected my tennis and just my life in general, you know, changing few things in my diet, also in my approach to life.
Hopefully they will like it.  The culture of eating will not change, that's for sure, after my book, but maybe it will help to some people.

Q.  Stan said over the summer that after winning the Australian Open he felt like he had put the puzzle back together, figure out what's going on in his head.  Cilic is a first‑time winner as well.  When you won the Australian Open back in 2008, can you relate to what Stan is saying in terms of the puzzle, or was your perspective after that win actually different?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I might have used some other expressions at that time.  But the situation and emotions that they're going through, things that they have to face, are pretty much the same.  I can relate to what they're going through.
I remember back in 2008 winning my first Grand Slam in Australia, I had a great six, seven months after that.  Then winning Shanghai, the Masters Cup at the end of the year.  After that it took me a good year and a half, two years to really be consistent with results and start winning Grand Slams again.
So it's not an easy process, definitely.  But in some way it's different because at that time I was 21, 22 years old.  Cilic and Wawrinka are much older now, so they have more experience.  They know how to handle stress on the court.
I spoke to actually Marin the other day.  I think the biggest part of his let's say change now in his life and commitments will be the off‑court commitments, the media.  That's something he has to be very careful about.  He has to protect himself.  He has to be able to know, and people around him, to kind of preserve that winning mentality that he has, not allow any distractions on his way.

Q.  You could face Andy Murray in the next round.  You haven't met him since that epic quarterfinal match you played against him in New York.  Explain how your strategy might be going into this game.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, Andy just won last week the tournament, six or seven winning match streak.  I've seen a little bit of his matches this week.  He's hitting the ball very well.
Every time I play him, if I get to play him, it's a huge challenge.  It's a very physical match.  A lot of long rallies, exchanges.  I do not expect anything less than that if we get to play each other tomorrow.

Q.  You'll be playing again in Asia at the end of the year.  Will you be traveling to India?  If so, can you talk about playing in India.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Unfortunately I wasn't able to play Davis Cup against India recently, but I was looking forward to come, and I will come to India in December for the first time.  Never been to this country.  So I'm looking forward to that.
Well, this IPTL league is a new concept, a new project that hopefully is going to have a lot of success.  Every time you come up with something new, obviously there is a certain risk if it's going to succeed or fail.  Hopefully the reactions will be positive.  That's why I'm there, because I believe that this concept and this idea can revolutionize tennis in a way, and also it can promote the tennis, explore tennis in this part of the world, which is still I think undiscovered for the tennis world.

Q.  After the match you wrote a Chinese character.  When did you know how to write this Chinese character?  As for future matches, will you write some other Chinese characters?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I might write some other Chinese characters.  I try always, as I was saying before, to come up with something new.  I have a great fan club, a lot of young people who come and support me.  They teach me what to write.
This character was 'fun', right?  I don't know what is for the next match.  If I get to write the character in the next match, that means that I won, so hopefully I'll get to that stage.

Q.  In China, you have a lot of fans here.  Actually, in China you got the unbelievable victories in Beijing and Shanghai.  How do you get those victories in China and what do you want to say to the Chinese fans?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Big thanks and my appreciation for all these hours that they spend at the hotel waiting for me to arrive from the courts.  I keep on saying that because it's pretty incredible.  Their passion towards tennis and towards what I do is really mind‑blowing.  I'm very thankful, very grateful for that.
I feel their support.  That's one of the reasons I think I'm playing well in Beijing and Shanghai.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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