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October 4, 2014

Novak Djokovic


6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  A lot of people were expecting you and Rafael Nadal to meet in the final, but he lost last night.  Do you have any comments on that?  Were you surprised by the result?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I haven't watched the match last night.  Klizan must have been playing some great tennis.  From what I heard, he was very aggressive and he was taking his chances and he deserved to win.
It happens in the sport.  Obviously the two seeds are the biggest favorites to meet in the finals, like it was the case last year.  But, again, you can't underestimate your opponent.
So for me it's just important to kind of focus on what I need to do in my own matches, get to the finals.  Now the most important match in this week is tomorrow night, which I hope I can win.

Q.  I think that's six wins out of seven against Andy.  Do you feel that you've got any sort of psychological edge over him at the moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, obviously if you win more than you lose in head‑to‑head matches, you get I would say more confidence, more maybe psychological advantage approaching every next match.
But, again, it can change, as it did in the previous years in our encounters.  We have a very similar game.  We grew up together.  We know each other very well.  We practiced a lot.
It was a two‑set victory today, but still it felt like I had to work hard to win the points.  There was a lot of rally exchanges.  He had a lot of chances to come back.  He was 4‑3 up.  Just in important moments I managed to play the best tennis.

Q.  Andy was saying that it's quite a unique atmosphere here, and the ball gets very, very heavy.  He thinks it might be something to do with the pollution.  Clearly it's not a problem for you.  Do you find it different to elsewhere?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I do find it different from, well, most of the hard court tournaments that we play on.  There's a lot of pollution obviously.  It does have an effect on the speed of the play.  I think it's slower conditions than most of the US Open Series hard court tournaments that we have different balls also.  It's just pretty slow.
If the balls are used, especially if the two players are kind of exchanging a lot of rallies and playing long, long points, as it happened midway through the second set where just the ball wasn't going anywhere, you have to kind of create, you have to penetrate through the ball each time.  It doesn't come to you.  It's a matter of adjustment of the balance and so forth.
But for some reason it has been working for me very well ever since I played the first time this tournament five, six years ago.  I enjoy these conditions.  They're good.  I have a lot of support here.  I feel comfortable.

Q.  I'd like to know what is the most exciting thing for you, to try to become No.1 to try to keep this ranking?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Between the two?  Well, I think both ways you want to be No.1 of the world.  But probably from my experience there is a little bit more just joy and happiness when you actually get the spot, when you become No.1 of the world, especially where you win some big tournament and you make it like it happened this year in Wimbledon for me and also in 2011 when I became No.1 of the world for the first time in my career and won the biggest tournament in the world.  That was pretty special.

Q.  As you said, Andy went ahead 4‑3 in the second set, seemed to be gaining momentum.  You snuffed out that resistance and closed it out.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I felt like when we changed the ball, which was exactly that point, 4‑3 second set for him, I felt like I just got the better striking zone in all my shots.  I think I lost one point in the last three games.  I felt like I could swing through the ball.  I could dictate the play from the baseline better than I did in the previous games in the second set.
Yeah, he played well.  A couple games we had some very, very long games.  He broke back.  He won that game.  He was back in play, back in the match.
But the comfortable hold at 4‑3 probably allowed me to have that release in a way, relief, because obviously I didn't want him to break me and get into a third set where it can go either way.

Q.  After a few matches here after a long break, how do you rate your form compared to where it was at the US Open?  Hitting the ball better, moving, how do you rate it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Better, better definitely.  I think going back again to Toronto and Cincinnati, I just wasn't myself on the court.  I wasn't really prepared emotionally to go back and compete again after Wimbledon and a very exhausting summer, everything that happened in my professional and private life.
US Open was good all the way to the semifinals, and then semifinals was just another bad day.  So I'm glad that I'm back in the form that I would like to be in, especially in these courts where I still haven't lost ever since I played this tournament.
Hopefully I can finish the year in style, similar as I finished last year.

Q.  You have won four titles here and potentially maybe the fifth one will be under your belt.  Can the China Open be named as the Nole Open now?  What is your opinion?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't know what you expect me to say (laughter)?
Well, one thing is for sure, I do feel great and I play some of my best tennis on this court.  But I think it should stay 'China Open'.

Q.  In the second set for a short period of time you struggled a little bit.  You fiddled with your racquet.  Is this a good way for you to get rid of the pressure?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, one of the ways.  Obviously in the match you go through ups and downs.  It's not easy to keep the continuity of the concentration and to be consistently mentally strong all the way through, especially when you play a top rival in semifinals of a big tournament.
It's expected that you go through a certain mini crisis during the match.  But it's important not to allow that those mini crises take away your concentration.  It's important to bounce back.
That's something that I learned over the years, with experience in these big matches, and it definitely helps.

Q.  After this match you chose to write 'love' in a Chinese character on the screen.  Do you know this character, what it means?  Why did you choose this Chinese character?  Did you think about naming your baby with a Chinese name?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, unfortunately not the first baby, I will not name by a Chinese name (laughter).  I will see how that goes if we have more babies.  I'll consider that especially because of the results I had and experiences in China.  I don't know what my wife has to say about that.  I have to check.  Unfortunately there are two of us deciding.
But the character I wrote today on the camera, at least I hope it's 'love'.  That's what I tried to draw.  Yesterday was 'fun'.
Yes, I know what it means.  It's all because of my fan club here, the young teenagers who are coming to the hotel, really showing their appreciation for what I do.  So I try to mention them every day because it's amazing.
Also the support they give me on the court, it doesn't happen that often.  I don't think it happens anywhere that you have this group of 20, 30 teenagers following you wherever you go, on the tennis courts, hotel, giving me presents.
I'm very grateful for that.  So I try to give them back with some good tennis and with some Chinese characters at least to say thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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