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BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS


November 16, 2014


Novak Djokovic


LONDON, ENGLAND

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ When did you find out that Roger wasn't going to be playing?テつ How did that all work?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ During the doubles match, that's when I found out.テつ Well, I did my warmup, obviously prepared for the battle, prepared for a great match as it was anticipated, as the people expected it to be.テつ It was the last match of the season.テつ I was ready to give it all.テつ I'm sure he was ready, too, to give it all if he could.
I spoke to him.テつ As I understand, he retired a match maybe three times in his career in over a thousand matches.テつ You cannot blame him.テつ I'm sure he would play World Tour Finals if he could.
This is probably the first time in the history that this happens.テつ It's very awkward situation to talk about it, to be honest, today.
You never like to win, especially these big matches against big rivals, with the retirement.テつ But that's the way it is.

Q.テつ It's not the same situation, but many times you had Davis Cup, US Open.テつ It's too much, you need more rest, but it's impossible.テつ How can you solve this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, the schedule is such that it doesn't really go into the favor of the players who are doing really well in Davis Cup, let's say, and who are playing in the later stages of all the major events.
I've experienced that in my own skin in last couple of years.テつ I did experience a few times some bad injuries that kept me away from the tour because I've played so many matches.
But, again, I'm not the first or the last player to have this schedule.テつ It's the way it is for now.テつ We have to deal with it.

Q.テつ Can you talk us through how the exhibition with Andy came about.テつ Were you asked to do it?テつ Did you know right away you were playing Andy?テつ How did you feel about doing it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Look, I was as surprised as probably you guys were when you heard the news.テつ I was in my locker room.テつ I was doing the routine that I do always before my matches.テつ I received the news, you know, during the doubles.
Then we started talking about possibilities, what we can do in order to save this day in some way.テつ Because the people were already there watching.テつ The stadium was already full.テつ They wanted to see some singles match.
Luckily Andy was in London.テつ I want to thank him, you know, for coming out and making an effort.テつ It really is an effort.テつ I know how it feels when you finish the season, as he did on Thursday.テつ Probably the last thing he's thinking about is tennis now.テつ He wants to rest after a long season.テつ He receives a call.テつ He comes out and plays an hour.テつ Now he's still playing doubles.
It's very genuine from him.テつ I tried also to play.テつ I thought we played on a good level.テつ Hope the crowd enjoyed because there was not much you can do really.テつ On the ceremony, as well, I didn't feel so comfortable again receiving that trophy.
Of course, I know that I've had a great season and I'm very proud to be holding the trophy.テつ But the way things happened today was definitely awkward.

Q.テつ It may not have mattered with Roger, but is there any sense to the idea of maybe putting the semis in one session, not having that long gap, having one finish much later than the earlier one, in terms of fairness going forward?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ You have the fair point there.テつ That can be a solution because there is a gap.テつ Usually in the group stage matches, the schedule is such that you play one singles match at 2:00, one at 8:00.テつ You have doubles before those singles matches.テつ There is always probably two, three hours' gap when there are no matches on center court.
I think they can decrease that gap.テつ I agree with you.

Q.テつ There were a lot of lopsided matches through the tournament.テつ The matches yesterday were close.テつ Now there's no final.テつ Probably a lot of fans that had higher expectations.テつ Is it fair for people to be disappointed?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Yes, I understand people.テつ I understand speculations about, you know, the whole week in general, and what has happened.テつ We had probably two, maybe three matches that went the distance, that went over an hour.
But this is something you cannot predict.テつ Obviously this is World Tour Finals.テつ I'm sure that every single player, especially the ones that were losing those matches, you know, in an hour, didn't do that on purpose.テつ You know, this is sports.テつ It's the way it is.
In individual sports, you're on the court by yourself.テつ If you're having a bad day, nobody can substitute you, nobody can help you.
Not many times has happened throughout the history that you have this amount of matches finish under an hour, around an hour.テつ But, you know, again, it's not something that is going to happen, I'm sure, every year.

Q.テつ If you were in the same shoes as Roger, obviously you're not in his body, going into a Davis Cup final, his first, little bit of something going on, can you imagine what you might have done in the same situation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ As I said, you know, the stats are saying clearly that he is one of those players that would compete and would always fight if he can.テつ He has had, what, three retirements in his entire career.
I don't think he was calculating and trying to save his body for Davis Cup final.テつ I'm sure that that wasn't the case.テつ This is probably one of the biggest matches of the year for him, as well as for me.テつ You know, you have Grand Slams that are the pinnacle of the sport, and you have World Tour Finals.テつ Then you have of course Davis Cup, 1000 events, there are many tournaments, but you know this is probably the biggest match of the season next to the final of a Grand Slam.
I'm sure if he could have, he would be on the court.テつ I mean, I spoke to him.テつ Also he doesn't know.テつ It's a question mark for the Davis Cup final, as well.

Q.テつ I would like to talk to you about this No.1 achievement.テつ You are 27 now.テつ Do you know what will be the next goal in your career?テつ Can we consider the French Open will be your main goal for the future?テつ Do you think about becoming a legend being No.1 five times?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, right now I'm at my pinnacle in the career.テつ I physically feel very fit.テつ I'm very motivated to keep on playing on a very high level.テつ So as long as it's like that, I'm going to try to use these years in front of me to fight for No.1 of the world and to fight for, you know, biggest title in the sport.
Roland Garros is and was and still will be, you know, one of the biggest goals that I have.テつ I'll keep on trying, of course.テつ Any Grand Slam win is another page in the history books of this sport.テつ Of course, being No.1 is also one of the biggest challenges and biggest goals a player can have.

Q.テつ You've spoken at several of the press conferences this year and last about your personal preference to see this tournament move around the world.テつ Do you think one of the advantages that London has is that someone like Andy Murray is here, there's so many former legends that are around or it's easy for them to travel to the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I don't think that traveling is an extremely important matter when it comes to this tournament.テつ Of course, London is one of the most important cities in the world.テつ Of course, it's good when you have a tournament here.テつ For tennis, as well, because there is a long tennis tradition and history in this country.テつ People love tennis.テつ They show their respect and appreciation to the players by coming in big numbers for Wimbledon and for World Tour Finals.
I want to say it again.テつ The reason why I was saying I wanted this tournament to move around is because I feel like this is big leverage for ATP to use as one of the ways to promote the sport.テつ Best eight players in the world, you know, what more can you ask for if you are a fan of tennis and the sport.テつ I'm sure this is one of the biggest events that we have in sport in general because tennis is a very global sport.
I'm not saying that because I think it's not supposed to be here.テつ In contrary, I have only praises for this event over the years.テつ Since 2009, it has been an incredible success in this city.テつ The people would say, Why then change it?テつ Why move it around?
But I think still you need to give the opportunity to other big cities, maybe some new markets, growing markets, emerging markets that start to emerge and like tennis, like China, Middle East, that can have facilities and have possibilities to host the event like this.
You know, America has always been, again, a big market for tennis.テつ So there are places.テつ I know that they're negotiating the extension here, or if they want to move this event around.テつ I just wish that this event can and should be used the way it's used here in London.テつ It deserves to be one of the biggest tennis events and sporting events in the world.

Q.テつ You just mentioned about new markets.テつ I heard you tried to introduce the ATP 500 to your country, to your hometown.テつ Is that true?テつ Later you stopped doing that.テつ Could you tell me the reason, if that's true?テつ Your acquaintances, they are looking forward to see you playing tennis in your hometown.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, we had a 250 tennis tournament in our country for four years, in Belgrade actually.テつ My family has purchased the event from Amer Sport, which actually was the first tournament I won in my career.
It was a big success for the first year or two.テつ After it was a little bit less.テつ It was very difficult to economically sustain this level of a tournament at home because you need players for that.テつ You need top players.テつ Serbia, up to maybe five, ten years ago, was not a country of tennis.テつ Now it became.
After a big success in men's and women's tennis, they want to see big names in their country if there is a tennis event.テつ Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to have the big names because of the week in the year.テつ We were just between the events on clay.テつ Most of the big names were playing those big events and they were not playing in between.
Economically also we couldn't afford to really have them.テつ That was one of the reasons we had to let the tournament go.
But that doesn't mean that we closed the doors for the tournament in the future in our country.テつ As I mentioned, Serbia, even if it's a small country, is a country that loves sport, and tennis in particular lately.テつ I know how it feels to play Davis Cup, to play at home.テつ I wish that one day we can have an even higher category of event there.

Q.テつ To end on a lighter note, I guess you're going back to domestic duties with the baby.テつ How hands‑on are you?テつ What surprised you the most with the baby and your new role as a father?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I'm very hands‑on.テつ My wife told me what's expecting me.テつ I've seen it before I came to Paris and London.テつ I'm glad during the stay in London for these 10 days I got a lot of sleep, because that will not be the case from now.
I'm looking forward to it.テつ It's the most beautiful feeling that I experience and my wife have experience as well holding a baby in your arms.テつ That will be a lot of that without the racquet in next couple weeks for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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