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August 11, 2015

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Bellucci
6‑3, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've had Boris with you for several months now. Can you list three aspects you feel he's brought to your game.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's been more than several months. It's been actually a year and a half.
It has been a process of getting to know each other. At the beginning obviously it was important to get the chemistry going and understand how we work, how we think, how we approach life and tennis in general because that's the formula for success between a player and coach, is the relationship not just on the court but off the court as well.
Coaches are very important to players. They're people that are mentors, people that are advising them, people that should be their friends and somebody you can rely on on the tour. That's your team, so it's important to get close to them.
Well, it took some time for me to get closer to Boris. Ever since I think clay court season in 2014 has been uphill ride for us. Couple of Grand Slam wins. Being in the No.1 place of the world obviously was always our goal. That's why he accepted to work with me, because he wanted to be at the top, he wanted to hear from me that I have those ambitions.
So I'm very glad that he's been with me and with our team for now almost two years. He's a legend of our sport. He's somebody that understands what kind of challenges I have to encounter and face on the court and off the court, as well. I think from the mental aspect, he's been contributing to my success the most.

Q. What kind of match did you expect today? Were you satisfied with how you came out to start on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I thought the conditions were, because of the rain, quite heavy and slow. So I think it suited Bellucci very well. Nevertheless, credit to him for playing some really solid, resilient tennis, not giving up, getting a lot of balls back, serving well.
Match could have gone either way, honestly, especially in the second set. But we both had our chances to break. We got to the tiebreak, which I thought was fair, then it was anybody's game. I managed to stay cool and mentally tough in the right moment.
So that's what I take out of this match, you know, the ability to play my best and stay calm in the right moments and overcome this tough challenge. It's the first hard court match for me from Miami earlier this year in March. It's been a long time since playing a hard court official match. It takes a little bit of time to get into the rhythm, get into the groove, I would say.
I think tomorrow's doubles match, no singles, will also help me to work on certain aspects of my game and get ready for the next one.

Q. You said a couple days ago that you think this is your best year since 2011. Do you think you're a better player now than you were then? If so, can you say in what ways?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't like to compare years, honestly. I think every year is a different experience, a different challenge. You grow. You evolve as a person and as a player.
You know, I can't be the same player as I was in 2011 because my life has changed so much. There are things that life is presenting to you as challenges, obstacles that you need to overcome and work hard to progress and to improve, because everybody does that.
You know, 2014, in terms of mostly life off the court, has been my favorite year, where I got married and became a father. And this year in terms of success on the court, I think it was the best so far next to that 2011.

Q. Can you take us through the crazy exchange that you had during the tiebreak near the end and what kind of effect does it have on you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: When you're playing somebody like Bellucci who gets a lot of balls back, of course you need to in ways be aggressive but still stay patient and construct the point. So it's not easy to always go for your shots.
I was making a lot of unforced errors at the beginning of the match. As I said, you know, it took some time for me to really find my position on the court again.
But he was not making it easy for me. He was really fighting. He was playing good. I thought he played really flat and aggressive from the backhand side, spins, a lot of variety from the forehand side, good return, really solid serve.
It was overall a big challenge for me tonight. I had to deliver my best game in the right moments, and I think I've done that.

Q. Do you ever get in zones where you feel invincible, unbeatable? How close are you to being in one of those zones?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, of course, every player has a tendency to be in the right zone where he feels he's able to deliver his best game and he's not experiencing much flaws.
But nobody's invincible. I don't think something like that exists. Of course, you always seek to improve and you seek to reach that perfection or highest level possible.

Q. You've talked a lot over the last year about what a fantastic impact personally and professionally having a child has had on you. Have you spoken to Andy Murray since his news broke?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wished him good luck, and his wife, of course. It's going to be an amazing experience for them. Judging by my own and my wife's, it's the most beautiful thing that can happen to a human being, so I wish them all the best.

Q. What do you feel in this match, so complicated? The Brazilian normally has an old style like Guga Kuerten. This tennis man was strong for you on the field.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he's an all‑around player. I think he's improved over the years to play on the hard court because he's a clay court specialist.
But it was tough. It was a tough match, no question about it. I'm glad that in a way I had a challenge like this where I needed to come up with the right game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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