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August 19, 2015

Novak Djokovic


7‑5, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That long game you played, 30 points altogether, back and forth. Hard to concentrate playing a guy like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it is. You have to hold your focus together and try to just forget about what happened and move on. It wasn't easy, but I managed to make that break, 6‑5, win the set.
Again, it was break up, lost a break, he had some break points on 2‑All, and then I managed to win four straight games.
So, you know, it was a strange match all in all, but it's what ‑‑ the instructions I got from the coach was expect the unexpected, and that was the case. A lot of dropshots. He's got a great backhand. He's got a good serve.
You couldn't really predict what kind of shot comes your way. You know a slow spin ball or fast flat? I had to stay alert all the time.
Also I wasn't playing my best. It's the first match in Cincinnati which holds different conditions than in Canada, so it took me time to really adjust. This wasn't afirst‑round opponent I really wanted, but, again, it was a satisfying match, and hopefully I can do better tomorrow.

Q. Benoit said although this is the first match, you guys know a little bit just from the time you spent in the south of France. Can you talk about your friendship and your relationship with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, we do. We do see each other and went couple times for practice and recovery in south of France. He's a really nice guy. Yeah, he's also nice to me in terms of practicing my French because he speaks to me in French. He allows me to work on it.
Yes, as he said, we played first time today. Wasn't easy because I didn't know what's coming my way. Kind of watched him before, but it's different when you're on the court. He's very talented guy, but very unpredictable. Once we were on the court we obviously both wanted to win.
Once the match was over there was a lot of smiles and, you know, very respectful handshake. I definitely wish him all the best.

Q. You played Roger for many years and you've played him in Grand Slam finals for many years. Do you feel any sort of sense of slippage or changes in his game throughout these years? Do you feel like he's coming forward more than he was when you were playing him...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, he definitely is coming more forward to the net and trying to shorten the points. He does so well. He does so well, and he obviously had to, you know, make some tactical changes and kind of adjust to the new generation of players.
I think Murray, myself, Nadal, we all have pretty good returns and baseline game, and, you know, good passing shots. I think he's trying to mix things up. He still plays very, very good. I'm sure he's going to give a better answer of how he feels now compared to maybe 10 years ago, but he definitely does feel, still, very confident on the court.
He's still very dominant. He's reaching final stages of the Grand Slams and big events. You know that he's always going to play on a high level, so he always makes you work for your win. His forehand is still out there as one of the best weapons he's got. He has a very precise serve and chips the slice, comes to the net, and takes away your time.
The guys, including myself that I mentioned in the mix, don't really like too much when we don't have much time. I think that's what he knows tactically he's trying do. He's got this great variation in his game, this great talent, and all‑round game.
He can basically play defense, offense, whatever he wants. I think that's what allows him to stay that long in top of the men's game all these years.

Q. It's been about a week since what happened in Montreal with Kyrgios. ATP is still determining possible further penalties. What do you think would be a fair decision?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I already made my comments. I'm really not getting too much into it anymore. I already said in Canada everything I needed to say?

Q. On a different front, maybe you rubbed some people the wrong ways at some points...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Listen, I said in Canada, again. I will repeat it. I understand you go through emotions on the court. You go through times when the stress gets the worst out of you. It's understandable in a way that he has some kind of reactions, you know, towards himself or whatever, or his team, but not towards the other player.
That's something that is not acceptable, and there is no doubt that he should be fined. I'm sure he's in the process of getting fined and that's all. That's all I can say. I am not the one who is supposed to judge his, you know, his acts and fine him or not.
I think there are people from ATP who are going to do that and hopefully protect the integrity of the sport. That's what ‑‑I know there are a lot of trash talks around the other sports and it's more common maybe in some other sports and you don't hear it as you hear it on the tennis court because you're alone and all the cameras, attention, microphones, are all over the place.
So there is not freedom or room to say what you really want, so you have to be careful there. This is something definitely that you don't do. You know, you don't say ‑‑you don't get personal with another player.

Q. We are in the hard court season. So many players say it's such a tough transition with the different conditions. How long does it take you to get used to coming from Canada here? Is it like playing from a different surface altogether?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It does feel. It does feel. From my perspective, it does feel a lot different from Canada. The ball bounces much higher. Difficult to control the ball here.
As you can see, the weather conditions are changing and not predictable. So once it's much more humid, the ball travels faster through the air. You know, if it's rain and cold then it's slower. It really just depends. It depends. Depending on what type of player you are, if you like the fast conditions or not.
These conditions are not my most preferred ones, but it does take few days definitely to get into the groove.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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