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September 11, 2015

Novak Djokovic

New York, NY, USA


6-0, 6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was is like to play a guy who was limited but also to be so on your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, obviously it felt great to be able to perform as well as I did today at this stage of a tournament, again, knowing that Marin carried that injury for last couple of matches. I didn't allow that fact to distract me too much.

I just wanted to concentrate on what I needed to do on the court and come out with the right intensity, make him move, get as many, you know, returns back in play.

All in all, it was from my side a very solid match, and I take that as a confidence booster for the final.

Q. Did you know about that injury before the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I knew that he was carrying a bit of a right ankle sprain. Played with it against Tsonga, as well.

But, again, there was two days between. He came out on the court, so it was just -- that means that he was able to play. Now, it was probably, as he said, limited; didn't play as well as he could have.

But, again, that's a question for him, how he felt. I just tried to execute the game plan, come out with the right strategy, and have done well.

Q. How is that level of confidence and the feeling you have now in comparison with other times you have reached the final here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, these two days have helped me to, you know, recover physically after a couple of late-night matches and get myself in a right state of mind.

Of course, semifinals of a Grand Slam, there are no clear favorites anymore. I was playing against an ex champion, so these things come to play, which makes me be determined even more to come out and play the best that I can.

So I'm very encouraged with the game that I had today, and hopefully I can maintain that level for the finals.

Q. I'd like to ask you a question about your background in the game and your original coach, Jelena. You said you memorized her guidelines. Her coming to your mountain village and sort of turning you on to the game, do you look at that as a moment of great fortune or luck? Do you think that was sort of responsible for you getting...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, this is certainly -- I have had some luck in my life to be able to meet people who are knowledgeable and passionate about the sport, and there were very few of those kind of people in my country at those times when I was growing up.

So she was definitely the right person to be with, to learn from. From that point of view, I was fortunate. But I also believe that in life everything happens for a reason. Those kind of circumstances in which we were growing up and developing and training to become professional tennis player have shaped me into who I am today and have helped me to grow mentally stronger.

So she has taught me most of the basic stuff that I know about tennis both from a game point of view and also mental approach.

Q. So in some way do you think you were destined to become a professional player?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think so. I mean, the fact that nobody played tennis in my family and that, you know, you'd say by chance they make three tennis courts in front of the restaurant that my family owned when I was four, I think that's a destiny. That's kind of life circumstances that kind of come together for you to become who you want to become.

Q. You're back in a situation where you have been many times before, finals of the Open. One match that can make a really good season a great, great season. Can you talk about how you're managing and thinking about that match to go in - you don't know who you're playing - and how are you managing the expectations you have of yourself and also externally?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, expectations are always there from myself and from the people around me. I think that's normal and logical to expect that you, you know, have that pressure. You have those expectations because you set up yourself high standards with all the results last couple of years.

I came here with a wish and a mission, as well, to reach the finals and fight for the trophy. So I got myself in that position. It's already a great result. But I want to get that final step on Sunday and get my hands on that trophy.

Obviously I'm not the only one who wants that. Another Swiss player will be on opposite side of the net. We will definitely want to have the same, the same kind of mission.

So I hope that I will be able to play my best tennis on Sunday. That's what I'm looking for. I'm used to all the expectations and pressure. It's part of what I do.

I try to deal with those emotions on and off the court, and with this experience of being out there and competing at the highest level for the biggest trophies has helped me to reach that level again. Hopefully it's going to help me to handle myself well on Sunday.

Q. First time in your career that you're going to play the fourth final of the Grand Slams in one season. Does it feel like an achievement to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it definitely is an achievement. I don't want to even think about the opposite to that, you know, that I'm not happy with four finals. Win or lose on Sunday, it still has been so far a great year, best year alongside of 2011.

But, you know, obviously I'm only thinking about winning and winning that US Open trophy. It's why I'm here, and I will try to make it.

Q. Another win and yet another final. I want to ask you how you're going to prepare for Sunday's final. Is there anything that bothers you physically?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I have recovered in these two days. Physically I have had enough time to get my body, you know, mind, in a proper state and to be performing as well as I did today.

I'm not going to change my routine and preparations for Sunday. It's going to more or less stay the same. Of course, according to the player that I'm playing against on Sunday I will try to tactically prepare myself, talk with the team, and see what I need to do on the court.

But whoever I play against, it's the finals of a Grand Slam. Both of these players are top players of the world, so I'm going to have to play my best.

Q. As someone who plays the game and has studied the game and knows the history of the game, can you give us a sense of how big an upset it was that a No. 43 player like Roberta Vinci beat Serena Williams?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, you have to understand that this is sport. As much as Serena has achieved in her life, these kind of upsets still can happen. Everybody wants to win, and not only Serena and a couple other top players, same like men's and woman's. You have 128 players in the draw that want to play their best and show their skills and what they know to the world of sport and Grand Slams.

So it's quite an effort from Roberta Vinci to win against Serena on her quest to win a season Grand Slam. You have to give her credit for that, congratulate her. Certainly isn't easy for Serena to deal with this loss today, but she's a great champion. She has been there before. She knows how to take the, you know, lessons out of this experience and move on as a stronger player.

At her age, she's still fighting. She's still committing to everyday practices and trying to perfect her game. She's very professional, and she's a great example of somebody that is a champion on and off the court.

That's all I can say. I mean, it really happens. Of course, it's not easy to swallow, as I said. But you've got to -- sometimes when another player has a better day than you, you have to congratulate and move on. Definitely great day for Italy. They will have a Grand Slam. (Smiling.)

Q. Roger has been working on this attacking move. How surprised were you when you saw him do that for the first time? How surprising is it to be on the other side of the court? Would you consider maybe trying this yourself?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, not considered doing that. I mean, he tried that in Cincinnati. It worked a couple of times. It's exciting shot for him. For the player opposite side of the net, not so much.

So I have nothing else to say about that.

Q. Of course we are in the situation where we don't know who your next opponent will be, so I'd like to ask you separately about each one, starting with Stan. When you think about were facing him in the final of a major and the possibility that it will be again, what goes through your mind about the challenge of facing Stan?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have lost to him in Roland Garros final earlier this year, so I think he has a perfect score in the Grand Slam finals, 2 out of 2. He certainly is a player that loves the big occasion, big matches.

He has an immense power from both sides, forehand and backhand. One of the best one-handed backhands in the history of the sport. A big serve. So if his serve is on he can hurt anybody on any surface. He's all-around player.

Then on the other side, if I have to play Roger, obviously we all know how consistent he is and how good he is in the latter stages of a Grand Slams and any other big tournament. He's always going to perform on a high level. Rarely he drops his level. He always makes you play your best.

I know that he's also lately being very aggressive coming to the net, mixing up, and trying to shorten out the points. I think also he improved his speed. His defensive game is better than it was. Maybe healthier. Everybody is working hard to improve their game and give themselves highest level possible.

So in order to win a Grand Slam title I have to be on top of my game, as well. So knowing that, coming to the court, of course it's going to be incentive to try hard.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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