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October 4, 2015

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The day after you won the trophy in New York, you showed up in three different morning television programs in New York, including This Morning on CBS. During the shoe the host asked, Roger has 18 titles, you have 10, can you pass 18? What was your reaction? Why didn't you try to correct him? Two of the three questions he asked were about Roger Federer when it was supposed to be your day. What was going through your mind?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I did not correct him. I did not feel like it's necessary to make a correction between 17 and 18 Grand Slams, as much as Roger has won so far.
I really did not have a kind of a mindset that maybe you are proposing right now where I think about why they were making questions about Roger. I was actually enjoying my great achievement that took a lot of effort from my side and the team for a couple weeks.
Being on the shows, obviously it's a great experience. It's fun. It's entertaining. But also, of course, after a great victory like that, everything seems a lot easier.
So I just try to elaborate on the success that I've had, on the great match that we played, and I think them mentioning Roger's all‑time winning record of Grand Slams and talking about him and maybe comparing my career to his career is actually flattering because he's the most successful tennis player of all time.
I'm flattered to be compared to the success that he had, and people start talking about me eventually reaching those heights. Again, I still have a lot to work on and a lot to win in order to get to the level where he is.
So far I've had a phenomenal career. To be in the double‑digits of Grand Slam victories is something I've just dreamed of. To be actually winning 10 Grand Slams, it's a great achievement. So I'm proud of it and I'll keep on going.
I'm 28, and I feel like there's a lot more years in my legs and in my mind I still feel very motivated and very inspired to play this sport.

Q. You're used to having long seasons, many matches, titles. Is there anything different this year coming up with a new gear after the US Open and London coming?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I usually love coming to Asia and China especially. I love playing these tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai. I've had lots of success in these two cities. First time I came to Beijing was for Olympic Games and I won the bronze medal. Ever since then I've won five trophies here, Shanghai I won couple times there, won the first Masters Cup.
So the record that I have in these tournaments in China gives me a lot of obvious motivation to come back, a lot of great memories that I built my approach on for this year.
Yeah, it's been a long season, no question about it, a lot of matches played. But this is what I do. This is my life. As I said, I enjoy coming here. The people are asking me if maybe it's smarter to skip this Asian swing so I can be well‑rested for Europe and for World Tour Finals because I've played much. But I don't feel like that's the right decision to do. I'm looking forward to perform in front of the Chinese people that give me a lot of support over the years.
I feel like the support I get here over the years with all the fans, the way they wait for me in front of the hotel and the club is something that I don't experience really more or less anywhere. Maybe very few places in the world. That's one of the big reasons why I keep on coming back here and why I like to perform in China.

Q. Boris was saying a few days ago he was working on finding new ways to motivate you when you're coming back into a place you've won multiple times already.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it's one of the biggest tasks for any professional athlete, is to find always new ways of inspiring and motivating yourself to play and to find that willpower to keep on going and keep on winning.
I so far find it not that difficult because I have plenty of motivation and support with the people around me. My main inspiration, as I was talking about in United States, is really passion for the sport. I love coming back out on the court and just hitting the tennis ball. It makes me very fulfilled. It makes me very joyful just to play.
And I like competing. I think there are times when you're tired. There are times when you feel exhausted, when you played so much that it's difficult to find the energy to keep on going again. But in those tough times, you obviously rely on the people around you.
The basic inspiration why you started playing tennis is because you like it, you love it. In the end of the day, you are fortunate to be in the position to play the sport that you love and to be on this high level.
So I don't take that for granted. That's why I keep on going and try to push my own borders which I don't determine. I don't like to say where my limits are. I try to just be in the moment, use my imagination, and all of a sudden your possibilities become limitless.

Q. Serena Williams came very close to winning a calendar‑year Grand Slam. You weren't so far away from that yourself. Is that a disappointment to you this year? Do you have any desire to do that next year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, winning three out of four Grand Slams and playing another final is not disappointment. In contrary, it's as good as it can get. One match more and it's a perfect score.
Again, it has been an unbelievable Grand Slam season, and just season in general. Probably the best of my life next to the one in 2011, but somehow I feel like this one is even better.
I have no reason to regret anything that happened this year. I feel like Roland Garros final was very emotional, but it happened for a reason. Because I have lost that match, I feel like I was even more eager to come back and play well on Grand Slams. I think this was a big part of my success in Wimbledon and US Open.
If I had won Roland Garros, you never know how the rest of the season would go. I mean, Roland Garros was every year more or less a biggest priority. I was so close again this year. But if I had won it, maybe I would have been satisfied with that and the rest of the season would not be as it is now.
In life, everything happens for a reason. I try to look back at the things that happened for me and try to learn from those experiences and move on as a better and stronger player.

Q. Why do you say this year is better than 2011?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, for many reasons. I just feel like as a more complete person and a player. I'm a father and a husband. Just different circumstances that happen in my life in last couple of years that have helped me to enjoy all the success that I have on the tennis court even more.
So 2011 was absolutely an incredible year. But I feel this year I'm enjoying it even more because I'm more, I would say, fulfilled, more complete, more mature as a person and a player.

Q. While you do philanthropy things with teaching the young kids to play tennis. Have you ever imagined in the future you would be a coach just like your coach coaches you today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm glad that I'm taking a part in the charity tennis events for each year for many years already here in Beijing. I remember the one that stands out is the one with Li Na a couple years ago. I'm glad that each year I see new both boys and girls tennis players, maybe future champions, that are enjoying their time on the tennis court. So I'm glad to spend some time with them. I know how much it means to them. I was in their position, as well, a long time ago. I remember being close to some top players is really something that is very particular and something that is very valuable as an experience to me.
I'm really glad that I was able to do it this year, as well. I get also to try my coaching skills and see how I do there (smiling). But I still am an active player, so I'm focus on that. We'll see with coaching in the future what's going to happen.
I would assume because tennis in my life, I definitely will after my active playing career, will stay somehow in tennis, definitely involved, and eventually coach somebody one day.

Q. Before you came to Beijing, you were in Thailand and you beat Nadal. I want to ask you about the match. Did you actually perform 100% or just play for fun? If you want to capture the title here for the sixth time, is Nadal still the biggest competitor?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was a great trip to Thailand for both Rafa and me. We experienced a lot of great hospitable people that were friendly to us, that were waiting for us at the airport. There was a lot of attention from the media. Just everybody I think in general.
Thailand had a couple months ago a terrible bombing attack. People were a little bit afraid for what's awaiting them afterwards. I think this event, at least from what we heard from the prime minister, all the people that were very friendly in welcoming us, that this event gave people a lot of faith and a lot of confidence in the security.
Yeah, we experienced really a lot of positive things, and we have positive impressions from those couple days. The match itself was also fun. It was very humid conditions to play in, but good court. I thought I played very well. I think we played a good match.
But, you know, usually in exhibition matches, it's not about winning or losing, it's more about really performing as best as you can for the crowd to see some top tennis players perform in their city, but also combine it with fun, entertainment and put on a good show for people.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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