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October 13, 2015

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I know when you were in Beijing you visited the Great Wall. When you come to Shanghai, have you visited somewhere?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I've spent a week with my brothers, and I thought in the day off we can do something different than just spending time at the tennis courts.
We had half a day, an opportunity to do something. We went to the Great Wall and we had a great time. It was fun.
Right now in Shanghai, I don't have as much time. I doubt that I'll be able to go around. Some dinners in nice restaurants on the Bund River [sic] I think is good enough.

Q. I think Boris Becker recently said he was still going to be your coach next season. When you started with him, were you sure that three years later he was still going to be there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was definitely hoping our relationship can be successful. Obviously it took a little bit of time, as I mentioned before, for us to really create kind of a synergy and understanding that will obviously contribute to positive results.
We were both patient. We knew what we were aiming for. It wasn't easy at the beginning, of course. First of all, he's somebody that had made a history of this sport, a person that we have lots of respect for. So when he came in our team, there was a big respect towards him, of course, but he needed time to adjust to the team, the way we work, the way we function, think, approach tennis.
Today, almost two years later, we managed to win many Grand Slams together and have a quite successful cooperation. I'm glad that we're going to extend this cooperation for an extra year.
We'll take one year at a time. We don't rush anywhere. As long as we both enjoy it, there is no reason to change.

Q. You gave a speech after you won the championship in Beijing. Maybe at that time you made a small mistake.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That in China is very big. You don't need to repeat that. I know what I said. Next question, please (laughter).

Q. I want to know, does your concentration just jump to Shanghai at that time? Does that mean you have high expectations in Shanghai this time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it just happened. Some people say that my mind was already in Shanghai. Partly maybe it's true. So I'm here.
But I love Beijing very much. I've had an incredible, most successful record than any tournament in my life in Beijing. I like it very much.
But I'm aware that such a small mistake take large proportions and dimensions here. I had to say 'sorry' at least 10 times after I said that. Luckily I didn't take any consequences of that mistake so far. Let's see what happens this week.

Q. Back to Boris. How does the relationship between you, Boris and Marian work? Do they talk repeatedly most days? Do the three of you get together a lot of times when we don't see it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, we do. We do have, if you want to call it, team meetings, team‑building conversations that is usually behind a closed door. It's crucial to have the conversations, good communication, which creates a positive chemistry that later on results successfully on the tennis court for me.
As I said, it took time for Boris to adjust in the first five, six months when he joined the team. Now everything works smoothly. Key to that harmony that I feel in the team is communication.
They do speak more or less on a regular basis, especially during the tournaments now that Boris is not with us. He's keeping in touch with Marian daily, and with me as well.

Q. Do they have the same philosophies? Do you ever hear two conflicting voices?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It happens. It happens often that they have a different I wouldn't say opinion but different approaches, different kind of strategies, different points of views that I think are normal because they're two different coaches, two different people that view things differently.
But we still manage to find a mutual understanding and the right solution for me.

Q. Weibo said you called for all Chinese fans wearing red. Seems like you enjoy Chinese fan support here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I do. I think they're exceptional. Each year coming back to China, I get to experience something that I don't get to experience in many places around the world, a kind of a loyal respect that I get.
We took off right after the finals in Beijing and arrived very late or very early, depends how you take it, in the morning between Sunday and Monday here in Shanghai. They were waiting. I think it was seven, eight young people waiting with a Serbian flag, wanting to make picture and welcome me to Shanghai. That's something I really appreciate very much. I feed on that love and support that they give me.
It's one of the reasons I'm performing well. I think many of the top players ‑ Roger, Rafa, Andy ‑ receive that kind of welcoming and support from Chinese fans. It's truly exciting for us to experience that.

Q. Just now you played in Beijing. It was not that tough for you, but still it is a tournament. Do you think it will have an impact physically and mentally in the rest of your season? Also, have you seen the draw? You are in the same half with Andy Murray. Probably you will meet him in the semis. Do you want more to meet Murray in the semis or do you want to meet Nadal or Federer in the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the tournament in Beijing this year was one of the best weeks I've had in terms of performances and results. I was winning each day. It definitely does influence my confidence. I think the positive record I had in the past in Beijing helps me to perform that well each time I come back.
I've seen the draw here. Of course, I don't think there is any player that doesn't analyze the draw, see who they can play potentially and so forth. But it's important to take one match at a time. I can't speak about potential semifinals or finals. It's just not fair towards the other players.

Q. A question about Davis Cup. I don't know if you've looked at the schedule for next year. Next summer between Wimbledon and the US Open there's the Olympics, there's two Masters 1000 tournaments and there is Davis Cup I think the weekend after Wimbledon. Do you think any of the top players will play in Davis Cup next summer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's a good question. That's one of the subjects of schedule planning for our team. We talked about it. We continue to talk about it. By the end of the year we'll have I think a clear schedule in our minds, with all the exhibition matches, preparations, tournaments, so forth.
But, you know, you kind of had around about the general plan of what you want to play. But, again, there is a possibility of alternating, maybe pulling out from some events because you want to be able to perform well in the other.
But it happened in the past. At this stage of the season, I can't really say if I'm going to play Davis Cup, for example, full year or not. I am going to play most likely the first round. Second round, we all know it's right after Wimbledon. You have a shorter period between the end of Wimbledon and Toronto and then Rio comes in between Toronto and Cincinnati and the US Open. It's very condensed.
That's what the Olympic Games do to our schedule. Olympic Games are the most renowned sports event in the history of sport. Sport is what it is today because of the Olympic Games. There is a huge I would say excitement going on.
Everybody is looking forward to being part of the Olympic Games. I'm not an exception. I really would love to be part of the Olympic Serbian team. That's definitely one of the highlights and one of the priorities of the next season, is to try to get a medal for my country. I'm going to do everything I can possibly to achieve that.
Yes, the schedule is going to be even tougher than this year. Hopefully I can play as many matches as I played this year. That means I'm going to have a good season.
The way it looks now, I would be surprised if many top players would play that second round. But, again, you never know. I mean, Davis Cup is also an important competition for us because it's the only official team competition we have in our sport.
Again, between Olympic Games and Davis Cup, I think there is logical conclusion what the player is going to choose, but you never know.

Q. It's somewhere in a year that you've become a dad. What are the biggest adjustments you've had to make to your career, how you deal with it to compensate for obviously having your son? Also, I think I get it, but I have a number of readers who keep asking me, Why does he keep showing pictures but never the baby's face? Could you help me out so I could let my readers know.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, we didn't share the photos of Stefan for a long time. We started showing pictures but not his face because of his own sake, his own protection.
Everybody is different. Obviously our view is that we don't want him to be exposed at this stage of his life. He's only a baby.
We are aware also of the fact that sooner or later he's very close to start walking. He's going to chase the ball, which he's already doing. Eventually he is going to come to the tennis courts. Still he hasn't been on the tennis courts. He's going to come and people will obviously see him, pictures.
Still to this point we'll not make any photos of his face because we want to protect him.
The biggest adjustment I had to make as a father is living most of the things that are related to my profession. Common subjects I was talking about before in the house, before I became a father, I had to leave that behind the door. When I step into the home, it's not about me, my career. It's about my wife, it's about my boy. I think that's the biggest adjustment I think any successful athlete or person needs to make.
It's a challenge because if throughout your life everybody's working for you to be the best you can be, kind of feeding you with compliments, with confidence, eventually you're ego starts growing. You have to battle with that ego and just leave it aside, make sure that you dedicate all your energy to your child because that's what you're supposed to do.
I discovered that when I became a parent, obviously. Luckily I also have big support from my wife and people around me to keep still playing tennis on this level. They all enjoy this life with me.
But I think the list of the priorities has completely changed in terms of life generally for me. It's family number one, of course. So that's a big adjustment.
Other than that, things come naturally. You follow your instincts. It's the best thing that ever happened to us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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