home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 9, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Doha, Qatar


6-1, 6-2

An interview with: NOVAK DJOKOVIC

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. Rafa told us that he thought that your level was stratospheric and that he's never seen a tennis level like what you showed. Is that how you feel about the way you played today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why, I thank him for the compliments. Obviously it's flattering to hear something like that from a great champion like Nadal.

It did feel as close to perfection as it can get. Obviously from the first to the last point I managed to impose my own tactical approach and strategy and what I have kind of prepared myself for, and the conditions were played to my favor. I just came out on the court with the right intention, with the right intensity, and with a great deal of confidence, as well, that I carried from the last season obviously playing against him in the last couple of matches as well winning in straight sets. That gave me that, you know, even greater incentive to actually try to repeat that and play as well as I did in the previous encounters.

Easier said than done. You know, Nadal is one of the greatest competitors this game has ever seen, but, you know, everything was going well. You know, I could swing freely. Especially in the second set I felt like, you know, from both corners any, you know, any shot that I hit just felt so comfortable.

There are those days when you see a tennis ball as a watermelon, and I guess this was that kind of day.

Q. This was your 6th consecutive title, 16th consecutive final. Do you feel invincible yet?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't feel invincible. Nobody is invincible.

But I'm playing the tennis of my life, and I will try to, you know, nurture and cherish those moments on the court. As I said in the ceremony, I will use this confidence level in every tournament that I play on. I know that it can't go forever, but I'm not thinking too much ahead of myself. I don't try to make any kind of predictions or whether or not, you know, I'm going to have another streak or whether or not I'm going to have the season of my life. I try not to go too far with my thoughts, because that creates a little bit of a distraction and disbalance emotionally.

So again, I think not just for a professional athlete but for anybody, really, to be in the present moment is a huge task. I try to work on that and stay committed, stay dedicated, do the things that I have respected and done with my team for several years that have worked so far, and, you know, hopefully I'm going to keep going.

Q. Congratulations. Obviously you were playing so well. It was, at least for us, hard to get any kind of read on his play. You know, obviously he seems to be doing better than he was last year when he was here. From your end of the court, what kind of read do you have on where he might be at this point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, I think it's hard to say after a match like this where I have played probably the best tennis that I can play. You know, him reaching the finals and playing better than he did here last year and he continued on playing on the higher level ever since the US Open, and he's been saying that, and me, as his rival, I can confirm that, that he's striking the ball better.

But, you know, the days like this, everything was going my way so it's really hard to judge.

Q. I'm not going to say congratulations. I will say Mabrouk, because it's a new Arabic word. It's the way we congratulate people in Arabic. It's the first tournament of the season, the first trophy. Is it going to be a remake of your last season? And how can you rate this performance this week here in Doha?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I haven't dropped a set the entire week. When it was most needed against, you know, one of my biggest rivals, I managed to play the best tennis in a match where I fought for the trophy.

So it does definitely give me a great deal of confidence for the rest of the season. But, you know, my thoughts are only directed to Melbourne and what I need to do there. The week that I have before the Australian Open starts will actually be very useful also for me because I have played a lot, trained very hard, played a great five matches here.

So I'm going to try to manage the energy, you know, in the days to come and work on certain specific things. But I think I'm ready for the competition, and I'm ready. You know, obviously some fine-tuning, but best of five is different. Playing in a Grand Slam is different; I know that.

That's where I'm hoping I can continue this run and this great level of performance. As I answered the previous question, I really would not like to talk about, you know, the entire year, because I'm just, you know, directing my thoughts and what's coming up next, next challenge and trying to stay healthy, and if I do that, from my previous experiences I know that I'm going to have the good results as a consequence of the work and professionalism.

Q. Do you mind giving us an update about your arm? Just how serious is it? Do you think you need to do a lot of work on it for Melbourne or not?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't think it's too serious. As I mentioned yesterday, I don't see it as a hindrance, possible hindrance for Australian Open. It appears time to time, but it's nothing that really is major that I will be concerned about.

Q. The Bayern Munich players were all here. If you meet some of them, what was their reaction?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I met most of the Spanish players from the team before the match, and Guardiola and Lewandowski were in the locker room after the match. It was great to meet them. It was fantastic for this tournament and for tennis to have some of the best footballers in the game and some of the best team in the world at the moment, you know, to kind of support our sport with their presence.

It was really lovely from them, and I want to thank them. And also it was great to get to know them and talk about, you know, different things concerning sport. Obviously we are not in the same sport, but we are all part of the family of sport, so it was nice to hear some insight of how they train and, you know, what they go through and certain things.

So it was a great experience.

Q. Can you tell us what you read in the offseason, if you read anything at all in your time away from tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Have I read? Yes. Did I read? Yes.

Q. And also, one more question, if fatherhood has made any difference. You have been a father now for over a year, what type of difference that might have made to your tennis, if it has.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, interest for reading shifts a lot but mostly interested in psychology. I'm interested, as well, you know, in things that are concerning a little bit more of a holistic approach to life.

So I have read a couple of things, couple of books, but one of the things that I was reading most in the last month and a half was the magazine that it's called Original. The Serbs are laughing here because they know about it. It's only published in Serbia. It's a new magazine that my wife and her team have been publishing for the last four months, and it's been created for the students to give them more information about, you know, about life in general and what awaits them and how they can actually take things in their control, a lot of different interesting things that you can read there.

But I spent most of the time with the baby in my arms, because I didn't have too much time for myself, you know, once you become a father. I'm sure that anyone who is parent understands that. You have devoted yourself to the family and to my boy that is 14 months old now that requires a lot of attention. Whenever he is awake I try to be helpful to my wife and try to spend time with him, connect with him. It's very important to me.

Obviously this offseason was completely different from any offseason that I had ever in my life. Even the holidays that I had is no more, you know, lying in the sun bed and, you know, doing things, going snorkeling or stuff like this, because there's not much time or energy for that.

But it's lovely. It's a new chapter of my life, and I enjoy it. I was actually saying already in the last 12 months or so how that has positively reflected on my tennis and on my mindset and my motivation and actually finding the meaning and the purpose to whatever I'm doing.

So now everything has kind of clicked and aligned for me in a way. So I'm trying to enjoy life as much as I can.

Q. Congratulations first for the victory. It's your first win here in Doha. You know that you have been here for one week before the tournament kicks off. Do you think that staying here for that long period has helped you getting used to the weather, to the place and everything in that win, or can we say that Nadal was an easy win for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, you can't expect me to say it was an easy win. That wouldn't be fair at all to Nadal. It was a straight-set match where, as I said before, I played the best tennis I could play.

But, you know, I have tons of respect for my opponent, especially Nadal, so I can't really say it was a straightforward match or easy or stuff like this. It would be disrespectful.

But I think the fact that I have arrived here almost a week before my first match has helped, definitely, to get used to the conditions. And for obvious reasons, because of the long 2015, I have skipped the leadup events, exhibition events, and I came here and I think it was a good decision, because I could actually devote more time to practice without having really points and always competitive play and the practice sessions which sometimes can, you know, stress a lot, impose a lot of stress on the player. If you're playing constantly some kind of practice sets or exhibition events, even though they are exhibition events, still, if you're playing some top player, you're in the position to actually play well so you don't want to play bad. You know, you don't want to lose that mental edge and you don't want your rival to see you playing bad. It's all these things. You know, it requires a lot of concentration and a lot of energy.

So that's why I came earlier and I took it gradually to kind of build up the form, and I'm expecting and I'm hoping that I can actually peak and play as well as I did today in Melbourne.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297