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March 20, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Indian Wells, California


6-2, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Novak wins a record fifth title here.

Questions, please?

Q. A few years ago in New York you played a very exciting match with Andy Roddick late at night and the crowd was on your side. How does it feel coming in here winning five times. Talk about naming the stadium after you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Smiling.) Well, that was very flattering, I must say. It has obviously been a great couple of weeks. To win this tournament five times is a fantastic achievement for my team and I.

We don't take anything for granted, especially because this tournament has been, for many, many players, a favorite tournament. You know, all the top players each year competing and trying to win it. It's just behind Grand Slams in terms of organization, the quality of facilities, the conditions.

Players are very welcomed. The spectators are sharing their passion and love for the sport with us, and in this kind of environment you are obviously inspired to play your best.

Q. Out on court you said this tournament was deserving of a new level, a new category. I'm know Shanghai and Indian Wells are in talks to get this category.

Q. Are you pushing for it? And why?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I have a tremendous respect for the history of tennis and for Grand Slams. Especially we all know that Grand Slams are the most prominent tournaments we have, you know, in the history of our sport. That doesn't take away the possibility to grow other events within the ATP world.

So I think this tournament - and you mentioned Shanghai and maybe a couple others - are willing to step it up, you know, and willing to, you know, compete for the higher level and a new category of the tournaments.

I don't see a reason why we should not allow them to do that. It's for the sake of players and sport. You know, everything is evolving in life, and our sport should, too.

Q. There was a chance that it was touch and go if you would be able to make it to this tournament this year. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, it was never in doubt that I could make it to this tournament. I arrived a day and a half later than I was supposed to because I have had difficulty with health and physically I was exhausted after that eye infection I had and three days in a row playing Davis Cup. The last day was five hours.

So, you know, that's why I took a little bit of time before I actually came in Indian Wells. But once I was here I was starting to feel much better, and I ended out the tournament in the way that I wanted.

Q. The tournament director, Ray Moore - there was some controversy today - saying women players should go down on their knees and thank the men for carrying the sport. I was wondering what your thoughts are on that comment.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Smiling.) I don't know what to say. I heard about it. Obviously it's a very delicate and sensitive subject to talk about. Women deserve respect and admiration for what they are doing. You know, equal prize money was the main subject of the tennis world in the last seven, eight years.

I have been through that process, as well, so I understand how much power and energy WTA and all the advocates for equal prize money have invested in order to reach that.

I applaud them for that. I honestly do. They fought for what they deserve, and they got it. On the other hand, I think that our men's tennis world, ATP world, should fight for more, because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators on the men's tennis matches.

I think that's one of the, you know, reasons why maybe we should get awarded more. But, again, you know, we can't complain because we also have great prize money in men's tennis is at the right moment in the right time.

Look, I don't know what Raymond Moore was exactly referring to when he was saying that, but this is all I can say from my perspective.

Q. But you don't think the prize money should be equal if it was up to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Listen, again, my answer to you is not yes and no. It's women should fight for what they think they deserve and we should fight for what we think we deserve. I think as long as it's like that and there is data and stats available and information, you know, upon who attracts more attention, spectators, who sells more tickets and stuff like that, in relation to that it has to be fairly distributed.

Q. So if the stats show at some point that women's tennis attracts more tennis, men should get less?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q. One of the great things about our sport is not only WTA and ATP, but the entire interaction of men and women in this global sport, do you think you'd be here today without your first coach, Jelena?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I wouldn't be. That's why -- you know, don't get me wrong. As I said, I have tremendous respect for what women in global sport are doing and achieving.

It's knowing what they have to go through with their bodies, and their bodies are much different than men's bodies. They have to go through a lot of different things that we don't have to go through. You know, the hormones and different stuff, we don't need to go into details. Ladies know what I'm talking about.

But it's really for great admiration and respect for them to be able to fight on such a high level. Many of them, you know, they kind of have to sacrifice for certain periods of time, you know, the family time or decisions that they make with their own bodies, you know, in order to play the tennis and to play the professional sport.

So I appreciate that. I have had a woman that was my coach, and that was a huge part of my tennis career. I'm surrounded with women. I'm very happy obviously to be married with one and to have a child. (Smiling.)

I'm completely for women power.

Q. Do you think the language that Ray Moore used was offensive? He said that if I was a lady player I'd go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think we -- yeah, we have to be fair to say that it's not politically correct. I mean, it was maybe exaggerated a little bit, but that's just my opinion.

Q. You said during your speech that your team was celebrating a lot coming from you and you thanked them for that. Was it more this week than the other weeks, or can you just...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That stays between my team and I, but they know exactly what I was talking about.

Yeah. You know, you go through these moments of battle and tension and they are people that I focus my attention to other than the court itself and the opponent. You know, my box is there to give me strength and energy and support.

Sometimes they have to tolerate some tantrums, but generally we have a nice relationship. (Smiling.)

Q. You talked the other day about instincts and pattern recognition of your opponents. Do you think that's subconscious as well as conscious? Do you think that's what separates sort of the top 5 from the rest of the field?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, conscience I think touches the material, physical part, where you can actually do something that's tangible, which means prepare yourself mentally with video analysis, the data, the stats, the previous experiences.

Subconsciously I think it relates to yourself and to how well you're prepared, how well you're moving and how focused you are on the court and on your opponent.

That, I think, in combination -- I think you're right, because subconscious and conscious are directly linked. When you're able to kind of be present, you know, when you're able to understand both and grasp both sides, you're able to be in the present moment, which I think most of the professional athletes call in the zone kind of moment.

Q. Does that separate sort of the great ones from sort of rest of the field, or is that just...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I mean, you can call it differently. I mean, I just know how it works for myself. I can see that there is a lot of professional athletes in the very top level in different sports that explain it in maybe different words, but they are thinking about more or less the same thing that I'm thinking about, as well.

It all comes down to more or less the same thing, you know, being able to, you know, use and maximize your potential as an athlete in every aspect of your being.

Q. Excuse me for this question, especially since you just had such a fantastic day. Many of us won't see you before Paris. Could you talk about Roland Garros, the gap in your résumé? What you're planning to be, what your thoughts are.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm planning to play many more tournaments before Roland Garros, first of all, in order to get myself ready and respect the schedule and the other tournaments. I think it's important -- if we want Indian Wells or the other ATP tournaments to become bigger and kind of close the gap with Grand Slams, we need to also respect the value of those tournaments and not talk only about Grand Slams, if you know what I mean. I'm not criticizing you, but I'm just talking in general.

But Roland Garros has been and is this year again one of the top priorities of the season. I have been -- I felt like I have been coming closer and closer to the title in the last couple of years. I'm not going to change much in terms of preparation for the event. I think the schedule is going to be the same, except I'm still planning to play Madrid, which I didn't the last two years.

I think in order to get yourself in match-ready situation, you need to play matches on that surface before, at least two tournaments, strong tournaments. So that's what I'm going to do.

And again, I grew up on clay, I love playing on clay. I still haven't won that Grand Slam played on clay courts, but I have gotten very close a couple of times, and I know that it doesn't take too much more to win the trophy.

So I'm going to keep on going and believing that maybe I can reach this year.

Q. You just used the term, "in the zone." How much of that played a part today? Were you in the zone today when you played the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I was. I'm just glad to be able to raise the level of my game as the tournament progresses, and that's something that I have been doing in the last two years particularly on the big events.

I have been managing to win most of the big matches against top 10 players. You know, obviously I have a certain routine and certain preparation for these big matches that works for me, again. Everybody is different. But I have been -- I will try to follow that kind of routine and get myself in that state of mind where I'm able to get the best out of myself when it's most needed.

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