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April 3, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Miami, Florida

N. DJOKOVIC/K. Nishikori

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. 28th record-setting title, place where you won your first. Were you feeling sentimental about that? Did it run through your mind? How does it feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, every year that I come back to Miami I do go through those memories from back in 2007, was the first Masters I won and opened a lot of doors for me, gave me a lot of self-belief. I started to realize that I'm able to win, you know, the big trophies and to beat the best players in the world.

So of course this is a particular place for me to come back to, now winning it six times. Obviously I don't take any win for granted and especially in the big ones. So it was best performance of the tournament. It came at the right time against a great quality player.

Q. Quite a few records today. 28th Masters title, you have overtaken Roger on prize money, and Boris' win. So which one are you most...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Boris' win, by far. That's the most important one. The most important one. (Laughter.)

I had a phone call with him. We had a laugh about it.

No, but, I mean, of course I'm very grateful and proud of all the achievements, and the fact that I put myself in a position to make records and to have my name in the history books is a great incentive before matches like this.

But I didn't think about it too much. It didn't impose any pressure, or I didn't want to have it as a distraction; rather as a motivation.

It's quite amazing. I'm very thrilled about it. Hopefully I can make many more records.

Q. Congratulations. Two-part question. First, talk about records. Is the No. 18 or 17 in your mind with Roger? Right now you are dominating. There is no way else to put it. Secondly, how would you play you if you were on the other side of the court? Because nobody knows what kind of strategy it takes to beat you right now.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as I said, the fact that you can have your name written in the history books of this sport that has given me and everybody so much is a privilege. So that serves as a great motivation before any big match, any big tournament. And now as I go along in my career and as I achieve so much success, especially last two years, I give myself, you know, more opportunities to actually make records.

So of course it is in the back of my mind somewhere, but I don't have that as a main motivation. You know what I mean? Because then things can go a little bit out of control. Maybe can present some kind of distraction that I don't need.

And regarding your second question, I can't answer. (Laughter.) Then I would give away too much. But I know what I would play against myself. I know exactly. (Laughter.)

Q. Is March becoming your favorite month?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, actually, I spoke to my team about it yesterday saying that if I look in general throughout my career, the most successful month in the whole season is definitely March and these two tournaments.

I enjoy probably these two tournaments the most back to back than any other throughout the year. Probably because of the fact that also it's spread out four weeks, you know, two tournaments. You have time to play best of three, have time to recover between matches, time to prepare.

It allows me to get in this state of mind and optimal state of, you know, physical and emotional harmony that I can actually portray my best when it's needed.

Q. Congratulations. When you played Nishikori in Australia, you said you did expect him to play really aggressive and hitting a lot of big shots with forehand, so you did expect him so you can prepare for that. Maybe this time he started off a little bit different. He plays more like with a little more patience and tries to hit more like longer rallies. How did you feel about his play in the beginning of today's match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I thought he started very well breaking my serve in the first game and coming out with some big forehands and aggressive play.

I needed to answer right back, which I did in the following game and got back to him in terms which helped me mentally obviously to, you know, kind of continue the match in a right way. Because, you know, if you're a break down, 2-0 down, things are a little bit different obviously, especially against a player like Kei who is very quick and likes to protect the baseline, likes to stay close and likes to dictate the play.

So I wanted to take away that comfort from him, which I did, I think, after five, six games in the first set. I started to get used to his pace and started hitting the ball cleaner and stronger and finding angles and depth and moving him around the court, putting a lot of pressure on his service games. I started getting free points on my first serves which of course was very important end of the first and whole second set.

All in all, as I said, I think it was the best performance of the tournament here for me. I think if I look back the last four weeks, the best two matches I played in Indian Wells/Miami were the two matches I played in finals of those two events. I'm very pleased with that.

Q. Throughout this tournament and especially the first week there was a fair share of upsets, withdrawals with Federer, Nadal, and on the women's side, as well. How did you avoid that sort of bad luck? Were you paying any attention to that at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't -- I don't think about bad luck at all. I was just obviously doing what I'm supposed to do, you know, trying to accomplish, you know, on a daily basis what I ask from myself, what the team asks from me, and not pay too much attention on the others.

You know, obviously it was surprising to see that many exits from the top players in opening couple of rounds. But, you know, that's what happens. It's sport. It's playing one on one. If you don't feel well or don't play well, others can win.

That's all I can say about it.

Q. You went out and did this without either Becker or Vajda here. Is that satisfying to you? I know you're the one that actually has to go out there and hit the shots to win it. But does it show a greater independence of thought? And what are the coaching plans leading up to the French and Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, you know, in the end of the day you have to do your work, go out on the court and play to win and try to win yourself. You know, your team is there obviously to contribute to your game as much as they can and to mentally prepare you for what's expecting you out there.

But in the end of the day, it's the amount of work and time and energy that you put into yourself. I think at least in my case, you know, I rely highly on my beliefs and my strengths and all the work that I, you know, put in the tennis courts and off the tennis courts, as well.

So I do feel satisfaction knowing that even without my two main coaches present here that I'm being able to win the tournament and not drop a set, and so that gives me, as you said, a great deal of independence and a confidence boost, as well.

You know, but I'm still looking forward to have, you know, one of them in the future events.

Q. Obviously a hugely busy summer coming up with you with the Olympics and this whole period now through to the US Open. If you keep reaching finals, as you seem to do every week, do you think you might have to kind of trim that, your schedule, a bit? And would perhaps Madrid and Davis Cup quarterfinal be among those things that you might look to sort of review if you keep winning as you are?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, last year I played many finals. You know, the few tournaments that I missed -- I think Madrid was the tournament actually that I missed. This year the start of the season has been probably even better than 2015 in terms of results, in terms of how I feel.

I don't feel too exhausted. I don't think that I will have any difficulty to make transition to the clay courts quickly and swiftly enough.

Let's see what happens. You know, obviously clay courts are physically most demanding surface, so, you know, knowing -- also looking at the big picture, also knowing that French Open is, you know, the biggest tournament and the biggest goal that I have on the clay courts and try to adjust according to that tournament, as well.

But I live in Monte-Carlo. I'm definitely going to play there. I'm going to look forward to that tournament. And then I'm going to start thinking about, you know, whether or not I will play the rest of the tournaments. But for now I'm in the schedule for Madrid and for Rome and for Paris. That's how it's going to stay if there is not any different changes.

Q. Congratulations for your title. You talked the end of the match about the Open issue and the future of this tournament. Would it be different for you if the tournament take place in a different city? And what do you think would be different for you and the rest of the players if the tournament leaves Key Biscayne?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, first of all, from some reliable sources I know the tournament will stay here for many years to come. So I don't think we need to have a conversation about moving this tournament anywhere else when we know that it's going to stay here. It's been here for many years. It's going to stay here. It's a successful event. Key Biscayne is a wonderful occasion for tennis. People enjoy being in Key Biscayne. It's an island, wonderful weather, a little bit windy for tennis, but we still do our best. (Laughter.)

And that's all. You know, I heard there were talks about moving to some other cities in Florida, somewhere around the United States, but it's still going to stay here. That's for sure.

Q. I think it's too early to talk about it. You say that Roland Garros is the biggest goal. What do you think of the Olympic Games? What would it mean to win the single gold medal for your country?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that's one of the dreams I have and one of the biggest inspirations right now in my career is to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

So no doubt that I will do my best to prepare myself for the Olympic Games and, you know, try to perform at my top on the surface that is throughout my career the most preferred surface, most successful surface that I have.

I look forward to Olympic Games, not just for that reason but also because of its history and culture. The tradition of Olympic Games is incredible, it's the most renowned sports event ever in the history of sport. So to be alongside the top athletes from all the different sports around the world and to, you know, to dine with them, to talk with them, to see them perform live is a unique experience that I think every athlete looks forward to every four years.

Q. 28th Masters 1000. One more than Rafa. Is it a special meaning because Rafa is your biggest rival during these years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, it doesn't have any particular meaning because it's Rafa. You know, it's just -- the fact that I managed to win, you know, the most Masters ever is a remarkable achievement I'm very proud of. But nothing is -- you know, I don't have any thought about that I surpassed Rafa and that makes me proud. It's not about that.

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