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June 3, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Paris, France


6-2, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. I guess you're pretty happy about your performance today. It was close to perfect.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Best performance of the tournament. As I was hoping after the long fourth round that I'm going to start playing better as the tournament progresses, and that's what's happening now.

So I'm very pleased with the way things are going.

Q. Are you happy to have faced such a young player in the semis? It's always good to see a change in the pattern. What do you have to say about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure, sure, of course. It was amazing ambience, atmosphere on the Suzanne Lenglen. It was the first time I have played the semifinals of Roland Garros on that court, and, you know, I'm obviously very glad to win in three sets and against a player that was in-form and has played many tournaments, many matches this year.

He carries himself very well on and off the court for his age. He's a leader of a new generation, very powerful, and has a lot of strength and variety in his game. I managed to handle his heavy spin very well today, but I'm sure that, as I told him after the match, we're going to see a lot of him in the future if he continues doing so well.

Q. You've obviously talked a lot about the possibility of completing the career Grand Slam, but what about the prospect of winning a fourth slam in a row? What would that mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, now I put myself in a position in which I wanted to be in of course ever since last year's final. I was hoping that the clay court season would be successful in the other tournaments, but mostly in this one.

It's always high on the priority list when I start a season thinking about Roland Garros, and to be able to reach finals is really special. I give myself another opportunity to win the trophy.

For a change, it's great to have a day off tomorrow (Smiling.) I think it's gonna serve well to recover, to get that energy supply, and Sunday I'll give my all, as always.

Q. As you travel the world in the biggest tournaments, sometimes the crowds are with you, but a lot of times maybe not so much. But talk about the energy, the zest, having all of that support. What does that mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, today it was Davis Cup kind of atmosphere on the court. That's how it felt, you know.

A lot of support for both players, I was thinking. Dominic as well deserved to have that support. Crowd recognized, you know, that he's young player first time, his debut in semifinals of Grand Slam. They wanted him to do well, and win today's match.

On the other hand, I also had plenty of support throughout the tournament, not just today. It was just a lot of energy, you know, a lot of emotions going on on the court from the very first point to the last.

The crowd was actively participating in each point, which I find very exciting because we don't get to see that too often. That's why, you know, we, as an individual athletes want to, in a way, have this kind of atmosphere. In a big matches like this you always want to feel special on the court, because, you know, you worked hard to get into that moment.

It adds that extra, you know, special kind of weight to the match itself when crowd is there, when it's full, packed stadium, when they get involved and they stand behind and support both players. You know, those are the moments that you live in your mind when you're training every day.

That's where you want to be. That's why you practice.

Q. Andy just won against Wawrinka. He's playing also a great level of tennis this year and on clay especially. So how do you see this final going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, we played two finals already on clay court tournaments in Madrid and Rome back to back. We split wins.

He came back from two-set deficit in the first round, and second round also winning in five sets. You know, he's a fighter. He has improved so much on the clay court over the years. I mean, this season is a great example of that.

I'm sure that it's gonna be a final with a lot of emotions and a lot of exchanges from the baseline because we have similar styles of game. I know his game; he knows mine. I'm sure we're gonna try to both give it all on Sunday.

Q. I'm not sure if you would have seen any of this news yet, but Tommy Haas was just named tournament director of Indian Wells. I know you've played him obviously a bunch. What do you think of that hire and what sort of leader he might be?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I kind of expected that to happen. I didn't know about it, but now that you tell me, it's a perfect solution for Indian Wells tournament, considering the great relationship Tommy has with Larry Ellison. Tommy has been around so many years in tennis. He's still in active professional tennis.

He still hasn't retired. I don't know how, you know, taking responsibility of few different roles is going to affect him. I'm sure he's very eager to, you know, contribute in a way to the growth of that tournament that is already setting up a very high standard in the integrity of ATP events.

I think it's a great solution for Larry and for Indian Wells.

Q. We know that Andy has beaten you in Rome and last year as well in Canada. In slams it's been a while since he has beaten you. When you enter a match with Andy at a Grand Slam do you feel you have a mental edge or any certain edge over him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, we have split wins lately. I think in the last 12 months or so he's beaten me probably three times; I beat him maybe one more or two more.

You know, I think he's one of the most dedicated tennis players on the tour. He always seeks to improve his game and get better, which I do, too.

So I think looking at our history of the first time we played against each other and every since we have met when we were 11 years old all the way till now, if we knew back then that we were going to fight for biggest trophy in this sport, I think we would both sign the document.

It's pretty nice that our rivalry has evolved over the years. I don't think that there is any particular advantage to my side. I think mentally when we step on the court, sure, maybe to some extent, some small percentage, but he's playing in great form. We haven't played in Roland Garros too many times. We played I think last year in five sets. I remember that match very well.

Let's see. You know, it's another Grand Slam title up for grabs for both Andy and myself. You know, one thing for sure that I know that I can expect when I get on the court with him is it's going to be a very physical battle, which always is the case.

You know, that's why the day off will definitely serve me well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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