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May 28, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Paris, France


6-2, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How worried were you that you were going to have to come back tomorrow?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, after second set I started thinking about it, honestly. The beginning I just focused on my performance. I tried to come up with the right tactics and execution of the tactics, which I did, I think.

I played very well, 6-2, 5-1, 30-Love, and couple of long games where I didn't use my opportunities. But, you know, I closed out two sets pretty well. Started the third great. Couple opportunities for double break and 2-Love.

Then the night show started, you know. I dropped my serve, the games were very long, Pascal was on fire. He was coming down from his chair. Yeah, and we went deep into night. I think we played to the maximum extent of time we could, I think, the light.

I'm just glad I managed to finish tonight.

Q. Did it feel like you were playing a night match at the US Open almost? It was getting so dark and the crowd...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was. It was getting dark. I just hope that, you know, soon that Roland Garros will at least have lights, because at least on the center court and Suzanne Lenglen. I mean, for a Grand Slam you need to have lights. I'm really hoping we can have that very soon for these particular situations, especially considering the fact that forecast for weather is not that great in the following days.

So it's not good for anybody, you know, waiting the whole day for players, for fans, for tournament organizers. So I'm just -- just hoping that, you know, things will go well in the future.

Q. Do you feel there is a kind of weird vibe on this tournament? Roger is out, Rafa out, Jo gets injured, the rain. Does it feel sometimes, okay, this is going to be weird this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's definitely not very commonly seen to have Federer and Nadal not in the second week of the Grand Slam and top players getting injured. Of course it's not something you like to see as a spectator and tennis fan and as a tournament organizer, because the top players are very important for the tournament.

But it happens, you know. This is sport, and, you know, sometimes the intensity of and the quantity of matches that you play throughout the season gets, you know, gets you in that position to, unfortunately as Nadal did, to forfeit from the tournament.

I don't know the nature of his injury, but definitely was -- it was sad seeing him, you know, in the press conference, you know. You could feel his pain, definitely.

You know, he played terrific the opening couple of rounds here. Then something happened. So, you know, if he retired from the tournament, then something really is serious, because he's one of the greatest competitors that the game has ever known.

You know, it's sad to not have him on the tournament. But again, we keep on going, and, you know, I'm still in and I'm just hoping it's going to go well for me.

Q. A question about the Olympics. Zika virus is back in the headlines again today. Are you worried about that? Are you happy with the games being held in Rio?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Somebody has passed me the information that significant amount of scientists have come up with a statement that it's not safe. Honestly, I don't know what to think anymore. But, you know, I need to get informed more so I can speak, you know, more in detail about it, because for the moment I'm planning to play Olympics. Nothing is changing.

But let's see. Let's see what happens, you know, because to even think to, you know, cancel the Olympic Games is unthinkable, honestly. I mean, many athletes and people already planned in advance and so many people already planned their trips and accommodation in Rio.

I mean, of course we have to have common sense that health is most important for anybody that is there. But, you know, we should not only think about people coming in Rio. How about those people living there, you know? Not talking about them too much.

So I think we have to look from different perspectives in order to make a right conclusion.

Q. Sometimes in sports perceptions or subtleties have an impact. The Big 4 in tennis has been so dominant, in both the slams and majors for such a long period of time. Now obviously no Roger, no Rafa. Do you think there is a slight perception that there might be a change happening? What are your thoughts on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There might be, you know. There's going to be. How soon? We don't know.

I know that the top 4 guys that have been dominating the tour and winning most of the major titles in the last ten years or so will not stay there forever.

New generations are coming up, and you can see already guys like Thiem and Coric, Kyrgios, these guys are already establishing themselves in the very top of the men's game. Can definitely expect to see those faces more in the future. How quick they can actually get to the top 4 of the world, you know, it's a process.

So, you know, it's not like that's going to happen overnight or over two, three months. It has to -- they need to play, you know, very well and consistently well and stay healthy throughout the entire year in order to challenge the top spots. Let's see if they can do that.

Q. What was your reaction when you heard about Nadal? Does it create pressure on you because it could make things more easier for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. As I answered just before, I feel empathy for him, because as an athlete that was also injured before, and I know this particular feeling when you need to kind of pull out from the tournament. I mean, I can only imagine this is his favorite Grand Slam.

That's all I can say. I wasn't thinking really too much about anything else.

Q. I know you said you want to talk more about the situation for people in Rio. Could you talk more about that? What concerns you about their situation there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm just saying that people should consider Brazilians and what they go through. I mean, as I said, I don't have enough information about Zika virus, and about what people are experiencing with Zika virus, what are the circumstances on people's health.

I know that the Olympic Games is a big deal, and there is a lot of media coverage about that, but also, I think international media should talk about, you know, what happens to people there? You know, what are they really experiencing, so they can also make right conclusion for the other international people coming in or not to Rio.

So that's all I can say, really. I'm not competent enough to speak more about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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