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May 26, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Paris, France


7-5, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. That wasn't an easy match today. When you get out of a match like this, are you just happy you've won? Or you're maybe concerned about some parts of your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm pleased to get the job done in three sets, but, you know, there were things that I definitely didn't like in my game today. Too many unforced errors from the first or second shot in the rally.

But, you know, credit to Steve for playing a lot of variety and mixing up the pace. Very low slice. It's not easy, because he's very quick, and he anticipates the play very well.

I thought I started great 3-Love 15-40, couple backhands I missed opportunity to go double break and I felt great and then all of a sudden with some unforced errors I allowed him to come back into the match.

I would say that all three sets when I was a break up I allowed Steve to come back to those sets and fight for, you know, fight for those sets, because, you know, I was managing to drop my serve very easily.

So hopefully that's not going to happen in the following rounds. The matches will get tougher, and, you know, it's kind of expected at the beginning that you are a bit rusty on the court, and hopefully things will get better.

Q. Not about tennis, but in Madrid you said you are vegetarian. Are you vegetarian or not?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes, I am.

Q. You have Aljaz in the next round. You played him in the Australian Open last year. What do you remember about that match? How well have you gotten to know him or his team over the last few years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We practiced a bit in Monte-Carlo and couple of places. We speak the same language, so it's easy to get around, and, you know, find good ways to communicate.

He's a good guy. He's very talented, very quick motion for a first serve.

So, yeah, I'm expecting a tough one, because now it's third round and slowly we are getting into second week of tournament. Not easy matches anymore.

So I'm just -- I know he doesn't have anything to lose. We might play on center court, one of the two big ones, and I'm sure he will give it all.

I'm just hoping I can sustain, you know, the pressure that comes from his way and just, you know, enjoy my time on the court.

Q. Just to be accurate, you just said you were vegetarian. Is it recent? I think until recently you were still eating meat.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Last night I ate a big steak for today. (Laughter.)

No, no, it's been almost a year. Almost a year. How do you call that? A pescatarian, vegan with eating a little bit of fish here and there.

Q. When you started out with Boris, a lot of people said, This won't last very long. In the meantime, getting elite players, Grand Slam winners as coaches, became a trend. Now there is no Lendl, no Connors, no Edberg, no Mauresmo. But there is still Boris. You have had very good results. Talk about, please, the difficulty of top, top champions becoming coaches and why does it work so well with you and Boris?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think the top players try to find new ways of inspiring themselves and, you know, sharing the experience and learning from the all-time greats. You mentioned some names, and Boris Becker is somebody that accepted our invitation to be part of our team. We are very glad that he did that, because the last couple of years I had some great time with him, and learning a lot from, I think, from psychological point of view of how to handle things on the tour, on and off the court.

As I have mentioned many times before, he's somebody that has experience personally himself those particular ups and downs. You know, the challenges and the expectations, so he can -- and he did convey that kind of knowledge and energy and experience that he had in the past to me and to all the team.

His contribution to the team is definitely big, and so everything works in harmony so far. How long it is going to go for, we don't know. We go year by year, and, you know, I'm glad that Boris, you know, wants to keep going.

So at the end of this year, we will see if he goes for another year.

Q. You say that Boris accepted your invitation to coach. Did other people decline your invitations?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Boris was the first choice. Glad that it didn't stop there.

Q. At the end of second set you looked up to Boris because you were not satisfied with your game. If you put words on that look, what would that be?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: He knows that look. And I know his look. We'll talk tomorrow about it. (Laughter.)

Q. Many years ago there was talk of you representing Great Britain. It never happened, of course. But Aljaz has switched from Slovenia to Great Britain but now finds himself in a position where he can't play Davis Cup. Just wondered if you had any thoughts on that? Do you know anything about the case? Do you think he should be allowed to play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know too much about the case. From what I know, the rule has changed from three to five years if you have represented another country before. To play, for example, Davis Cup for one country and then you switch to another country, now you have to wait five years, which I think it's a bit too long.

Three years is fair enough, but five is a bit too much. Again, those are the rules. That's I think his scenario. I don't know whether or not he played for Slovenia before. Maybe that's the case.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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