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May 24, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Paris, France


6-4, 6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. How did you feel out there for your first match? Maybe the first set a little bit tired or just time to get your footing out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, just the time to kind of get myself engaged, kind of get used to the conditions and the new court, a new tournament.

Well, second and third set were really good. I thought I found my rhythm. First set, you know, was up and down. But I'll take the positives out of it, and I'm hoping I can progress as the tournament goes on.

Q. I believe you initially were supposed to play yesterday, and then with the rain things got shuffled. Does that really make a difference for your preparations, throw you off a bit?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it doesn't throw you off too much, but it does influence your preparations for, you know, each day because as you are coming closer to the initial stages of the tournament, the first round, you're obviously strategically approaching your practice sessions, you know, maybe working on certain specific things one or two days before the match.

So, yes, we aimed to play on Monday, but it didn't happen. It wasn't a big deal, something that could radically influence. But, you know, weather conditions are, you know, not going in the favor of the tournament last couple of days. It's been raining a lot. So the courts are a bit heavier and the conditions are quite different.

But, you know, it's not the first time. You know, it happens quite often in Paris.

Q. You're going to play one of my compatriots. How well do you know Steve Darcis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he's been around the tour for many years. He had a couple of big wins, I think Nadal in Wimbledon a couple of years ago. Generally, I think he prefers playing on quicker surfaces, because he's got -- he's very talented, has very quick hands, very good slice, you know, good serve.

So, you know, I haven't seen him play much on clay. Gonna have to do a little bit of homework there, and then hoping I can prepare myself well.

Q. Watch out, because on the circuit they call him The Shark.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, really? Well. I have a nice answer in my head, but I will keep it for myself. I love sharks. (Smiling.)

Q. This is the fifth time you've come here with the chance to complete the career Grand Slam. I'm sure you must be pretty used to that feeling. How different is that feeling here compared to when you arrive at the other Grand Slams, knowing that you can sort of create that sort of history here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's not the first time this year that I'm experiencing such anticipation and expectations. As a matter of fact, I think it's been now three years in a row that is very similar situation where I'm approaching this tournament as one of the favorites, and, obviously people wonder if this is the year or not, and I wonder myself.

So of course it is a particular sensation approaching this tournament. It's quite different than others. But, look, you know, it does depend on me how I'm going to use this emotion, you know. So I try to use it as a motivation to inspire myself, to play well, to stay calm and focus only on the present moment.

So whether or not I'm going to have a chance to fight for a trophy that's in Almighty's hands, I can't influence that, but I can certainly give my best and give my all, as always.

Q. We have been talking to a few players today who are opting out of the Olympics even though their ranking would take them. And a couple of them have said the fact that there is no points there is a big factor for them. In your opinion, do you think the Olympics should have offered points?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that was one of the debates, I think, whether or not we should have points in the Olympic Games.

To be quite frank, I don't see a reason why not. You know, we have the best players in the world participating in arguably the fifth Grand Slam. It's of that importance for all of us, even more, because it happens every four years.

I mean, it's a subject for discussion. I would definitely encourage people to rethink of getting points out there.

In the end of the day, you know, the players that will not participate, it's completely their decision. It's individual, gotta respect that.

From my perspective, being part of Olympic Games is something that, you know, I don't think I have ever experienced before. It's wonderful, wonderful feeling being there with all the best athletes from around the world, being part of that Olympic Village, you know, representing your country, the experiences with everybody, dining alongside with some of the best athletes. It's quite different, to be honest. That's why it's so special, because it happens every four years.

You know, it's a big decision to skip Olympic Games. You never know what can happen in four years.

Q. Nick Kyrgios on Sunday received a code violation for yelling "towel" at one of the ball boys and in the subsequent conversation he had with the match umpire he referenced your incident from Rome a couple of weeks ago. Personally how do you feel about Nick referencing your incident on court? Secondly, do you feel he potentially gets treated differently by match officials in tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I saw that. I saw that particular situation that happened in his match.

What can I say? It's his choice that he wants to bring it out there. I don't know what he has done. I don't know the nature of his gestures on the court and why he got a code violation, whether or not it was only for the towel or maybe something before that happened.

I'm not getting into it. It's completely his choice what he's going to do that -- and do about that. So, you know, by mentioning my name, I don't think it was necessary, but again, I've got to respect his choice.

Q. In the last years you were close to winning the tournament, last three or four years. Still, every year you're coming back as an even stronger player. It's beyond inspiring. I'm just wondering, what is the drive? What drives you? What's the main driver for this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, thank you. Obviously very inspired by playing this sport, first of all. You know, I really love it. I have, deep inside of my heart, I have a great passion for tennis. That's, I think, the main source of drive and motivation.

And then everything else, you know, that comes along. I have many people around -- first of all, my family and the closest people I have in my life. I have many people around the world that are with me and supporting me. You know, knowing that I'm not alone, even though I'm an individual athlete and on the tennis court, I'm playing by myself, but knowing that I have that many people behind me, I don't take that for granted. It's an incredible fact that, you know, keeps me going day in, day out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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