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July 29, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was your impression of the tennis ball situation in tonight's match? Can you explain what happened there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What situation? Can you repeat again?

Q. The tennis ball situation.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The tennis ball situation?

Q. There were issues with the judge and...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, okay, all right, all right. Yes, yes.

Q. He was a little confused, and...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. I honestly was, too. I didn't know exactly what was the issue, but it was obviously a little problem with a ball at the wrong moment for Tomas, obviously. Yes. Thank you.

Q. At the end of the match you were asked about Milos, and you said, Out of respect, I want to wait until the end of the match. Did you know something we didn't?

Q. Can you elaborate about meeting Gaƫl in the next round.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Gaƫl is -- he's playing great tennis at the moment. He won Washington. He's been playing more or less every day for last couple of weeks. Played a lot of matches. So, you know, he's feeling confident on the court. He made a lot of good wins.

I think he saved some match points in finals of last week, faced a lot of break points in the last round, as well, and managed to come out in the tough moments as a better player, which is a characteristic of a champion and of somebody that knows how to cope with the pressure in deciding moments.

So he's been around for many years. I know Gaƫl for a long time, even before professional tennis. We haven't played each other in a while. I'm going to look forward to that. I think couple years ago in Toronto we did play our first match here. It was 7-6 in the third set. So let's see what happens tomorrow.

Q. You got the win but maybe not the best performance from you today. How do you assess your play?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. It wasn't as close, not even close to the best, especially in certain parts of the game like serve, for example, which is a necessity at times, you know, in conditions like this.

So I was very fortunate to get away with the first set. And second set was slightly better, but still, things are not clicking 100%, but, you know, I'm moving on and hopefully it's going to get better.

Q. I know you once said pressure is a privilege. There was a lot of pressure for Milos here tonight. Obviously he's the home crowd favorite, right? Just wanted to get your thoughts on how he did and any advice you'd give him to sort of cope with that pressure moving ahead.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, he knows very well what he's doing. He has a great team of people around him, and he has a great attitude of, you know, for professional sport. He's very committed to improve, to evolve, and he's going to learn from this kind of experience, I'm sure.

You know, sometimes when you have these particular important matches and playing in front of home crowd, you know, sometimes you come on top. Sometimes you don't. As I said, I'm sure that he's going to take that as a lesson and he's going to move on as a stronger player and person, because this is kind of a personality he is. I'm sure he's going to try his best already in a couple of weeks.

Q. In the first-set tiebreak you fought back. How are you able to always sort of remain composed at those points when other players are down, they might get tight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not always (smiling). But I guess it's a combination of an experience, playing so many times on the big stage in big matches, close matches, and using that experience every time I get to face these particular pressure moments.

Even though it sounds like a clichƩ, but really being in the moment, trying to direct your attention only to what you can influence, and you can influence only yourself and trying to execute the shots and what's coming, you know, next in the best possible way for yourself.

I anticipated well in some returns, and I stayed, hung in there. But Tomas had definitely, especially the first set in his hands, and he just threw it off with some unforced errors. But again, this is sport. It's important to always stay committed and trust that you can play one ball more than your opponent.

Q. After the win, you, instead of signing your autograph on the lens, you wrote a message about the color pink and drew a heart. I was wondering if you could tell us what exactly you wrote and what it meant.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's all about pink. That's what I wrote.

Q. What's that mean?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Just pink color, I guess. That's what I was referring to. (Laughter.)

Q. At some point you were asked about which players on tour you'd like to coach, and Gaƫl was a choice that you picked.

Q. Is he starting to do some of the things you'd advise? What's going to be your strategy against the new Gaƫl?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he seems more focused, committed. That's good to see, because he really does have a great athletic potential and he's got a talent. He's got an all-around game.

He was top 10 of the world, so he has the experience. He has that confidence. You know, he's got everything he needs in order to be on top of the game, you know, and to compete at a high level. It's just that, you know, his oscillations are quite -- they are occurring a lot in the last couple of years, but I think now he's finding his groove. He's finding his right, let's say -- he's assembling the right team of people around him, and it's good to see him back playing at such a high level.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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