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August 26, 2016

Novak Djokovic

New York, NY, USA

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon everyone. Questions, please.

Q. Give us a bit more detail about the nature of your wrist complaint, how it is now, and what impact, if any, it had earlier in the season, for instance, at Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the wrist hasn't been in ideal start for the last three and a half weeks, but I'm doing everything in my power with obviously the medical team to make sure that I'm as close to 100% as possible during the course of this tournament, at least for the beginning of it.

It happened actually in Rio, just few days before the start of the tournament. I did experience this for the first time in my career. Never had this particular wrist injury before. I played against Del Potro, who unfortunately was absent from the tour for the wrist injury himself.

You know, it was interesting for me to experience how was it and how it is for him for so many years struggling with that essential part of your body as a tennis player.

Yeah, after undergoing certain treatments I've gotten better. I'm just hoping that Monday when the tournament starts I'll be able to, as I said, get as close to the maximum of executing my backhand shot as possible.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about how you've treated it? I saw a photograph of you and it seemed like you had a tube hooked up to your left arm.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there are different methods of healing that I'm considering and consulting, and different medical experts that are prescribing different methods. One of them is the physical therapy. What you have seen is the electricity treatments, trying to enhance the regeneration process of the wrist. So that's what it was.

But, you know, sometimes the time is what you need as an athlete, and because US Open is around the corner, I don't have too much time. I try to compensate and improvise as much as I can and find the best ways of getting myself properly ready.

Q. You mentioned the history books before. You come inhere with 12 majors; two more to Rafa and Pete; Federer at 17. How much are you aware of that and how much of is it a goal to try to get to 17 at some point?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Grand Slams are valued the most in our sport as tournaments historically, so these are the tournaments where I want to do well and do my best.

I obviously had a phenomenal Grand Slam career that I'm very proud of and very grateful for. I'm 29 at the moment and believe that I'm at a peak of my abilities as a tennis player. I'll try to keep that peak as consistent and enduring as much as possible.

Again, it's privilege to be mentioned alongside all the legends of the sport that have won 10+ Grand Slams and made history books. I'm honored to actually play in the active tennis with two of them. For the last ten years I've played with Roger and Rafa who are still out there.

You know, other than that, I can't say too much -- can't add more because it wouldn't be fair towards the other players that are fighting for the same thing.

So even though I understand that. Of course as one of the top players you get more attention and questions regarding winning Grand Slams and being one of the favorites, so I really value that. That also allows me to get myself in a right state of mind and good approach.

Hopefully, as I said, physically as well I'll be enabled to perform my best. At the moment, I know that there is a little room still for me to get better physically. Hopefully that's going to be the case next couple days.

Then when tournament starts, all the doors are open.

Q. Sorry to go back to injuries, but you said that you suffered the wrist problem before Rio. After you lost at Wimbledon, I remember you saying that you weren't 100% there but you didn't want to go into details. Can you tell us now what the problem was at Wimbledon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I -- well, I apologize, but it's tough to go back now and talk about that. It was nothing physical. It's not an injury. It was some other things that I was going through privately.

But it's nothing that was linked to the wrist injury I got in Rio.

Q. People talk about hitting a wall. Was the wall Wimbledon for you? Was it Rio?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think both a little bit. To be honest, I haven't lost in first week of Grand Slam since I think 2009. You know, I've been very fortunate to play on a very high, consistent level on Grand Slams, which each year I'm aiming for.

This year, you know, the third round-loss happened in Wimbledon against Sam, and it allowed me to reflect on things and allowed me to take some time and really regroup and think about what was achieved as well with French Open that was very emotional in every sense.

You know, it gave me so much, but took a lot out of me as well. I really went all the way until the end in every sense of my being.

After that, it took bit of time for me to kind of get centered again. You know, which I thought I did in Toronto. I played well and won a tournament without dropping a set. Started to feel great.

Then unfortunately that injury caught up with me couple days before start of Rio. That's where I stand at the moment. Of course taking away nothing from Del Potro's win. I don't want to sound that I lost because of injury. He played fantastic and showed his qualities by reaching the final and having a very close gold medal match.

I was very glad for him because he's a great guy and he suffered a lot with more or less the same injury that I'm encountering. It was a nice lesson for me, and a process of understanding, of comprehending everything that goes around.

But I guess that's life. You have some ups, some highs and lows, and it's normal to ride the wave in that way.

Just going to try to learn from that experience and get better as a tennis player and get wiser as well and understand the reasons and the source of why and when it happened.

Q. What is your confidence level coming in here with everything that's happened this summer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, confidence level is high, I guess. The fact that I've for the last couple years played on a very high, consistent level -- and, I mean, other than that loss in the Olympic Games and Wimbledon, I've had a phenomenal season -- definitely rank this season one of the best that I've had in career.

So I don't feel like it has shaken me too much. I just hope to be healthy and to be enabled to play the way I wish to play in US Open. That's why I'm here. Let's see how the tournament goes.

Q. You referred there to sort of going through private things during Wimbledon. Is that now resolved? Has it resolved itself?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it is. Thank you for asking. It is and everything is fine. Again, I am in a position, like everybody else, like all of you, we all have private issues and things that are more challenges than issues, more things that we have to encounter and overcome in order to evolve as a human being.

That was the period for me. It happened right there. Was resolved and life is going on like everything else.

Q. Can you give us a name to the injury?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: A wrist injury. (Laughter.)

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