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November 4, 2016

Novak Djokovic

Paris, France

M. CILIC/N. Djokovic

6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You fought hard to come back into this match being up 5-4 in the second set, but wasn't enough today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, credit to Marin and congratulations. He definitely played better today, and he deserved to win.

You know, I wasn't on the level that I could have been on. Obviously, there are things I could have done better.

I was also in this kind of circumstances and with this level of play in a good position to take the match into the third set, and then two double faults. And, you know, just in important moments I wasn't able to deliver.

He is a deserved winner.

Q. You and Andy have been rivals for such a long time. Could you tell us, what are your emotions right now as he reaches to take the spot you have occupied for 122 weeks?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, as I was saying before, you know, if he gets it, which he is in a very good position to do that, he's definitely a player who deserves that. Undoubtably much respect for what he has done. Yeah, we have known each other since very, very early days. We were, I think, 11 years old when we first played against each other. And to see how he has raised his level in the last 12 months is quite extraordinary.

All I can say is that he's deservably in the position he's in at the moment.

Q. Do you still set yourself targets on the achievements you want to accomplish in the future in terms of winning titles and still being No. 1?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, you know, I mean, I'm aware that I'm not the only one, only player in the world that wants to win when he gets out on the court.

You know, it would be disrespectful to all the players that I only talk about myself or Andy, even though we are in two top spots in the world at the moment. You know, there are guys like Cilic, for example, or Wawrinka that are right behind. They keep on pushing, keep on fighting.

In the end of the day, this is sport. You know, you can't always expect to win. You know, in terms of what the future brings to me, that's not in my hands. You know, I'm going to obviously keep playing at this level as long as I feel like that's the right thing for me.

So that's all I can say.

Q. Will you watch this match and the one tomorrow if Andy wins tonight to see how that develops?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm planning definitely to stay another few days here with accreditation and watch all of his matches, yes. (Laughter.) And leave my son at home. (Smiling.)

Q. Whatever happens with Andy over the next couple of matches, how important is it to you personally to get the year-end world No. 1 ranking again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, in the end of the day, I have to get to the -- first of all, to that state of mind where I'm able to, you know, to perform as well as I want to match after match. I was not able to find that level for last couple of months.

So, for me, again, going back to that, a lot of things are coming out, you know, a lot of things, a lot of emotions went through my mind and body in the last two years, you know, with the things that I was blessed to achieve, obviously, and the career Grand Slam this year.

But it took a lot out of me, you know, and it has put some things in perspective and, obviously, raised some questions in which direction I want to go to. So I'm in the process at the moment, and it's gonna obviously take some time really for me to redefine all these things.

But I'm still here, and I feel like I'm on the right path. I'm in a better state of mind than I was some time ago. That's all I'm thinking about right now.

Q. It seems your right arm was a bit of an issue today. Same as in New York. Is it the same injury? Do you think it's important for London? Do you need to fix it before the end of season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Quick fixes are never good fixes. But as a professional athlete, you're kind of used to having these particular circumstances where you need to just find a quick solution.

You know, unfortunately, yes, today that was bothering me a little bit, especially with the serve. But again, it is what it is. I'm not the only one who goes through pain. You know, pain is part of the game, I guess, is part of, you know, professional sport.

Q. Do you think it's reasonable to think that your victory at the French Open is responsible for your dropped performance the second half of season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I'm not thinking about it in that way. I'm thinking about it as one of the greatest moments I have had on the tennis court in my life, and that's how it's going to stay.

I never have, you know, won Roland Garros and career Grand Slam before and, you know, reached that kind of, I guess, milestone in my career. So I didn't know how I'm going to feel after that.

You know, as I said, there is a lot of things, a lot of emotions, a lot of sensations. Of course, there was, you know, pride and satisfaction in the success I have had with my team, but in the other hand, it was also very exhausting.

At a certain point, I had to, you know, reach this kind of phase where, you know, I had to reflect and say, Okay, I mean, I have played on the highest possible level for that much.

The drop of form is normal in sports. I'm not too concerned about how the future will go for me. I'm just living in the moment, and that's all.

Q. I think you said you need to redefine your approach or think about it over the offseason. Could this involve changes in your support team? Have you talked about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We'll see. It's early to talk about it, but the team that's there is there. I'll see what's gonna happen for next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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