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November 13, 2016
London, England, United Kingdom
N. DJOKOVIC/D. Thiem
6-7, 6-0, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How did that feel? Obviously a tough first set, then you seemed to kind of settle into it after that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It felt very good. Even though I lost the first set, I thought I didn't do too many things wrong. It was just the very high quality of his game that prevailed in the first set.
Yeah, a thrilling tiebreaker. He was 6-3 up, two double-faults. I had I think only one set point. He just played a good point. I was in the rally, but he just was going for his shots. In the end he managed to win that very long first set.
I knew after that, the first opening couple games of the second set would be crucial for me to start with a break up, which I did. I felt more comfortable. I started swinging more freely in the second set. Obviously made him play an extra shot. He started making more errors, which I used.
I was on top of his second serves, putting a lot of pressure. I thought I played very well in the second set especially, but the third as well.
Q. You had the trainer on I think after the third game. Are you still carrying a little bit of the remnants of the stuff that's been bothering you for a while?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, not at all. It was just a nasty cut that I had when I didn't manage to return the serve, the first serve. Just kind of caught the surface, then I cut myself. It was bleeding. I just wanted to stop the bleeding.
Q. Can you tell us what was going through your mind at the end of the first set. Did the release of that frustration help you reset for the second and third?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, I mean, as I said, high intensity, high level of tennis first set. We didn't really give each other too many chances. I think we each only had one breakpoint. We both went for shots. A lot of long rallies. It was over an hour, first set.
Of course, you know, when I had the great comeback of saving six, seven set points, then I didn't manage to win that first set, of course you're frustrated. On the other hand, you know, I think I managed to kind of compose myself and really gather all my attention and concentration to what was coming up after that.
The great start of the second set helped me to regroup.
Q. It's a variation of the same thing, but at what point did you feel that you turned the corner?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, the first game of the second set, when I made a break, I knew even though it's only a first game, still a break is a significant lead, considering we didn't make any breaks of serve in the first set. That's when I started to feel, I guess, a bit more free on the court. It was reflected on my game.
Q. Thiem is playing his first Masters. Gael is in the same position. When you look back at your first Masters yourself, can you say what was the most impressive, what it feels like?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Dominic definitely seemed very impressive considering it was his debut in the World Tour Finals. It didn't seem like he was overwhelmed by the stage or occasion. He came out firing. He came out really playing great tennis. Got to give him credit for that. He was obviously very pumped up to get to the court and give his best.
Sure, Gael is going to be very entertaining tonight. I think every match he plays on is the most entertaining tennis player we have in the game.
Going back to my first World Tour Finals, I think it was back in 2007 in Shanghai. I remember, I mean, you have nothing to lose really. You've done your best to qualify for the final eight, then you come in and you try to enjoy the moment.
You can be dangerous for any player you play against because, as I said, you really don't feel too much pressure. You're just out there trying to win every match.
Q. Back to the end of the first set, we saw you similarly venting your frustration at Roland Garros, throwing your racquet. Does it concern you one day that will cost you dearly? If it hit someone...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You guys are unbelievable.
Q. Why is it unbelievable?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Because you're always picking these kind of things.
Q. If you keep doing these things...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I keep doing these things? Why don't you get suspended then?
Q. You were close, weren't you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm close? I'm still not suspended, so if I'm not close, I'm not close.
Q. If that ball had hit a spectator, it could have been serious.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It could have been, yes. It could have snowed in O2 arena, as well, but it didn't.
Q. You're not concerned about your mindset?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm the only player that shows his frustration on the court? That's what you are saying?
Q. You're one of the top-ranked players in the world.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: So?
Q. You are showing this frustration. I'm asking you, do you think it's an issue for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is not an issue for me. It's not the first time I did it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports