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January 5, 2017

Novak Djokovic

Doha, Qatar

N. DJOKOVIC/R. Stepanek

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about your performance today and the next match against Fernando? I don't know if you had you had the chance to see him play.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I saw him play against Goffin a bit more, and he played really solid, really impressive tennis, better than -- he's been playing better than last year when we encountered each other in the second round.

He's a very complete player. He's got weapons from forehand side; big serve; very strong.

If he's feeling good on the given day, he can really challenge any player on any surface. That's how I see him. We have always been aware of his potential and his talent. Just that he wasn't able to keep things consistent throughout his career.

But, you know, he's very dangerous player if he's, as I said, feeling well.

Q. It was quite windy out there. What sort of adjustments did you have to make to sort of pull through?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's a soft term saying windy for what it's been today. I mean, it's quite challenging I must say, mentally mostly, to really be able to go through these kind of conditions without losing the focus and the determination on the court.

It's same for both players, so there is not much you can do. The force of the nature is like that. You have to accept and try to embrace it, really be one with the wind, otherwise it's not going to be good day for you.

I thought I started very well. Within the few points I felt like Radek played well when he broke my serve 4-2, but I started to, you know, feel kind of different after few points. That's due to the wind, you know.

It shows again how wind can really challenge and discourage a player. You can feel well for an hour and few points can change that around, because the timing is something that we as tennis players rely on very much.

Wind doesn't give you always the same ball. You have different kinds of wind obviously. We're quite experienced, so we can talk about different directions of the wind and so forth. We're not meteorologists, but we have experienced that quite a few times. This wind was quite unpredictable today.

Again, it was entertaining playing against Radek for whom I have a lot of respect. He always challenges you and makes you play good tennis. You have to earn the win. He has a great variety, as I was saying yesterday. Coming into the net; serve and volley. Today he showed couple of really skillful volleys.

So all in all, I thought in terms of my performance, under the circumstances I put the level up again, which is great. So everything is going in the right direction.

Q. Yesterday Andy was talking about using data and that it was advantageous to him. Do you look at data before matches? Does it work for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, certainly. I do that for years already, many years. It does give you of course better preparation for yourself, your own game, and the matchup that's ahead of you. Of course everybody is different, so some players like to feel that they have the -- the less information the better for them. Some players like to have many informations, so they process that.

I'm somewhere in between. I just like to pick the right things to focus on, and the data, of course, enables you to have the access to certain kind of perspectives that you need.

Q. You just talked about Stepanek and that you respect a lot his tennis. When you play against a player that's older than you nine years, does it give the match any specific characteristics in terms of physical conditions perhaps or something like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it makes me excited because it shows me that I can have as long a career as he has. If he can do it, I can do it, too. That's only thing I'm thinking about when I see him.

Q. Don't know if you heard the news today about the Australian player that's been charged with match fixing.

Q. Although you don't know the specifics, last year's Australian Open junior champion was charged with alleged match fixing at a challenger tournament.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What's his name?

Q. Oliver Anderson. Although you maybe don't know of him, would you be disappointed to hear that a young person like him that won the junior title last year would be involved in something like this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very disappointed. Very disappointing to hear, that, especially considering the fact that he's young and won the junior Grand Slam.

You know, obviously the quality is there and the potential is there. I don't understand why he has done it. Again, everybody has their own reasons. They behave the way they think is best for them at the certain moment. Everybody makes mistakes.

I hope he's going to learn from that.

Q. Follow up question about using data. I heard you have invested in a company which is called PlaySight; is that true?

Q. If that's true, what is the idea of investing in that company, and how you use that kind of technology?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is true. I'm not going to talk about the specifics because it's not adequate to speak about my investments in the tennis tournament.

I'm going to say a few things about PlaySight because I think it is very innovative technology introduced to the world of sport that I think has the biggest impact on coaching and on actually training specifics, so to say.

I don't know if you were introduced to what the PlaySight is. You have four, five cameras around the court and a unit which then obviously tracks down the player's movements, and you can work on some specific, let's say drills or depth of the ball or movements or whatever it all tracks down.

Obviously you receive that data as soon as the practice is over. It does help a lot for the kind of on-court training game analysis. PlaySight is not an official technology partner of ATP or WTA because Hawk-Eye is in place and it's a different technology, so they don't have access to the matches.

But I think they're more kind of focused on the training, and not just those aspects of tennis, but other spots also. I think they are very much widespread now in the colleges, in basketball especially.

You can have a live streaming as well, so for parents to be in the different part of the world and see their child training tennis or basketball is quite nice. It makes you feel like you're next to your child.

Q. Just going back to conditions a little bit, considering it's much cooler here, do you think that gives you less time to acclimatize to Melbourne for the Australian Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. Even though usually everybody goes at least a week before the first match in Australian Open. I mean, not everybody, but most of the top players because of obviously eventual extreme conditions in Australia. We know it can be very, very hot.

But, you know, I think playing Doha and being in Dubai, many players train immediately before they go to Australia because it's kind of halfway through to Australia from Europe. You can't train outdoors in the wintertime in Europe. There are not many places in Europe where you can train outdoors in December. One of them is of course Spain and Monte-Carlo as well. Those are kind of places - south of France - where you can train outdoors.

But not many. It's fine. I've been playing now this is the third year I've been playing Doha, and I never had an acclimatization problem in Australia. Obviously it's not easy because it's eight hours from here, ten hours from Europe difference, so it takes time if you don't go earlier to Australia.

But seven days should do the work.

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