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January 6, 2017

Novak Djokovic

Doha, Qatar

N. DJOKOVIC/F. Verdasco

4-6, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What an incredible comeback. You're one step closer to your second trophy, second title, here in Doha. How do you feel?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I obviously feel content that I managed to turn the match around, the match that looked very much in hands of Fernando tonight. He was clearly a better player for two sets.

My side, I thought I started the match well, 4-2, and then just six games in a row lost the timing completely. Fernando started playing quite freely from back of the court, serving high percentage of first serves, and, I mean, using the first ball after the serve very well.

Again, it was very windy. Obviously both of us, we were quite cautious with our play, especially at times myself, you know. In the end of the day, it was quite a thrilling experience for me to be able to go five match points down. I just received the information that it's the third time in my career that I've done that.

I'm obviously very pleased, because you need these kind of matches, these kind of confidence boosters, for whatever is coming up after that. Sometimes the player on the other side of the net is just better. He had three out of five match points with his serve, and three, four of the five match points he had a forehand to finish it off and he didn't.

It's not because I've done something right. It's just that it happened that way. Only thing I could do is fight and get myself in a position to win the match. That's what I've done.

Q. If you do play Andy tomorrow, do you see it as a good opportunity to get some confidence to start the year with heading into the Aussie Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Playing already in the finals of the first event definitely serves as a great confidence incentive. Obviously this is exactly what I hoped that I can achieve, to get to the finals.

If I get to play Andy, that would be another thrilling match, of course, where I'm he hoping I can play on a high level and we can, you know, compete as we always did against each other. We have always very physical battles, long rallies, entertaining matches.

Between 1 and 2 in the world, it's a perfect matchup for the final. Let's see what happens.

Q. What were you thinking, telling yourself, when you were cornered, got behind 2-6 in the tiebreaker?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: To be honest, taking one point at time and really just, you know, again, putting myself in a position to win that point, the next point. Only thing I can do really.

Of course you are very much aware of situation that you are facing. You know that you are one point away from losing the match.

I've been in these situations before in my life, so maybe that experience helps. Sometimes it does; sometimes it doesn't. Really depends. This is sport. It's not always possible to get the best out of your abilities.

One thing have to do and that you have to be responsibile for as an athlete is give your best and to fight and hope for the best.

Q. Can I get back to an answer you gave last night after beating Stepanek. You said you really admired his long career and you wanted to emulate that. Does that mean that you would consider playing on the tour age 38, 39, 40?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Why not? You're going to see a lot of me in the future.

Q. You've played Fernando quite a few times and he's had success against you in the past. Were you surprised with the level of his play tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not too surprised, because I'm conscious of his quality. Generally, not just this tournament. Throughout his career he always possessed a lot of weapons in his game, especially that forehand.

As I said yesterday, if he's feeling good he can beat anybody on any surface, which was proven today in a way. He was very close to win it. As I said, for two sets he was a better player: stepping in, just doing the right things.

Yeah, it was a great challenge against a player in-form, so I take a lot of positives out of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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