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June 23, 2018

Novak Djokovic

London, England


7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How happy are you to be in the final, first one of 2018?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, feels great, first one since Eastbourne, I think, last year. So it's been a year. It is a special moment for me. Obviously I have been hoping to get here and working hard for it. So now that I get a chance to fight for a trophy in one of the biggest tournaments on the grass court, grass court season, it means a lot to me. I'm really pleased with the way I have played throughout the whole week.

Q. At the end of the first set, despite winning it, you seemed really angry and frustrated and were kind of shouting at your box. Can you explain what was going through your mind at that moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'll keep it for myself (smiling).

Q. You've got a great record against Marin. You know, he is one of the most consistent grass court performers over the last three or four years. You go in there with a 15 and 1 advantage. What are your thoughts on the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think the last one, last time we played, I lost.

Q. Bercy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Bercy, exactly. It's quite different playing him on grass. We have played in Wimbledon, but he's just a different player, I think. In last couple of years he's been in the form of his life and reaching his highest ranking in a career. And finals of Wimbledon, finals of Australian Open.

You know, he's probably been playing the best that he's ever played. Grass court suits him very well. Big serve. Just big game overall.

I have known him, you know, very well on and off the court. A lot of respect for each other. We are good friends. We practice a lot. There is not much secrets, so to say, between ourselves. We know each other's game quite well.

I think the key will be obviously try to return well, because that's his biggest weapon, his serve. He uses it so accurately on the grass. And obviously trying to get as many free points on my own serve.

So it's easier said than done, but I'm, you know, going into tomorrow's final knowing that it's going to be really tough match for me but a great challenge and I'm working for it.

Q. Tennis has been one of the sports that's embraced technology quite well. Without wishing to upset you, I wondered what you made of Mitrovic last night in the football and that whole game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. Well, it is what it is. I wasn't in a great mood last night, but I thought they played well for first part of the game. After that, it was all Switzerland.

Yeah, things could have been different if we had a penalty there. I don't know why referee didn't decide to review it on the technology. But I thought the technology was used pretty well so far. I mean, maybe there were situations like this, like the one last night, where, you know, referee should have decided to, you know, at least see it.

But it's in their hands. Sometimes they can't really see every situation, so I understand that they have to kind of follow, in a way, the flow of the game and choose when to review it, choose when not.

But I thought there were some big decisions in the World Cup that were made, changed because of technology. I think that's something that was expected already more than 10 years ago in football, and I don't know why they waited for so long, but it's refreshing to see it (smiling).

I wish I had that technology today to see whether I touched the net or not.

Q. I was going to say, it hadn't bounced twice...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Hasn't bounced? Okay. Well, I guess he was right, then. (Laughter.)

He said my left foot touched the net. My left foot was not even close to the net. That's why I was arguing a little bit. Yeah, I was very close to the net, so he was probably right.

Q. You said you're very pleased to reach your first final here, but you don't seem on the court fully satisfied and content. Is that a fair assessment, and if so, what will make you satisfied and content?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it appears at times. But, you know, I'm just self-critical, I guess, at times. I just -- I maybe don't show the satisfaction or exhilaration when maybe it's expected or vice versa, or other emotions.

It's just sometimes, you know, you're pumped and frustrated. Sometimes you just want to keep it to yourself. It is what it is. I mean, it just depends on the moment.

You know, I'm just glad to keep this going, and I don't want to celebrate too much. You know, even though I'm really happy I'm in the finals, I just want to keep building this momentum.

Q. Just following on from that last comment, how did you assess the way you played today? Because sitting alongside it looked as though it was perhaps your best match so far this week. Did it feel that way to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really, to be honest. I thought I returned much better in the last couple of matches than I have today, even though, of course -- I mean, I have played a big server today, and he was using it very well, especially the first serve and also the forehand, first forehand after serve, backing it up really well. It was difficult to read.

So for the first part of the match I was not really confident to actually hit the return. I was more kind of like chipping and trying to get it back in play, but it wasn't enough. So I felt more comfortable, I think, returning in the last couple of matches.

But, you know, I think from the 3-All in the second, I started to hit better and couple of big returns when I broke his serve, so that's when I kind of found my rhythm and the footing and to adjust. You know, sometimes it takes a little bit of time with big servers like this to understand where he tosses the ball. Of course we all do analysis and prematch preparations, but, you know, he mixed up pretty well today the serve, and he had the good tactics.

But, I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm really, really pleased with the way I played, and especially in important moments. But I thought maybe the Dimitrov performance was slightly better. But again, it's straight-set win, and I'm very pleased for it.

Q. It's the first time Queen's has let wheelchair tennis into here. I know you had a go at it last year at the Australian. Stephane Houdet is very keen to integrate wheelchair tennis. Would you consider a match with him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Actually, I would love to give it another try. I don't know how it feels on the grass, but, I mean, I have done...

Q. It's very hard.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I can imagine. I tried in US Open few years ago and Australia last year, and it's just -- I respect them so much, and for me they are heroes, you know, to take this disadvantage that they have and turn it into something very inspirational for everyone, including myself. You know, it's just phenomenal to see how much effort they put in.

So I do support wheelchair tennis in every event. I think they deserve to be seen, they deserve to be supported, they deserve to have a place, yeah. And next time I have an opportunity, I'll give it a shot.

Q. He's waiting for you.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Okay. Thank you.

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