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July 7, 2018

Novak Djokovic

Wimbledon, London, England


4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be really pleased with that, coming back from a set down.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, very much so. I mean, Kyle Edmund was in form. Probably playing the tennis of his life in the last 12 months. He won our last encounter. You could see he came out on the court, played better than me for a set and a half. He was really, really playing well, hitting the ball clean from both ends, from the baseline, serving well.

Yeah, I thought it was a high-quality tennis match, to be honest. It was very, very, very intense. Just, you know, couple points here and there. Obviously the fourth set was very close. I just made him play an extra shot, got that crucial break in the ninth game that allowed me to win the match.

Q. Between the earlier finish to the soccer game, the British crowd, how would you describe the atmosphere on the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was a Davis Cup-like atmosphere. I expected them to support Kyle, obviously. But at times they were slightly unfair to me. That's how it goes.

Q. What was your reaction to the time violation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, time violation. I got time violation deservedly because I took more time. I didn't say anything to chair umpire for time violation, as I never do if they give me a heads up, so to say, a prewarning, which he did. I thought he was very fair.

I know I took more time, that's okay. I thought the crowd's reaction after that was quite unnecessary. A couple guys really, you know, pretending they were coughing and whistling while I was bouncing the ball more or less to the end of the match at that end where I received the time violation.

Those are the things obviously that people don't get to see or hear on the TV. I just think it's not necessary. That's what I didn't like.

In general, the atmosphere was as expected in a way because I played a home player.

Q. You seemed to interact with the crowd a bit after that time violation, blowing kisses at them. Was that kind of a method for you to fire yourself up or to get back at them? Why did you feel the need?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: If you were in my position, you would probably understand. Playing high-intensity matches where one serve or one shot can really swing the momentum one or the other side, obviously there is a lot of accumulation of emotions, especially in the decisive moments of the set and matches. Sometimes you express yourself in a positive or negative way.

Of course, I don't like when I throw a racquet or scream or whatever, but I have to accept that I'm a human being like anybody else, that I can feel the pressure as everybody else. My interaction with the crowd, I thought had good things and not that great things. I just reacted the way I thought it was fair, the way they reacted to me.

Q. You've had some very big matches here, including against Andy. Did you feel tonight was a bit more extreme, the crowd?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, yes. I played Andy couple times. I played him Olympic Games. I played him Wimbledon. It was not like this, definitely.

Q. In the Olympics?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, the crowd was very fair when I played against Andy. Obviously they support their player. There's nothing you can say about that. Of course, I mean, it's expected.

But today there was just some people, especially behind that end where I got the time violation, they kept on going, they kept on going, provoking. That's something that I can tolerate for a little bit, but I'm going to show that I'm present, as well, that they can't do whatever they feel like doing.

Q. You talked about expressing negative energy. Is that ever a tension release for you during tight moments when stress is building?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. As I said previously to the last question, there's a lot of accumulated emotions. There's a lot of tension. There's a lot at stake, especially playing a home player. Kyle, as I said, is in form, he won the first set. The crowd felt he could win the match. Obviously he was close.

But, you know, there is a certain, so to say, unwritten borderline where you just feel it's a bit too much. I know that, okay, I was bouncing the ball, I got my time violation. No doubt about it, I deserved it. But I didn't deserve to be treated as I was treated by certain individuals. That's one thing I didn't like.

Q. One point is the umpire's mistake.

Q. Is it the craziest thing you've seen?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was quite a strange situation, to be honest. First of all, I mean, the only thing I wanted to know from him is, how does he think it's possible that Kyle hits the shot that he hit so clean and so flat and fast if he hit it with the frame. If you hit it with the frame, it's supposed to kind of slow down the trajectory of the ball. I was 100% convinced it was twice. I heard from people that it was.

Anybody can make a mistake. That's okay. But I don't understand why he didn't allow me to challenge the ball. I asked him.

Q. You asked him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I did ask him. At first, obviously I didn't like his call. I had a conversation with him. I understand it took some time. But I wanted to challenge the call. If I couldn't change the decision, I just wanted an explanation. Then I said, Okay, can I challenge the call?

He said, It's too late.

So yes, it was quite a strange decision from chair umpire, but it happens.

Q. A lot of people on social media have branded Kyle a cheater for not saying it bounced twice. Do you agree with that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no, no. I don't think he deserves that. Kyle is a very nice guy. I know him and have tons of respect for him, his team. We get along very well.

Nothing against Kyle there. You couldn't know. I mean, he was running towards the ball and he just hit it and he dropped his racquet. He couldn't know. Doesn't deserve that.

Q. The 50th anniversary of the US Open in New York City, what do you think was your favorite moment there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, US Open, I mean, alongside Wimbledon, Roland Garros, Australian Open, historically the four biggest events we have in sports. I think it's great to see, especially in the last 15 years, all the big players committed to play all the slams. I think Rafa, Roger, myself, Andy, big players, they really didn't miss more than one or two slams in the last 10, 15 years. That's great. It always adds to the value of the tournament, to the anticipation.

US Open, every Grand Slam, is different. US Open is recognized for its entertainment, show part, night sessions, crowds getting into it. It's really special. Obviously biggest stadium we have in sports.

Yeah, I had some wonderful moments there. I think I've lost the most finals on that tournament in my career than any other, comparing the finals that I've won. But I've won also two titles.

I can't wait to go back. I missed it last year. That's the only Grand Slam I missed ever since I started playing professional.

Q. Can you give a favorite moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think obviously winning the two trophies, '11 and '15. But if I have to pick a shot or moment, that would be the return down 40-15, in fifth set against Roger in the semifinals, 2011, match points down, when I made that crazy return cross-court winner. That would probably stand out.

Q. You played Kyle a few times now. Do you see him as somebody who could potentially win Grand Slams?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. I mean, of course. Why not? He does have a quality. He has a very good team of people around him. He has a good working ethics. He's quite committed, a good guy, has a lot of respect from everyone in the locker room.

He improved his game in the last 12 months. His backhand, we always knew forehand is a weapon, but backhand, he was making a lot of unforced errors from that end. He improved a lot since he started working with a new coach. He completed his game. He's top 20. He's going towards top 10. He's definitely going to be a contender.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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