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October 9, 2018

Novak Djokovic

Shanghai, China


6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Are you the kind of player that looks at points before you go on the court? Are you watching the countdown between you and Rafa? Do you know exactly how many points you need or you don't care?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, I know how many points he's ahead of me. You know, when you're in the race, of course you know.

Q. How important is for you the fact that you already won 14 matches in a row on hard court? How important is it in terms of confidence when you go to the court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, is very important. I haven't won too many matches the beginning of the year. After the surgery I was not managing to play my best, and that has changed, so obviously the more you win, the more comfortable and more confident you feel on the court. That's usually the case for everyone.

Q. You said you're playing your best. Are you playing now at your very, very best, 100% best, or have you got even more?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm very grateful to play on a high level. I think that I'm very close to my best, you know, and "best" changes day to day. I can always strive to be the best I can be on that given day. Today's performance was pretty close to that.

Q. I wanted to ask you about the match. First match here, but it looked like already you were pretty much in the rhythm, the timing was good, serve was really good? Did you feel you were right on track?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I'm really happy that I managed to get three, four very good quality days of practice here before my first match. This year's surface on the center court and outside courts especially has been the fastest that I have ever experienced. Very quick courts. Favors the server, obviously.

That's why you have to be alert all the time and ready to get out of the blocks very quickly and, you know, bring in the intensity. There is not much time to construct the point or relax too much.

So I'm really glad I managed to execute everything I tactically planned to do. I have played Jeremy many times before and not lost to him. But, you know, when someone has a big serve like him and forehand, it's easier said than done. I had to execute, and I did really well, I think.

Q. Have you been practicing writing the characters?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Characters? I received a couple of new ones, and hopefully I will get a chance to write a character after next match and come up with a new one. My fans are my teachers, my professors of Chinese.

Q. I saw you plan to learn all the characters of your Chinese name, right?

Q. All five characters of your Chinese name.

Q. No, no, no. Your name.

Q. Your name in Chinese is five characters.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wrote my name down today, because that's something that I know by heart. I remember it. The others I have to look back and see how I'm supposed to write them down.

I like characters that symbolize the good luck, you know, love, good fortune, those type of things. My fans have given me those characters some days ago. I was not prepared. I came out on the test today not prepared, so I came up with one that I know, but as I said, if I get a chance, I will come up with a new one in a few days.

Q. Next up is Cecchinato or Chung, your US, Melbourne, French Open. Do you see any irony?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I look forward to play against whoever I get to play against that won the last encounter against me. Both of these players won against me last time we met.

I think, you know, I'm completely different player than I was in first, you know, five, six months of the year. Hopefully the outcome can be different, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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