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October 11, 2018

Novak Djokovic

Shanghai, China

N. DJOKOVIC/M. Cecchinato

6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A bit of tension at the start of this match, but then it was flawless in the second set. You must be pretty happy about it.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, a bit nervous start, a lot of close games at the beginning. I faced one break point only today and no break points in the first match, so I'm really pleased with the way I have been using my serve accurately and effectively in the first two matches, which is very important, this kind of surface that's really quick.

I was making him play always an extra shot. I was aggressive when I needed to be. The second set was perfect, really. I'm really glad to be able to finish the match the way I did.

Q. Maybe you won't use the word "revenge" in light of your defeat to him recently, but perhaps it was an extra motivation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, not really, although I wanted to start off well because I know that he battles hard and he makes you deserve every point, you know, win every point. Obviously he likes a little bit more of a bouncy court and slower surface.

But still, credit to him for winning two matches 7-6 in the third set this tournament. That's why in the beginning I was a bit tense, because I missed a lot of break-point opportunities first three games of his service games. But then after that, I thought that crucial break in the seventh game of the first set gave me a little bit more of a relief and allowed me to swing through the ball better.

Q. The year-end No. 1 ranking, is it something you think about? Is it something you calculated? Or is it a motivation? How does it work for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, I answered it a couple days ago when someone asked me if I'm aware of the difference in the points. I am. I mean, there is no doubt about that, now that I put myself in a position to fight for No. 1.

Obviously, you know, I'm going to try to do everything I can to get to No. 1. That's one of the, probably "the" biggest goal of the end of the season.

Q. You were re-elected to the player council president this week. In your second term, what are some of the big issues facing the game that you'd like to tackle?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm grateful to the fellow council members for reelecting me again, you know, giving me that trust. I will try to do my very best to contribute as much as I can.

As a top player for many years, I feel like there is a lot of areas where I can contribute with my name and, you know, success behind and attention that I get from media, you know, in order to put forward certain things that we are discussing or that needs to be out there.

Obviously there are a couple of big discussions and issues right now which are obviously the World Team Cup and Davis Cup confusion, because it has been very confusing in the last 12 months of, you know, trying to work together and then the way it seems it's going to end up separately.

You know, several other things that obviously it's still premature to talk about in the public, but we always have our hands full, and I'm honored to be there. I feel responsible also as a top player to contribute.

So if I can do it in any way, I'll give my best. I will be now six-plus years on the council. Throughout my career I feel like that is the most effective way, so to say, to make a difference, to leave a legacy behind, to leave a better playing field and better sport for the future generations.

I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining. I think the sport is in a very good place. That's due to, you know, many of the generations throughout the history of our sport that paved the way for us and of course a lot of active players, including, you know, Roger and Rafa and Andy, that have been part of the council, as well.

So we are all in the same shape. We all try to work together with tournaments. Obviously ATP structure is such that you have, you know, 50% of the ownership goes to tournaments; 50% is players. So a lot of times it's conflict of interest and it's not as simple to reach some consensus.

But at the same time, we have to work together. I think, as I said, tennis is at a good place, and it can only get better from here.

Q. You talked about being nervous at the start of this match. Are you still surprised when you get nervous for these kind of matches despite everything you won? And do you think it's because of the world No. 1 being at stake, too?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, obviously, as I said, that's the biggest goal that I have at this part of the season, end of the season, and if I have a chance, why not go after it?

So of course I feel the importance of every match that I play, and that's why I try to get the best out of myself. I care about it. I'm dedicated, and I try to put all focus on it.

Q. This is the tenth edition of the tournament. Can you share which is your best match or best moment of the tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I have won the last Masters Cup that was here back in 2008 and then the year after it was the first year of The Masters Series, the 1000 event that is active today.

I probably would say that the Masters Cup win back in 2008 was the first Masters Cup win that I had, was the second Masters Cup that I ever played, and it was just a huge milestone in my career and just, you know, a big confidence boost for the rest of my career, winning against some top players, you know, winning one of the biggest trophies in the sport. I will probably, you know, highlight that one.

Q. You just talked about before the new Davis Cup, it's one year ahead, but are you planning to play? It will depend how the season goes?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It really depends. I'm not 100% sure at the moment, but we, as ATP, also have our own competition that we are going to, as it looks like, organize and launch in January 2020, which is going to be only five, six weeks after Davis Cup. I just feel like the date of the Davis Cup is really bad, especially for the top players.

Between the two, I will prioritize the World Team Cup, because that's competition of ATP, but, you know, we still have to obviously discuss within my team personally, but also I think and I hope that there will be a larger discussion between the players to understand, you know, how we are going to approach these two competitions or hopefully we can make it to the point where we can have one big Super World Cup, if you want to call it, or whatever it is, because that's the best thing for our sport. But the way it seems right now, we are going to have two at the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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