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November 2, 2018

Novak Djokovic

Paris, France


4-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. What does that say about your level of confidence that you can get this amazing catch on that break point in the third set on your backhand?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was a very close match. It went all the way to the last shot, basically. I mean, a couple of decisive points in the third were the one that you mentioned and probably the break of serve at 4-3, I managed to find the passing shot.

It was very intense match and I think it was a good quality tennis as well from both of us. We tried hard and he was playing well. I was kind of going up and down. I thought I could have maybe served better, and especially second serve.

But, again, at the end of the day it's a win and I'm really pleased to overcome this kind of challenge.

Q. You could meet finally Roger in the next round. What does that inspire you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I prefer not talking about that because he has to win his match. Yeah.

Q. Physically do you feel because maybe the start of the week you were under the weather a little bit. Is it completely solved?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not really. I'm still struggling. It's kind of a flu. But, you know, it's not easy to perform every single day. You know, the energy levels are not as high. And, you know, I try to manage the situation. But I've had this particular case before so I hope I can, you know, progress day by day.

Q. You've become world No. 1. Is there an extra motivational to cement that with a tournament victory?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Of course there is. I mean, otherwise I wouldn't be playing. You know, this tournament is big, is important, and I still haven't accomplished the mission to be the year-end No. 1. So, I mean, it's still up for grabs.

So I'm looking forward to compete and to, you know, hopefully get a chance to clinch that No. 1 spot in the end of the year and the end of the season. That's the goal.

Q. In recent days I've been struck by how much your French has improved.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thank you. You're flattering me (smiling).

Q. It seems to have gone up a level. I remember you said yesterday when you were younger with your tennis coach you would listen to classical music and reading poetry. Has that fed your appetite for learning? What do you put down your faculty for learning languages so quickly down to?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think, you know, I'm, you know, special in that way. I mean, it's just I think our region, Balkanic region, has quite a lot of talent for languages. So I think we also, you know, we are faced in the school with two foreign languages that we kind of have to learn, you know, in the primary school and high school as well.

So, you know, German and English were the two languages I learned in school. And I think traveling helped a lot, obviously, for me to kind of continue on. And I went to Germany so it was a great transition for me.

And I think I was never really afraid to make mistakes, you know, and errors. There are people that, you know, I understand also don't want to speak because they don't want to embarrass themselves. But I was embarrassing myself and still do up to this day a lot. But I don't really see it that way. I actually see it that's the only way how you can learn, through socialization and, you know, being able to speak and make mistakes and learn. I mean, that's what life is all about.

Q. You mentioned that you're a bit sick. But in that kind of situation you try to adapt your game by, I don't know, shortening the rally or something like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, not really. I mean, it just depends I guess. My game, I don't play serve and volley. You know, obviously my game is based on the baseline. So I make some adjustments but I'm spending more energy probably because of the situation. So I make more effort, I think, running around and trying to recover. So that's the case. I have to deal with it.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. Could you tell us in French whether tonight was one of the most complex matches you have played for many weeks and in which shape are you with your cold?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Obviously this was the hardest match for me. Cilic has a lot of skills. He's powerful. He's very efficient on his serve. It's not easy to play such a player who is so aggressive.

So, yes, this match was a great challenge. It's a great thing to have a win tonight. I'm getting confidence from this.

And I think that as to my health, this is the way it is. I have to accept it. I have to take one day off and I hope that I will be better tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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