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November 12, 2018

Novak Djokovic

London, England, United Kingdom


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You're 50th win today. Having your hands on that No. 1 trophy yesterday, did it make you feel more relaxed going into tonight? Is that the reason you were so dominant?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't think it's the reason I was so dominant. I just prepared myself well for the match and executed everything really, really well. But, indeed, I do fell a little less, so to say, pressure coming into the tournament knowing that I secured the world No. 1 spot.

Q. Cristiano Ronaldo was courtside. Did you meet him? Have you met him before?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I had colors of his club on my attire tonight. I'm sure he was happy to see that.

No, it's great to have big football star, sports star like him, courtside watching tennis. He used to come and watch a lot in Madrid. Rafa, of course, Roger, myself. He's a fan of tennis. It's really, really nice.

He's one of the biggest sports stars in the last decade. It's great for our sport to have him there. I saw he was there with his family. Didn't get a chance to see him after the match, but hopefully I'll have that chance maybe later this week.

Q. Some of the other players this week have said the court conditions were quite tricky. You seem to love them. How would you say it's playing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I mean, my results here have been pretty good in the last 10 years. So can't complain too much. Although it takes a little bit of time really to get yourself adjusted to the surface because the surface is a good surface. But, you know, it takes a lot of rotation, takes a lot of spin. When you serve well, also it accelerates through the court.

You kind of always have to be on alert, be very solid in your core, I would say, to be able to execute your shots well and constantly adjust with your feet to the ball. The surface kind of makes you work more. That's why probably players feel like it's a bit tricky, demanding.

Q. How exhausted, if at all, are you after this match? What are your thoughts on playing against Zverev next?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm not too exhausted. I'm feeling fit physically and mentally. I'm looking forward to that match. Obviously good thing about this tournament is that you have days in between matches, and you're guaranteed to play three matches in the group. I obviously put myself in a very good position with the group with a straight-sets win.

Obviously playing Zverev, who also had a straight-sets win today, I look forward to that. It should be a great match. We I think played against each other only twice. We split wins. I played him recently in Shanghai, but wasn't at his best. I expect him to play better than he did in Shanghai in two days.

Q. Your previous match here two years ago in the final against Andy, and you lost, describe the contrast in feelings between that night and tonight.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, it's quite different. I haven't been really thinking about it too much. I didn't go through that experience at all. I mean, it's good thing that I'm kind of in the present moment and trying to take the most out of it.

Two years ago, you know, I was playing really well up to maybe September. That's where I started feeling emotionally empty, I would say, on the court. Andy, of course, had an amazing streak in winning 20-plus matches in a row.

It was a perfect finale playing for No. 1 spot of the world, year-end No. 1, at World Tour Finals at home for him in a way. It was a great win for him.

Q. Some players have suggested that some players get special treatment compared to others. Do you think favoritism is an issue in tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't understand the second part.

Q. In recent years players are said to get more special treatment than other players. Do you think favoritism is a problem in tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know exactly what you're referring to, special treatment. In this tournament particularly, we all have special treatment. I don't know exactly what you mean. If you can maybe explain it a little bit more.

Q. Some tournament schedules, the times that you play.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Tournament schedules, okay.

Q. Do you think some players are treated better or given more significance than other players, and do you think that's a problem?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I understand. But in a way we have to be more specific. If we're talking about general, so to say, advantage of some players over another, I mean, in a way it's expected that the tournament treats top players, their top stars, as players that they want to have kind of feel the best.

At the same time, in terms of the scheduling, those kind of important things, everyone is even because it has to go through the filter of ATP, not just the tournament itself.

I mean, yeah, I hope you're happy with that answer.

Q. To clear that up, Julien Benneteau started this debate. He went on the radio and France and said Roger Federer has a business relationship with Tennis Australia, and he was on night sessions playing 7:30 12 out of 14 days. He specifically said Roger is an icon, but maybe he has too much influence. That was the specific thing that he was saying.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, that's debatable really because in the end of the day, in a way he deserves the special treatment because he's six-time champion of Australian Open and arguably the best player ever. If he doesn't have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the center court, and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night in Rod Laver Arena.

I really don't see a very strong argument there. To be honest, I mean, I understand Julien's point because sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favored year after year in certain tournaments. You kind of have to follow the pattern to really understand whether there is a case or not.

Again, on the other side, you have to understand that also Federer is a driving force of tennis in terms of revenue, in terms of attention, in terms of all these different things.

Julien and guys like him are also benefitting from tennis, because of Roger, because of what he has done for the sport.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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