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November 17, 2018

Novak Djokovic

London, England, United Kingdom

N. DJOKOVIC/K. Anderson

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Shanghai, Paris, London. How do you explain the supreme form you're in at the minute? Do you have any motivational techniques? Sascha might need them tomorrow.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: If I do, I'm not going to reveal them tonight.

But, you know, I think the source of it all is always kind of reminding yourself why you play this sport and trying to find ways to motivate yourself to be committed and to do the things repetitively day in and day out, which is at times quite challenging mentally, of course physically.

In the end of the day, it comes down to whether the mind serves you or you serve the mind. I try to take control over that and over my destiny, how things work out. Sometimes things look quite easy or routine from the side of the court, but they're much different in person. You just have to earn everything. Nothing is given away for free.

Q. Did you catch any of the match this afternoon between Roger and Sascha? If so, what did you think of Zverev's performance? Did you have a comment on Roger's form this year? He hasn't won any big title since the Australian Open. Seems his level isn't where it was at the start of the year. Do you think that's a sign of things to come for him or will he bounce back?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I've seen a little bit of their match today. I thought Sascha did very well in crucial moments. When Roger was putting some pressure on him to come back in the match, Sascha managed to hold his serve very well. I mean, he served very well last couple matches. Obviously with a good first-serve percentage, but also really, really strong and fast.

I'm expecting quite a different matchup for us tomorrow than what it was in the group stage, even though the win in the group stage against him few days ago can definitely serve as kind of maybe a mental advantage a little bit coming into tomorrow's match, of course. The experience of playing so many matches at this level...

But Sascha, even though he's a leader of new generation, still kind of considered a young player, he's an established player. He's shown some great skill on the court the last couple years. He's shown why he deserves to be in the mix of the top players in the world.

Regarding Roger's form, look, when Roger is playing, you always expect him to win. That's why it's strange for you guys that he doesn't win a big title since January this year. A lot of people have signed him out, put him into retirement already many, many times before in the last five years. He's proven everybody wrong by winning additional three, four slams in the last couple years.

Do not count him out, that's all I can say.

Q. Kevin said he wasn't sure he'd seen you serve that well ever.

Q. He hasn't seen you serve that well ever. Can you tell us what was the work like to rebuild that shot after surgery?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's still ongoing work. It will continue because I feel like I always can improve in that shot. Obviously glad that my opponents feel like I'm improving in my serve, because it is ultimately the most important shot in the game.

I thought I was also backing up the serve with the first shot in the rally very well through the entire week. That allowed me to kind of protect my service games, win them all so far in the tournament.

As I said, it's the ongoing work. There are days when you feel more comfortable, sometimes less comfortable. It's the case with all the shots. Even though it appears that everything is working, if it works, that you just need to maintain it, but sometimes it's really just things vary and you have to deal with these particular situations.

Q. There is one match left to close the season for you. Tell us about your thoughts from the beginning of the season. Did you expect you'll be in this place today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was hoping I'm going to get to this level quite soon after the surgery, but it didn't happen. There were things that were happening in those period, a few months after surgery, that just taught my a lot about myself, taught me how to be patient. I just had to trust the process and trust that good things take time.

Obviously surgery has been done really well. Obviously I haven't been feeling any pain in the elbow ever since. At the same time it's an invasive treatment, so it did compensate my game and my serve particularly. I had to kind of find confidence and work on my game and try to put things together in the middle of the season. The season has already started, so...

Long story short, here we are. Fast forward five, six months, I'm No. 1 of the world, playing in the finals of the season finale, which is quite amazing. It seemed quite improbable, but I always believed it could happen.

I never thought it was impossible.

Q. I presume you saw the incident with the ball boy in the Zverev match. What was your opinion on that, with the crowd booing Sascha as well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I saw that. Look, I felt bad for Sascha in a way because in the end you could see that he didn't deserve to be booed. I don't see what he did wrong. Things happen. It was obviously a really important point, an important moment, and Roger was in the point. I think he was putting Sascha on the back foot. You could see on the replay it actually happened. It disturbed him.

I didn't check the rule exactly, whether I think the chair umpire is the only one that can actually stop the play if he sees it. I'm not sure. Maybe somebody can tell me whether the player is able to do that.

Q. That's the question.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's the question. So nobody knows (smiling).

I think on the moral side, you can't really say anything negative about that move from Sascha because it did really happen. He's not someone that cheats or something like that. He's quite an honest guy, has really good relationship with all the players and Roger, respectful.

He didn't deserve to get booed. But I also understand from a crowd's perspective that it all looked quite odd to happen at that point.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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