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November 18, 2018

Novak Djokovic

London, England, United Kingdom

A. ZVEREV/N. Djokovic

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. From what you've seen tonight, do you think Sascha can win a Grand Slam?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We knew that before already, so it doesn't make any difference tonight.

Of course, he won huge tournament, but he always had quality to win a slam. There's no doubt he will be one of the favorites every slam.

Q. A nice moment at the end of the match where he had fallen to the floor and you went to him. What did you say to him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, I'm really happy for him. I mean, obviously it's not great to lose a tennis match, especially in the finals of a big tournament. Quite disappointed with my game.

But I'm happy that he won the big title because we have a really good and friendly relationship. We reside in the same place. We train a lot. We see each other a lot. He comes from a really nice family.

As he said on the court, share a lot of on-and-off-the-court friendly and respectful moments. I mean, obviously you could see how much it means to him. Obviously he deserved it.

Q. You had an awful lot of matches in the latter half of the year. Do you feel that has caught up with you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Maybe. Yeah, maybe a little bit. Health-wise I haven't been really perfect in the last three, four weeks. That took a lot out of me.

But at the same time I played finals of Bercy and here. I mean, I have to be happy with that result. Of course, finishing the year as No. 1, that was the goal coming into the indoor season. I managed to achieve that.

Overall it was a phenomenal season that I have to be definitely very proud of.

Q. Must be terribly difficult to accept it and also to lose when you won in the round-robin. 10 times it happened out of 19. Must be difficult to win twice in a row in the same tournament against the same player. Do you think there is some psychological reason that doesn't help who won in the round-robin?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Psychologically you would think the player who won round-robin match coming into the finals would have more confidence because he won against the player few days before that.

I knew that he's going to change something, he's going to play better, and he did. I just played under par, so to say, comparing to all the matches I had so far this week.

Q. Looking back on the last few months, had someone told you this is how it was going to pan out when you sat in the French hills, would you have believed them?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, because I always believe in myself. Really, as I said before many times, I kind of also expect myself to do very well.

But at the same time I would sign it right away if someone told me because at that time it was also looking quite improbable that that's going to happen considering where I was ranking-wise and also game-wise. I wasn't playing even close to where I wanted to be at in terms of level of tennis.

I just came off the court. Obviously no one likes to lose a tennis match. You try your best. But at the same time, as I said on the court, you put things in a larger perspective, see things a bit differently. When you get out of this feeling of a little bit disappointment that you lost, I mean, all the positive things that I have to reflect on and also take from this season, especially last six months.

Q. He's the youngest to win this title since you. Do you see any deeper significance into this kind of moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, no, for sure. I mean, there's a lot of similarities in terms of trajectory of professional tennis, in our careers. Hopefully he can surpass me. I mean, I sincerely wish him that. He seems like someone that is very dedicated. Without a doubt, he's a really nice person, someone that gets along very well with everyone.

He deserves everything he gets so far. There's a lot of time ahead of him. Wish him to stay healthy and obviously win a lot of titles.

Q. You know his game quite well if you see him in Monte-Carlo. He's hired Ivan. He looks like he's pushing to play more aggressive. Do you see any development in his approach?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, I mean, today he did well. I thought he just balanced his game right. When he needed to step in, he did. Obviously, he had big serves. I wasn't returning well. I wasn't making him, so to say, making him move too much. I was making way too many unforced errors. From 4-All in the first set, my game really fell apart, to be honest.

But credit to him because he played solid.

Q. Winning over Roger yesterday, how much did that give him an edge today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's a question for him. Certainly winning against Roger anywhere gives you a lot of confidence. I'm sure he took a lot of confidence and positivity from that win. It was a very close match. He stayed mentally tough and composed. He carried that into today's match.

Q. You had a great season from May, June on. When was the first time you thought this could be a special season?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, already when I went on the table for surgery, I knew it was going to be a different season because it never happen. Whatever the outcome in the end of the year, I knew that I'm going to learn a lot from this season.

Fortunately for me, it ended up in the best possible way. Yeah, I'm just grateful.

Q. He had nice words towards you in his speech. What did you notice he really improved throughout the year? He impressed me with the depth, served well. Can you pinpoint anything besides the mental part?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, backhand is always very solid. He hits it very flat. It goes through the court. Yeah, he had very good depth today. I mean, he played quite a different match to the one in group stage where he wasn't playing that great.

But I think in general he moves well for his height. He was more solid on his forehand that sometimes breaks down. But today it was just very compact, and didn't make too many errors. When he needed to, he made winners.

Q. Given we won't see you till Australia, can you give us an explanation of your off-season? How confident are you you can make it three slams in a row?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there's not much to say about off-season, especially next two, three weeks. Not much tennis.

After that, obviously starting to build and slowly prepare myself for the new season. Obviously we don't have so much time in tennis in the off-season to have a proper preparation. But we have what we have. Try to make the most out of it.

Obviously do a lot of fitness training at the beginning, then slowly increase the tennis. Obviously having a Grand Slam so early in the season makes us train probably very hard and be kind of aware that we have to be at our best in the first week of the year. The first slam is there in January.

I've had most success in my life, in my career, in Australia out of all four slams. Hopefully I can keep that going.

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