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January 19, 2019

Novak Djokovic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

N. DJOKOVIC/D. Shapovalov

6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What happened at the end of the third set, the violation? What happened in your opinion?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What specifically?

Q. You gave a thumbs up, and there appeared to be a violation.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. I misconducted myself verbally. That's why I got the code violation for.

Q. Did you feel justified at the time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, it's not the first, nor the last time.

Q. On Saturdays in general, first Saturday, has some of the biggest crowds tennis ever sees. Does it feel different for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was a great atmosphere. It's great to see a packed house in the first week of a slam. I think the middle weekend is quite popular within the crowds here in Australia, but also the other slams. You get to see a lot of matches, singles, doubles, mixed doubles, men's, women's. You got a very rich schedule with matches from 11 a.m. till late night.

The crowd is excited, and we are, too. Of course, you want to see a packed house anywhere you play. Australia definitely loves their tennis. They've been some of the most loyal tennis fans in the world, for sure.

Q. It was a tricky match to play against a gifted young player. How do you assess your performance overall?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Other than the little letdown that I had when I was 4-1, 4-2 up in the third set, other than that I thought I played well, especially in the fourth set. I expected Denis to come out and be aggressive. He made a lot of unforced errors, I thought, for the first set and a half.

I just stayed solid from back of the court and served well, played the right shots. For the first two sets, just had things under control. At 4-1, I was agitated. As I said, should not happen to me. I know better. I have experience. But it does happen, I guess. I allowed him to come back to the match.

Yeah, it was important to start off the fourth set well. It was close game, couple of close games first two games. Making that break was crucial for me.

But I like the fact that I was tested, as well, because you want to be tested, especially as you are improving, kind of going along in the tournament. Matches and opponents are going to get tougher.

I feel like I've been playing well, so things are progressing well.

Q. What was the issue with the lights?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, as I said on the court, I don't remember having lights in the past years at 5 p.m. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe not. I just felt with such a low position of the sun, the lights being switched on at 5 p.m. was completely unnecessary. It was very bright. There was no reason for the lights.

But the explanation that I got from supervisor was that TV requested that. Whatever TV says, we have to respect I guess.

Q. I don't know if you've seen Carlos Moya's comments with Chris Kermode. He seems to think the ATP is doing well financially. He names you, says you must have your own reasons for Chris to not continue his term. Can you clarify your position, and tell us why you think he shouldn't carry on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First of all, exactly to your point, I don't know why people keep on talking about me as being against Chris. Who said that that was the truth? One of my greatest concerns right now, of every council member, is that we have leaking information from someone within the council in the last couple months.

Many of those things that have been leaked to certain media are also not 100% true. It's obvious that there is a certain kind of one-dimensional agenda in place. Players and certain medias are served with quite a one-sided story.

We all have to understand the complexity and how sophisticated the body of ATP is. Our job as a council members is to liaise with as many possible players as we can. As I was mentioning before, the process of renewal of Chris' contract doesn't depend only on the players, it also determines on the tournament board representatives. It's going to be voted on the board by both tournaments and players.

From our side, we're going to do everything we can to speak to as many players as we possibly can during the Grand Slam, which is tough specifically for me and also the other players, but during the next couple months.

We have time. Where is the rush? I don't understand why there is a certain kind of agenda or propaganda in the media against me or the council members. Why do we have to rush with everything? It's a very complex process. We have to consider many different details, many different things before we make any kind of call or express our opinions or vote finally whether we want Chris to stay or whether we want someone else to come in.

It's not as simple as it has been presented in the media in the previous period. As I said, it's quite one-dimensional. If we can simplify that as it has been presented in media, it would be great, but it's not like that. It's far from that.

All the stats and all the requirements and all the numbers, everything that some of you guys have been talking about, posting about, ATP is 50% players, 50% tournaments. Those numbers cannot be observed one-dimensionally. You have to understand the whole process of how you got there, before Chris got there, before the president before him got there, who was participating in negotiations or talks with Grand Slams, whatever it is that we're talking about. It's far more complex than people think about.

I saw Stan's statement, as well. I respect him. We have a great friendly relationship. I respect his opinion, anybody else's opinion. Carlos Moya's as well, of course. But at the same time I encourage them and anybody else who has an interest to approach me, approach all the council members if they need more information, as we will do the same to them in the next period.

But where is the rush?

Q. A question about the match.

Q. You've seen Denis. Talk about the difference between seeing him and then getting on the court with him.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he's got pretty complete game. He's got the big serve, a lot of rotation on the ball. He can hit it flat. He can hit it with a spin. I like his mentality. I like his confidence in himself, his approach. He's very positive on the court, always backing himself up. I like that.

Obviously he's lacking some experience playing on the big stage in the big matches, but that's going to come. I like the way he plays. He seems like a guy who dedicates a lot of time to training and to the process of understanding of how he can improve. These kind of experiences can only help him.

Q. You mentioned late-night matches. You're meticulous in your preparation. Have you ever practiced really late in anticipation of having to play after midnight? Are you crazy enough to train after midnight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no, I have not done that I don't think ever. When I am aware that I'm going to be scheduled at night, first or second, from 7:00, then I do train the day before around that time, around 7:00, but not around midnight.

Q. Is there anything you can do to prepare?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It just depends. It's also subjective. Somebody is an early riser, somebody likes to go to sleep late. It really does depend.

I'm not here with kids, so it allows me to sleep maybe a bit longer. Different kind of rhythm than when I'm with my family. I've been used to getting up quite early.

I do not specifically like very late nights and late matches, but it does happen. You just have to, I guess, deal with it. If there is any particular way? I'm not doing push-ups at midnight before I go to sleep.

You train a bit later, and the whole routine is pushed back a little bit. But you also want to get a good night's sleep so your biological rhythm keeps going in the right way, I guess.

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