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May 12, 2019

Novak Djokovic

Madrid, Spain

N. DJOKOVIC/S. Tsitsipas

6-3, 6-4



Q. It is your third title here and you played amazing against a candidate for everything. What are your impressions, sensations?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I thank you very much. I feel like this tournament win was very important for my level of confidence because after Australian Open I wasn't playing my best, I wasn't finding the right game and the consistency on the court in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo.

I felt like I was close and needed a little bit of a push, so to say. And a very important win came yesterday against Thiem in a very close match. And today Stefanos, who had amazing match last night and win against Rafa, probably affected him a little bit. He did not, I think, move as well as he did last night and he was probably a bit tired.

But my goal was to start off well to try to make break as soon as possible, which was the case right away, and I felt I was always ahead in the game. I felt I was dictating the play and played my best tennis so far this week. I haven't dropped a set and, for sure, it's a great honor to have this trophy and to win in one of the biggest tournaments in the world.

And, as I said, at the very important time for me in the year, in the season, because this gives me a lot of confidence prior to Rome and, of course, Roland Garros where I definitely want to play my best.

Q. Talking more specifically about Madrid. With the high altitude level, how will the heat affect you winning the French Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, I was saying altitude here in Madrid obviously affects the game a lot and it's played differently from all other clay court events.

On a very hot day in Rome, or especially in Paris, the ball can bounce high and it can be fast. But I don't think it can be as fast as here.

I mean, it was a great lead-up I feel for me this week to what's coming up next in Rome and Paris. But I think because of the difference in conditions I'm going to have to obviously try to get as many, you know, quality hours on the court training and also competing because it's going to be different.

Probably the rallies will be longer and it's going to require more of a physical and emotional endurance and resilience, but I'm ready for it.

Q. The feeling now is that at the stage of your career you know how to peak for the Slams. Do you think that's true? Or is there still something to learn about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, that's always the kind of a goal, you know, in a way (smiling) to peak for Slams with the experience that I have in my career.

Obviously, I know how to do that strategically with my team, how to raise the intensity of training and so I could actually be at my best for Slams. But, at the same time, I don't like to underestimate or undermine, you know, these 1000 event tournaments. They are the biggest tournaments we have in our ATP Tour.

In contrary, I want to peak at these as well (smiling). So it's sometimes kind of hard, you know, what do you prioritize? I don't like to calculate. I don't like to play games where this is not important, nor this is preparation for what's coming up.

I really like to be in the moment and give my best whatever tournament that I'm playing on, whatever match I have to face. But it is true that Grand Slams are the ones that obviously historically value the most.

Q. Stefanos said you have the best backhand he'd ever seen a human being. Usually that was...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Laughing) I want to thank him for nice compliment. Yeah, I actually thought my forehand was working very well today. I could hit it from any corner. Backhand was very solid, of course.

I think in general, I was just dictating the play. I didn't really give him too much time to set himself up for a ball or try to come into the net.

I tried to play fast. I tried to play deep. I tried to change the pace and direction of the ball and it has worked well.

Obviously, I felt that he's struggling a little bit at the beginning. Maybe it was nerves and probably the long match against Rafa. So I needed to step in and really make myself present on the court.

So yeah, I mean, my backhand has been serving me well, so to say, throughout my career and, of course, there were matches, very important matches, when it was also failing me. But that's sport. That's a shot that I definitely can rely on in the tough moments.

Q. You talk about wanting to play your best at Roland Garros next month. Rafa's, obviously, maybe not at his best right now. But the form he's shown the last couple of years has shown he's an incredibly tough prospect to beat on this surface. If he can get back to that level, and you are playing at your best, are you confident you can win that match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Laughing) Well, if that match-up happens in Paris, that is going to be finals. It's a very long way to that and I understand you want to visualize that and discuss that. But, you know, it's a lot of things can happen. I mean, we can both lose before finals. If it happens, I hope that we will both be at our best because then that would make the match-up as it is supposed to be, you know, finals of Grand Slams.

And we already played one this year in Australia where I thought he was really playing well throughout the entire tournament, hadn't dropped a set, and I was also playing well and in the finals, I was probably playing my best tennis, you know, maybe in any Slam final.

So, I hope I can play well in Paris as well, as I did in the last three Slams.

But, look, he's always an ultimate challenge on clay, especially in Paris. He has lost, what, like three times in his entire career in Paris? Two, okay. That says enough about his quality and the kind of a challenge that he is, you know, facing in Paris.

Q. Do you feel really appreciated in Madrid with the years? Do you feel like we say (speaks Spanish)?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: (Laughing) I was part of the campaign to clean Madrid and I think there were banners in and around the city with Roger, me and Rafa. And then I saw photos, Novak is (speaks Spanish). So that's how I feel.

I am really grateful to receive this year especially a lot of support and, of course, Rafa is Rafa in Spain and no question about it. But I did feel like I had a lot of people behind me and today as well, so I'm very grateful for that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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