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November 22, 2019

Nenad Zimonjic

Janko Tipsarevic

Novak Djokovic

Viktor Troicki

Filip Krajinovic

Dusan Lajovic

Paris, France

RUSSIA 2, Serbia 1

RUBLEV/Krajinovic 6-1, 6-2

DJOKOVIC/Khachanov 6-3, 6-3

KHACHANOV-RUBLEV/Djokovic-Troicki 6-4, 4-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: We start with questions in English first.

Q. Novak, this is for you, if I could. A very tough day. Sport is all about victory and defeat. And with your great skills and talents, you've been part of some of the most very special moments in our sport. I know you're just off the court, but can you possibly compare the emotion of elation after you beat Roger this summer versus your feelings after this very difficult defeat?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I will respectfully disagree with you that sport is only about and all about defeat and victory. I think it's much more than that. We don't start playing tennis because we want to win in life, but because we enjoy what we do.

But, of course, winning and losing at the professional level, professional competition level, obviously affects greatly your mood and, of course, your career, and whatnot. So, of course it hurts, it hurts us really badly, me personally as well.

There's not much to say, you know. These kind of matches happen once in maybe forever, and that's it. I mean, it's -- the season is done and we're turning the next page. Next morning is going to be different.

Q. What were you thinking after your victory in singles going into doubles? Obviously, you know the winner of the doubles moves on to the semis. And secondly, Novak, if you can talk just a little bit about this new format and how you sort of rank this experience that you and the rest of the team have had under this new format for Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I will answer your second question first. I'm sorry, but I will not answer that second part of your question because I've already talked about it three days in a row, about the format, about everything. So you can look at the previous conferences.

And what was I thinking? I was just thinking about how to be the best version of myself and, of course, in a pair with Viktor on the court, that's all.

To get the final point, this match was a roller coaster match with a lot of turnarounds and very, very emotional, very tense. And, as I said, life goes on.

Q. Novak, we are at November, at the end of the season. I want to know how you feel at this part of the year physically and mentally? How do you feel? How have you arrived to this part of the year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What do you personally think? (Smiling.)

Q. Okay.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm exhausted and just ready to have a holiday.

Q. You need a holiday, that's right.

Q. Novak, obviously we saw you having a bit of treatment on your elbow. How is it and was it a similar thing to what happened in London?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was, again, a very quick move that caused pain. But in the third set, I was able to serve, I was able to play with no pain, which was positive.

Q. I want to ask a question, maybe Viktor, you, or you, Novak. Obviously you had some issues with the referee, with the chair umpire. Could you elaborate on that, what went wrong with the chair umpire?
VIKTOR TROICKI: Nothing major. He just made a few bad decisions. I don't think he was experienced for this match, but doesn't matter. It's not him that changed the outcome of the match. We were a bit frustrated with some calls, but it happens in sport.

Q. Viktor, obviously you guys had three match points and it was very tight, it could have gone either way. I'm just wondering, can you try and describe how you're feeling right now and just what do you think made the difference in the end?
VIKTOR TROICKI: Well, I probably feel the worst ever. I never experienced such a moment in my career, in my life. And I let my team down, and I apologize to them.

I had -- we were up in the tiebreak. We had chances to finish it. We didn't do it. I messed up in the crucial moments.

I don't know. God gave me once to be the hero, maybe to win the Davis Cup in the deciding rubber. Now he took it away. I'm really disappointed with myself. Really... Yes, like Novak said, there was a lot of emotions. A really tough match. At the end there was one point that decided it. And I'm really, really disappointed in myself that I couldn't hold my focus till the end and finish.

Q. Novak, what do you just say to Viktor at a moment like that when clearly he feels very down about what's happened?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It stays private.

THE MODERATOR: Last two in English, please.

Q. Can we move from emotions and just talk about tactics in tennis. Shamil Tarpischev, the Russian team captain, says that Andrey Rublev and Khachanov are playing like two singles players their doubles, they're not typical doubles players. So what was your game plan knowing how they play? What was your specific game plan for today to beat eventually Karen and Andrey?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: They were four singles players on the court, so we were on the same, in the same situation.

I would say Andrey played extremely well in singles and he carried this confidence in doubles. He definitely made the difference at the end, those two match points. On one it was the first serve that he returned really well. On the second one, it was Karen's second serve where the return was quite good and he crossed and played a really good short volley. So he was the one that saved the Russian team, I would say.

From the tactical side, if you have all singles guys on the court, where they feel less comfortable, it's maybe being at the net, especially the Russian players, I would say. But they can compensate this with really hard-hitting groundstrokes or serves. But this was a tactic to attack them at the net where they are at their most vulnerable.

Unfortunately, one point decided here. It could have been different. They gave everything they had, but this is how the sport is.

Q. Nenad, there are six of you all up here that are obviously hurting greatly and this is stinging badly. But you as the captain, what do you do in this situation with the other guys? Is it a matter of just giving them space now or is it a matter of a huddle and really talk about it and get it out? What's your mindset on something like that?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: For me, the way I approached always team competition, playing for the country, is if you decide to do so, you do whatever you can to give your best. Whatever a team needs you to do, you do it to your best efforts. And they gave everything today. Sometimes you win together. Sometimes you lose.

Like Viktor said, thanks to him we were the -- not just to him -- he happened to play the deciding match. But in order to be in that position, Novak had to win both singles. We had to win as a team. Previous competitions, where some other matches were important.

At the end, you win as a team and you lose as a team. It doesn't matter if somebody wins two matches and you end up losing the match.

The main thing is that everybody here did their part, you know, not just now, but during their career. And that's all you can say, you know. It was very emotional because it's Janko's last (tearing up)... Sorry.

Q. Can I just ask the press to clap the Serbian team for the effort they made.

NENAD ZIMONJIC: Sorry, it's not because here winning or losing, just for you to understand... (tearing up)


NENAD ZIMONJIC: There's four players sitting here, and together with Filip and Dutzi, I would say they are our golden generation, and it's all of our tennis. And I see it as an end because Janko's last match.

But he's obviously going to be here with us all the way, and not just for this tie and in the future, we are really good friends. And, you know, your dream may be to go all the way to celebrate, you know, with a victory, but sometimes it doesn't happen, you know, what you wanted to happen.

But the main thing is that everybody knows here how much we care about each other, how much we love each other, and this is what got us here. So I want to thank all of them for being here.

Like I said before, it was such a long season for everybody. It was not easy with these dates to get last reserves that they were playing on. But the energy, the friendship, the team got the most out of all of us, you know. So I want to thank all of them.

And, hopefully, we'll have some new generations with Dutzi, with Filip, obviously with Novak as a leader and upcoming guys. So that's why it was so emotional for me.

But I was happy to be part of it as a player, maybe as their friend the most, and now as a captain. That's all.

JANKO TIPSAREVIC: I will be very short. I remember yesterday after the doubles one of your colleagues asked me what is the one thing that you can pull out from all these 20 years. And what did I say? The one thing is not the victories or the losses, what Novak said, is that this beautiful sport makes you fucking tough.

This emotion that you want to commit suicide after a day like this, and you go towards and against the wind, these emotions is the one thing that I can draw from all these 20 years that I was playing for the country and individual competition.

So a few of the guys apologized to me. I don't accept these apologies because none of them let me down all over these 20 years.

I disagree with you, Viktor, that God took away this from you. You will never have this emotion that you had because you brought us this last point.

As for the team, everybody knows that they are like my brothers and I will be with the team in one or the other capacity and I would like to thank them all for being with me on this journey.


THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much. We will carry on with questions in the national language.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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