home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 2, 2020

Nikola Cacic

Novak Djokovic

Dusan Lajovic

Nikola Millojevic

Viktor Troicki

Nenad Zimonjic

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with an opening statement by the captain.

NENAD ZIMONJIC: From my left, Nikola Cacic.

DUSAN LAJOVIC: Cacic (phonetic)

NENAD ZIMONJIC: Cacic? I'm sorry. Nikola Cacic. And Dusan Lajovic. Novak Djokovic. Viktor Troicki. Nikola Millojevic. Team captain, Nenad Zimonjic.


THE MODERATOR: First question?

Q. Novak, how are you feeling? How are you guys feeling? You've had a lot of activities and kind of relaxation. Are you guys feeling ready to -- one day away now, we're finally there. How are you all feeling?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I can speak on my own behalf. Seeing these guys last few days, seems like everyone is feeling excited and fit and healthy. Myself personally, I'm excited to be part of the team again. This is another team competition that we can be part of aside of Davis Cup, obviously. Slightly different rules but the format is pretty much similar. More nations participating in the competition. It's the first week of the season. We are on Australian soil. Obviously, coming into, coming closer to Australian Open, you want to be playing competitive matches in Australia, so I'm glad I'm personally doing that, because I have not played any Australian, pre-Australian Open event for quite a few years. The last time, I think, was Hopman Cup. So I'm glad I'm with the guys that are my friends, that we get to share, spend some quality time on the court, off the court as well. So it's a good atmosphere and we are pumped to do well.

Q. Does the team environment, the team setup, bring the best out of you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I would think so. I mean, I think a lot of the guys from that golden generation that won Davis Cup in 2010 were saying that probably highlights of all our careers was the Davis Cup 2010. And it was definitely -- I mean, I was blessed to win so many big titles in my life, but that one was very special because it was just, it felt different. I could share that success with everyone being world champions. After that, the whole trajectory of my personal career, but all our careers, has went in the right direction and has transformed our individual careers. So the team spirit and the team competition is truly something special and it awakens that kind of new, I guess, dimension of energy and dedication and motivation that we have.

Q. Being in Australia again, that obviously brings the best out of you as well. What is it about being in Australia where you've had so much success?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, it's the beginning of the season, so I, of course, am not the only player that wants to start off well and kick off the season in the best possible fashion. But for various reasons, mostly the conditions, I guess the freshness, the motivation are, the Australian Open courts, Melbourne Park was always very suitable to my game, and I can't wait to go back there. Obviously, that's the, that's probably my most successful court in my career, in my life, so I love playing there. I had also success throughout the different cities in Australia, but haven't played much. Melbourne was always the focus point.

Q. What would an 8th -- can I ask, what would an 8th Australian Open mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, any Grand Slam title, I mean, especially in a tournament where I've done so well in my career, it would mean a lot. Of course, that's one of the biggest reasons why I still play competitive tennis is to try to win Grand Slam titles, try to get myself in a position to fight for the biggest ones, the ones that matter the most. So the Australian Open, as I said, was always my favorite because of how I felt on the court. So hopefully, I'll be able to be in a good position to fight for a trophy this year.

Q. Dusan, what do you think of the team zones, kind of they're a little further back by the baseline, a little different feel. What are your thoughts on those?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, we heard the rules on the new things. I think it's going to be interesting to see how does it look in a professional way, because it gets that exhibition feel, but it's competitive tennis and you play, obviously, for ATP points. So I think it's going to be a cool new input, and I think that also because similar to Davis Cup have your team behind you and it can help you a lot, so let's see if it helps in here as well.

Q. Novak, Denis from Canada yesterday was saying that the Davis Cup was only in November, this is so soon after, because it's much the same, he'd like to see just one big world championship. What do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was asked the same question in Madrid during Davis Cup and I can, I couldn't agree more with Denis. I was saying the same thing in Madrid. We need to have one super World Cup event, whatever you want to call it. That's not going to happen next year as well. But if the two sides, the ITF, the Davis Cup, and the ATP get together very quickly, it can happen possibly for 2022. And I don't know, I mean, I hope it will happen because it's kind of hard to get top players to commit to play both events, the Davis Cup and the ATP cup. And it's six weeks apart, so they're not really helping each other in terms of marketing, in terms of the value of the event, and so forth. And one is very early in the season. One is the last one in the season. So I guess the ATP Cup has a better schedule week, in my opinion. But at the same time, yeah, I mean, it is what it is at the moment. When you're starting off in new formats, new events, it's always going to be tricky to be delivering the ideal product. You're always going to have some flaws. So it's not ideal, but I think it's good for tennis that there is innovation. ATP is looking to innovate, to come up with different rules and things, and they're testing out the sets up to four in Next Gen finals. So it's great that it's going in that direction. Obviously, we have to pace ourselves and balance it with tradition and the culture of our sport that has to be maintained and nurtured.

Q. I'm curious of your thoughts on the on-court coaching and if you've talked with the guys how that will work with their respective coaches as well or just your overall thoughts on that and what it will add to the event.
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I think it's a good option to have. This is going to be unique, as well. If it's going to be up to the players if they would like to have me as a captain there, plus their personal coaches. That can always help. We will have this addition with the apps that they will provide with the different analyzers that we can use, so that can also help. It's going to be different from the viewing position and the position where we'll be sitting on the court. But, why not? I'm for that to try something new, to see what it is. I've been in tennis for so many years and there have been very little changes. But I was happy to be part of most of the ATP -- I mean, most of the team competitions that exist in the tennis world. So this is something that it's going to be unique. It's the first ATP Cup in this kind of format. We had options to -- or opportunity to play the similar kind, which was in Dusseldorf, way, way back, which we were successful and we won the last tournaments that was played, Janko, Viktor and myself, and hopefully, we can continue the same way here.

Q. I'm curious, this is -- the first week of the year has always been a bit of a slower week in the year. There was just a few 250s around at Hopman Cup and now there's suddenly a lot of ranking points available this week, so it's much higher stakes than you're used to having in week one of the calendar. I'm curious for Novak, Dusan, whoever wants to answer, if you think this is positive or negative that there's so much at stake right off the bat in your first week on tour. It's almost like a Masters, if you get the maximum number of points.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think, look, as I said in the previous answer to the question, there are things that are not ideal in terms of maybe a setup or the rules and there had to be certain, I guess, sacrifices, if you want to call it that way, to get this competition going. I think also there are more positives than negatives, in my opinion. And for us as individual athletes, we get an additional chance to represent our country, which is really nice. But it does, the rules are such that it does feel like an individual tournament a little bit because you have the right as a player to enter the tournament regardless of whether you -- the captain invites you or not or you want to have a captain, you might not want to have a captain, so kind of the first player decides and things like that, which I'm not supporting so much in the team competitions. I would rather have the captain decide. I would rather have that kind of team spirit. But I understand that because of the ranking points that you pointed out that we kind of need to, I guess, empower players, encourage them to be part of this competition, and ranking points are a big incentive for a lot of players to be part of the ATP Cup. So there is potential 750 points that you can win, but it's, the chances of that happening is very, very slim. So in the end of the day if you have good wins against top players you can get a couple hundred points for sure. I mean, you can, maybe can get to up to 4- or 500. So it's actually very good in terms of points. But it just depends on the performance, not just yourself, but the team. We have a two singles, a double, and you need to go far. So it's still a team effort. You can't win it all by yourself.

Q. Doha has been a very good tournament for you in the last decade. Was it an easy choice to come here instead, or was that tough to leave Doha?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was not easy because I like playing in Doha. I've always felt very welcome there. The organizers, I have a really good relationship with them. So I always liked that tournament because, as well, it's kind of halfway to Australia. It's easier for my family to be with me. But ATP Cup is a new product, a new baby of ATP, and I thought it was also kind of my responsibility because not just the ranking that I have, but also being part of the council and bringing this together in the last couple of years with everyone else, that this would definitely was no doubt that I would want to play, especially the inaugural first year of ATP Cup.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297