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January 12, 2020

Nikola Cacic

Novak Djokovic

Dusan Lajovic

Nikola Milojevic

Viktor Troicki

Nenad Zimonjic

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


6-3, 6-4

Team Serbia - 2

Team Spain - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel, Novak?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very fulfilling moments on the court, and of course now we're filled with joy and all the positive emotions. This has been, and I keep repeating that, one of the highlights of my career, because you can't really match any big win in tennis with the win that you get to share with your team, with your friends, with the people that I have known for the biggest part of my life. So it has been an amazing event.

Traveling couple cities, having fantastic support in Brisbane, Sydney, off the charts. I have never experienced such a support in my matches ever anywhere, and I have played the biggest stadiums in tennis, and this was something different.

So I want to thank everybody for contributing to this victory on and off the court.

Q. Can you talk about your thoughts on your singles match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. I mean, you know, I knew what was expected in a way. Rafa always brings incredible intensity on the court, but I knew that in this kind of atmosphere and these kind of conditions I will have a pretty good chance if I start off well, which I have.

I mean, I made a break in the very first game and didn't allow him to really kind of work his way into the match. You know, first set 6-2, I was playing really fast, trying to take away the time from him, and conditions were a bit slower. The ball wasn't bouncing as high as probably during the day, so that was more suitable to my style of the game.

So I was trying to take away as much time as possible from him. I was serving very well, definitely the best serving match I had in the tournament. Just extremely satisfied with the way I performed.

And then of course in doubles is probably one of the best doubles we played. I mean, we won against really, really good doubles team, and it was a bit of a surprise that Nadal was not on the court, but nevertheless, we had to do the job and the job was done very well.

Q. I know you guys were excited to see what this event was, but has it even exceeded your wildest expectations how much you guys have loved this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, we are friends in private life. We see each other so often on the tour. So for us it's not uncommon to really spend quality time together on and off the court, really. We do that anyway.

But to have this kind of additional reason and cause to be together brings us even closer and allows us to really experience some wonderful moments. And we spent almost couple weeks together, training in Brisbane, being there, staying at the same house as a team, you know, coming here to Sydney, and then, you know, the pinnacle of whole trip is this trophy, and this is what we fought for.

But I think the highlight that I will take is not just the trophy but is the energy and chemistry and friendship we share between each other, and the bond is stronger and stronger obviously with these kind of experiences.

Q. Novak, six wins from six matches, plenty of miles in the legs. Is this the perfect preparation for the Australian Open for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is. I mean, it is the perfect preparation. I didn't know what to expect from the event. Obviously I didn't know how deep we would go and I was hoping we would pass the group stages and see how it goes.

But Dusan has played some incredible tennis and helped us to clinch most of the ties after singles. He's had amazing wins against Canada and against Russia.

You know, today he fought really well. Bautista just played too good. And then everything had to be decided in the doubles and we ended up almost 2:00 a.m.

But these kind of team competitions are really truly special, and I'm personally over the cloud with my emotions, and hopefully I can take that positive energy and use it for Australian Open.

Q. Obviously you've beaten the two US Open finalists, last hard court slam. Do you feel as though you have sort of set the bar pretty high, as well, for your rivals?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, look, last hard court Grand Slam was in New York, and Rafa won it. So, you know, I think it's really open, you know, the Australian Open or any other slam. I don't think there are really clear favorites.

You have obviously Federer, Nadal, myself because of the experience and everything and the rankings that we get to be probably named the top three favorites, but then you have Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem that are really showing some amazing tennis. London Masters was an example where, you know, where they showed that they matured on the big stage, that they can challenge the best players in the world and win against them.

So everybody keeps on talking about NextGen player winning a slam. You know, it seems like it's getting closer. Hopefully not this year. We'll see. Obviously Australian Open has been my favorite tournament. It's the tournament where I played my best tennis. So I can't wait to go back to Rod Laver Arena and hopefully have another great tournament.

Q. Viktor, obviously Novak's win against Rafa was very big, but you still had one match to play and it was very much up in the air. What was that like for getting mentally ready for that and going out and executing?
VIKTOR TROICKI: I have been blessed for all my career to have such a teammate and friend. Yeah, one of my best friends, actually, as Novak.

We grew up together. We played team competitions ever since we were kids. So I always, whenever we played, you always counted that point. I mean, I cannot imagine the pressure he has always winning all those matches, but I want to thank him for that. I have been in so many different situations where he gets the team out, he wins his singles, and then we have to decide it either in doubles or some one of us has to win the other singles.

But I was ready. I believed in him, even though he played probably his biggest rival. Once again, he proved that he plays on this surface and probably in this moment the best tennis. It was amazing to watch him. I was ready. I was mentally ready for my doubles.

I was in this situation also in 2010 in Davis Cup when we played France in Belgrade. We were down 1-2, and he tied the match, winning easy against Ga�l Monfils. I had to step it up.

So, yeah, as I said I'm used to that situation, and I want to thank him for that.

Q. On the doubles, it was a bit of a stumble at the start, and then suddenly I think you put together about six straight games. Was there something tactically that changed or momentum, or could you just talk through that period?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was a tough forehand to miss, actually, in the first game, but Viktor managed to miss that forehand and put us in really big trouble from the beginning (smiling).

DUSAN LAJOVIC: At the beginning and then at the end (smiling).

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, no. Look, I think, you know, even though we did not start the best, but I think we both knew that, you know, we're going to get our chances. They're going to come.

Very soon after that, we broke them back, and then after that we won, you know, four, five games in a row. Just played on a roll. So, I mean, I always love playing doubles with Viktor. As he was mentioning, we won junior world championship under-18 together, we won Davis Cup with most of these guys who are sitting at this table were on the team. Nenad, especially. And now ATP Cup.

You know, we share a special bond, we have the friendship above anything else. Actually, the first tournament that I ever played in my life, the first professional, let's say, call it, competitive professional tournament, I was eight years old, and the first match I won and the second match I lost, and I lost to him. It was up to nine games, 9-1. That's how long we go back. We go back very, very long time.

We shared some amazing moments on the court and off the court, and we keep on going. We keep on striving to do our best individually, but also as a couple (smiling).

Q. Nenad, 2010, you were part of that whole celebration in 2010, and now you're the glue that's kept this team together to win the ATP Cup. Your thoughts on what's happened and what's transpired over the last ten days and today?
NENAD ZIMONJIC: I thought that the level of the tennis that everybody played was really high, considering it's the first week of the year. It's never easy to play after four, five weeks of break.

And I have to say that we all expected from Novak to play on a high level and that he will deliver, which he's been doing over and over again, which is not easy at all to do. I want to congratulate him on that. He did really well, both in singles and doubles.

For Dusan, as the tournament was progressing, his level was going higher and higher and higher, and I think he surprised himself, as well, on how high level he can actually play on hard courts, as well.

We have seen his results last year. Especially on clay he had some huge wins there, but I think his level on the hard courts was the best so far that I have seen. So he was the big part of this team.

Also Viktor helping in winning all the doubles matches pretty much, two deciding ones, and partnering with first time playing for the country Nikola Cacic, who I thought also was really well prepared and played on a high level from the first match on.

And that first tie that he played, it was very important win, because it was a group stage, and we didn't know how it's gonna go. So they won straight sets against a good team, experienced team, so really proud of all of them.

Nikola Milojevic didn't get a chance to play, but he was with the team, supporting the guys, and practicing and getting ready for his Australian Open.

So for me personally was really great experience. This is a new competition that we have, but what made it really special was the fans that we had. For me was like playing at home.

Why everything looked so much better than even playing at home was there were so many flags, so many national colors there, and the support was really amazing.

We witnessed some amazing matches throughout this event, not just in our matches but every other match. The level all the players here they brought and the energy and passion for the sport and passion for playing for their country was really high, and I'm really proud of all of them.

Q. Dusan, why do you think you have been able to play such good tennis on hard courts here? What do you think this will do for your confidence and belief as we continue into 2020?
DUSAN LAJOVIC: Well, first of all, thanks. Last year I realized that I can play tennis on a much higher level, and I did some great results in clay, but I knew that I still had the space to improve on hard court.

I was doing a lot of work, working a lot on myself mentally and tennis-wise and everything else. In the preseason was the first time in three years I could practice without pills, so I was pills-free the whole preseason. This was a big benefit for me.

And going into the ATP Cup I knew that I'm going to have three matches for sure in the group stages, and this also gave me a little bit of confidence. On the side of that, I think that I would not be able to play on such a high level if it wasn't for my teammates who were there all the time.

You know when you don't play just for yourself, you try to push even more even when it's not going well. From the first match, I didn't start off well, second match I didn't start off well, but I was fighting a lot, and that gave me the extra confidence for the next matches.

When you have Novak in the team, you know that you can rely on him sometime (smiling), and he also knows that, and it's a lot of pressure, but he knows how to handle that pressure. I'm grateful to him that he was able to push that second singles today and then the boys brought it in doubles.

I mean, they played really good doubles even though if they don't play so many times. But whenever they are on the court, today they were just the better team, and I think that this was team effort, the whole tournament, and I hope that I can bring this level of tennis in the singles career, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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