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November 13, 2007

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You threw the racquet twice during the match. Do you remember it?

Q. It seems that it was easy to irritate you during the game. What did that to you? Do you think you're too young to control yourself during the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I don't think that is the reason. I think the reason is probably the frustration I had during the match.

Q. What went wrong today? You looked very tired on the court. Was it the tiredness that was the key of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, unfortunately again I couldn't be even close to my level. I was frustrated because of that. I didn't play so well. I didn't feel so well physically, and mentally I just couldn't -- I just couldn't be so confident on the court.
I didn't find any solutions. He was playing well. You know, he was very patient. But, you know, it's all right. You know, I don't want to look on the negative side. I had amazing season. I think this season was too long for me.
It was not planned so well. You know, I had a lot of exhausting events, you know, including the Davis Cup and those competitions.
Even these two losses, which were pretty unexpected from my side, first of all, and from everybody else who is following my career, is not going ruin my whole year. So hopefully, you know, I'm going to prepare better and sit down with everybody and try to see what is best for my fitness and for my mental strength to do well next year.

Q. You're a top five player who has played the most matches this year. Will you be playing that many next season? Do you think that was the key to your performance here in Shanghai?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was unfortunately the bad impact. It had a bad impact on my game here, the fact that I played over a hundred matches I think all together.
Hopefully next year I'm gonna, as I said, sit down with all my team and try to get the best possible schedule so I can have strength for the most important events. That's where I want to play my best tennis.
Of course, hopefully I can reach another time Masters Cup and do better than this year.

Q. Do you think you were almost caught by surprise at your own success? Because of that success, because of the number of matches you played, suddenly you had the commitments at the end of the season with all of the tournaments? Did that catch you out?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Unfortunately, yes. And, honestly, as I was saying many times before, it was unexpected from me and from everybody to do so well, to get far, to be the third player of the world already after Wimbledon, to win a lot of tournaments, to win two majors, to get so far in the Grand Slams.
It all came up in the end. I had a lot of commitment tournaments in this year. Of course, people started, you know, pushing me a little bit too much, and, of course, expecting even more and more.
Considering the results I had this year, people expected me to do well here in Shanghai. I was one of the favorites for the title. Obviously I probably burned out a little bit and had too much pressure on me.
Of course, I know the cost. The biggest cost is that I'm really exhausted, mentally and physically. But, you know, next year it's going to be better for sure.

Q. This is a French question. What do you think about the game of Richard? What makes him a good player?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, he's very talented. He's a very talented player and he's playing smart. He's not hitting the ball all the time. You know, he's a very patient player. He improved since the last time we have played, this year in Portugal, if I'm not wrong, and he gets to the net more times. He's changing the pace. He's playing more slice. He improved his serve.
I think he's playing really good, pretty good, and this surface suits him. We could see that in this match and the match before. Hopefully he can get far in this tournament.

Q. Before the Madrid event you still had a shot to chase the No. 2 position against Rafael Nadal. With several losses unexpected, all hopes were gone. How do you feel right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: About the second place, no, I don't feel sad. I'm not regretting for that really. I had a great season, which was unexpected to get so far in all these tournaments and win so many titles. Really, I don't want to look negative on all these things and I don't want to ruin my season just because I didn't reach the No. 2 of the world or I didn't do well in the Masters Cup.
In general, I am very satisfied with my performance and achievements this year.

Q. When did the fatigue really start to kick in? Was it after the US Open or after Davis Cup? You told us in Bercy you had your wisdom teeth taken out. Now you appear to have throat problems or coughing problems.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, you know, if I start speaking about the problems probably people would get the wrong picture about me and start saying that I'm trying to find of some excuses for my losses.
But, you know, it all came up in the end unfortunately in the negative way for me because I have played a lot this year. I didn't get the right preparation at the right time. And one of the things really which makes, you know, the players much more and more tired and more fatigued and more injured is that the season is a bit too long.
Hopefully we can all get together and discuss about that, because we are all trying to appear and attend on all the tournaments and try to get far. But sometimes it's not possible. And sometimes you have to push yourself over the limits.
Probably after US Open I felt really tired because I had a long States season and I had to play Davis Cup right away, which was really special in one end but, again, very, very bad for my health. So in the end I couldn't get ready for this one.

Q. What did you say to Richard at the end of the match? Seemed very funny. He was laughing.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, nothing. Well, we are very, very good friends off the court. So, you know, we grow up basically together. Nothing. He just told me that I have to rest a little bit. He said, Rest a little bit, my friend. Or, A hundred matches is a bit too much. We had a little joke. It's all right. He is a great guy (smiling).

Q. This is your first trip to Shanghai. What did you learn in the last couple days?

Q. If you want to show up here next year. What did you learn from this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's difficult to say what I learned. I learned that I need to, as I said before, get my schedule better for next year. That's what I learned. I learned that I need to be more prepared physically and mentally for this tournament if I want to get far, because we all know that the best eight players of the world are playing here. There's no easy matches.

Q. So if you have the chance to meet Federer this time, will you still feel confident to beat him here?
THE MODERATOR: He cannot play Roger here.

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