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November 9, 2008

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/J. Del Potro
7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What takes you so long? Have you celebrated in the locker room yet?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I'm happy to win, that's for sure. I'm satisfied. You always need to keep that satisfaction and probably celebrate in your best possible way.
But not too much to celebrate. You know, there's an upcoming difficult matches. I'm still not through to the semifinals.

Q. It was a very intense match. How do you judge the level of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, it was very intense because we are players whose games are based on the baseline. We both are pretty aggressive.
I played really well from the start. I felt good on the court, but then suddenly I just lost the momentum and started serving really bad and had a really low percentage of the first serves.
Then he got back to the game. It was my fault, but I played well in the important moments. I am happy to get through in straight sets.

Q. What was the key? What did you do better than him, in your opinion?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I think I used maybe a little bit of my experience. I was waiting for my opportunities, and I knew that I will have those opportunities sooner or later.
I was returning really well a lot of serves, and he felt probably pressure there. As soon as I had the chance, I stepped in in the court and I made a lot of good winners, important winners.
But, yet again, I had some stretches in important moments when I got the ball back and had some good passing shots.
So, as I said, in important moments I played my best tennis.

Q. Do you realize it is your first victory in the Masters Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I realize (smiling).

Q. How do you feel about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I feel good, of course. I was a bit intimidated by the fact of not winning a single match last year, that's for sure.
But this year is different. You know, I feel more confident, stronger player on the court, more matured. So hopefully I can use it in upcoming matches.

Q. You talked about experience just then. Can you sort of tell us a little bit how different it feels this year as opposed to last year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's funny when I say "experience," right? 21 (laughter). But, yes, I've been playing a couple of years on the tour already, and playing a lot of important matches.
This is my second year in the Masters Cup. Even though not winning a single match last year, I gained that probably experience in the Masters Cup, which Del Potro didn't. This is his debut.
Well, I knew that he's not having a lot to lose. He's gonna go for his shots. He made some unforced errors in the important moments, so I used my opportunities wisely. Just hope that I will continue my run.

Q. If I'm right, you are the first player ever to show the Chinese learning ability in front of fans on the court.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What did I do?

Q. You said thank you in Chinese. How did you learn your Chinese? Is it a new way to sell yourself? We know there are some tensions between you and the American fans, and now you have to get along with the Chinese fans, which is very important because we have the largest amount of fans in the world for tennis because we have the largest population.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Population, yeah, I know that (laughter).

Q. Could you tell something about that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. I mean, I am always happy to get back to China. Now, as I said on the court, the fans here are very passionate about this sport and they show a lot of respect and appreciation for players.
I get presents every day I get back to the hotel. It's very nice from them. I really, really appreciate their support.
Regarding the tension between me and American tennis fans, I don't think there is a lot of tension. It's just that maybe there is that situation what happened in US Open. But it was just a small misunderstanding and that's all. It was a lot of emotions played there.
It's a quite important event, but it's passed already. This is something that is part of the sport and part of everybody's life. So I just forgot about it. I'm be happy to get back to the States. It's where I think I made my biggest results in the career.
As I said, Chinese fans give me a lot of support. So for me is a pleasure to play in front of them.

Q. Where did you learn your Chinese?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn't learn a lot. A couple of words.
I'm attracted by the languages worldwide, so I try wherever I get to learn a couple of words from the certain language.

Q. Could you compare your opponent with the one you played last time more than one year ago? What is the biggest difference?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You're talking about Del Potro?

Q. Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, we played in US Open last year. It was a straight-sets win, but he's a different player from back then. He's improved a lot. He's serving better. He's using his height now much more, and he's moving, actually for his height, quite amazing.
He has had great results in last couple of months. He lost only couple of matches in last five, six months, if I'm not mistaken. So pretty aggressive player. He improved a lot, so we can see a lot of him in the future.

Q. You were very clear about the difference of experience between you and Juan Martin. I want to ask you if you think that he's in place of losing the three games as you last year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't wish that for him, of course. He's a nice guy. He's one year younger, even though he doesn't look like that (laughter). But, you know, having this experience of course helps you a lot maybe in important moments.
This is something that he's going to gain, of course, in the upcoming period. It's all normal. It's all normal process of the professional tennis.
So, yeah, as I said, I'll be pleased to have more challenges with him in the coming year.

Q. I would like to know your opinion about the Davis Cup final. Do you dare to give a result for the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I got that question a couple times in the last couple weeks. I cannot say who's my favorite because it's going to be a very, very difficult match for both of the teams.
But I would say that the Davis Cup is a very special and unique competition. It's quite important to have a home advantage and support of the home fans, so maybe this could help a little bit Argentinians.
But, again, Spain, with the No. 1 of the world, Nadal, coming, you know, it's quite important for the team to have Nadal. You know, it helps a lot.
But we'll see. It's going to be quite interesting.

Q. Which will be the key for you, in your opinion?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, support probably. But both of the teams want that title a lot. I'm going to be on my vacation when I watch that (laughter).

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