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October 16, 2009

Novak Djokovic


6-3, 2-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The racquet smashing seemed to help clear the head a little bit, because you then didn't lose a game after that. But it was intense all the way through, wasn't it?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, kind of sounds strange, but you're right, you know. Most of the time when I smash the racquet the things go better from then on. I don't know.

Q. And the moral for the story?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I don't know if it's moral or not what I did, but anyway, it was -- the positive thing is that I managed to find a good solution after, after so many ups and downs from both sides. And very emotional, very intensive match.

Q. We rarely ever see a guy's match that has six service breaks in a set. What was going on there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's crazy. You know, it's crazy, really. The surface is very slow, first of all, and if you're not serving as Ljubicic or Karlovic or these guys, then you will struggle a little bit, especially if you have across your net Simon or Nadal. You know, these guys were returning really well.
I found that I returned as well quite good, so it was kind of advantage for the return player today. But I managed to break through mentally, just tried to push myself and convince myself to be aggressive and don't get to the long rallies for no reason.
That's what I did. I played quite smart from 2-All in the third set.

Q. Was that the toughest match you've had for the last two weeks in China?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's certainly one of the toughest, yeah. You know, Gilles is one of the trickiest players on the tour, because he always gets an extra ball back and you have to earn every point.
You know, he might look, you know, a bit strange the way he moves and plays, but he's not an easy opponent at all. His quality proves everything in last year and a half.
I was well aware of the match that we will have and we had in the past. We basically -- every match we had in last year and a half was like this. I keep on winning and keep on playing those good shots in important moments, and I think that's what matters.
I think I was quite nervous throughout the whole match, because I knew that I would have to work hard for most of the points.

Q. It would be easy for someone in your situation who's already qualified for London, and you've won a title last week, to not take your foot off the gas, but I don't think anyone would expect you to be out of your skin the whole time. That's just not your character.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, I mean, look, we're all professionals. In every match we play, we want to win. That's the sport we're in. That's our job. That's our life. You know, there's many benefits from a win. (laughter.)
Regardless if it's 250 event or Grand Slam, I try to give my maximum always, and I'm really happy that I've gained the momentum in the last two months. It's important, you know, just prior to Bercy and London, which is the most important event in this period of the year. And, as you said, I mean, I qualified already, but that doesn't change anything in my approach to the tournaments that I have now.

Q. Simon said earlier that every time you beat him in a tournament you go on and win the championships. What's your assessment for this championship after winning the China Open?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I hope he's right every time. (laughter.) Yeah, we have a good relationship. He's a great guy, very funny guy.
You know, I don't know if he told you about the socks. I mean, I borrowed him socks a couple of days ago. So, yeah, I mean, look, we always have long matches, interesting matches for the crowd, and I think that's what the people want. They want to see long rallies, long matches.
They want to see somebody breaking the racquet like I did today and just screaming all over the place and making a fool of myself, but I guess this is sport.

Q. 1 to 10, how do you rate your service game today? It not seemed that well.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, in the first three games in the third set, 0.5. (laughter.) And after, generally was 1.2, probably. (laughter.)

Q. Do you enjoy playing guys like Gilles? And if yes, are there other players which you particularly enjoy matching up with? Because it seems as though you're nervous, but seems as though you're really having a good time out there.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The only enjoyment I have is when I'm up a match point and I see the guy cannot reach my ball when I win. That's the only enjoyment I have.
I don't play enjoy playing anybody, because I got to put an effort in every match, and everybody's playing tennis today, you know. You know, in order to stay at the level I am right now, I will have to beat all these guys. I do enjoy playing tennis, but I don't enjoy playing my opponents.

Q. But what I meant was the style of his game. Do you find that it is a fun style to match up against?

Q. So you don't enjoy playing tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No. I told you I enjoy playing tennis, but I don't enjoy playing anybody on the tour, and especially Gilles who gets always balls back and wins some impossible points.

Q. How do you think about a semifinal? You will play Davydenko again. Last year you play him in the Masters Cup final, so what do you think about this?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Um, I hope I will repeat the same success I had Masters Cup last year against him. You know, it's kind of a deja vu, playing with Simon semis and him in finals. So many years on the tour, Nikolay, and very aggressive player and takes the ball very early.
So I will have to have good tactics tomorrow and just be ready for aggression from the other side of the net and hope I will have patience and I'll be wise enough to win.

End of FastScripts

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