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October 5, 2010

Novak Djokovic


6-1, 6-3

THE INTERPRETER: Questions, please.

Q. Could you just give us a little bit of how did you feel out there today? How do you think you played? Young Chinese player. I'm sure he was a local favorite, but the crowd also loves you. Tell us how it felt to be back here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It feels good to be back at a court where I've had a lot success in the last couple years. I won a bronze medal and won a tournament in 2009.
I like it playing there. It's beautiful stadium, and of course Chinese tennis fans are one of the best in the world. I mean it, because I have experienced some really kind gestures from the Chinese tennis fans throughout a couple of years and received a lot of presents, so it's just great to be back.
Regarding today's match, I think Gong has a lot of potential. You know, I wish him all the best, and I hope he uses that potential in the future. He just needs to obviously work on his fitness more.
It's not easy to break through to the top of the men's tennis. There is a lot of steps you have to overcome, and it's a good start for him. I think he's around 300 in the world, so he has still a lot of time in front of him.
I played enough to win. I'm hoping that I can raise the level in the next match.

Q. First I'd like to congratulate you for your excellent performance. There seems something wrong with your serving recently, so have you and your team thought of any solutions?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Actually, I disagree. I think my serve lately is quite good comparing to the serve I had in last 12 months. I'm really happy with the improvement that I had in the recent months, and we've been working on it hard. You know, it's a process that takes time.

Q. Regarding the rankings, you're No. 2 in the world right now but you're well behind Rafa. How do you propose to catch him in 2011?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, look, you know, ranking is something that I don't pay too much attention, to be honest, even though I'm really excited about being No. 2 of the world. It's a huge achievement for my career, and I really worked hard for it and it's paying off. So I'm happy about it.
To be honest, it's a rough system, you know. You have to defend your points each year, so it's gonna be difficult for him to be able to get the same amount of the points in this time of next year.
So he's gonna have to play at a very high level. In the other hand, you know, I will try to start the year better than I did in last two years. I need to get good couple of weeks of preparation before the start of the season, which is going to be difficult this year, because I'm playing a Davis Cup final and then the Hopman Cup, and there is only three, four weeks in between, so hopefully I can manage somehow.

Q. Just going back, looking forward, who do you think will be your rivals over the next few years? Do you think Federer is still a force, and do you think Nadal can keep going with his injury worries and stuff?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, both of them, they're still the two best players in the world, most successful that are active. I guess it all depends from physical situations that we have in upcoming years if we are able to hold on this pace.
It's a difficult pace, because, you know, you have to -- you're committed to play a lot of events, and then if you have Davis Cup added up to it, so there is not much time really to work on some things in your game or to rest.
But it's the way it is for everybody, and you have to be consistently successful in the events in order to be in the top of the men's rankings.
I guess next to those two guys and myself is Murray and -- I mean, Roddick, Soderling, Berdych, all these guys that are in top 10 right now, they're doing well. They're leading the men's game. We don't know -- I cannot predict what's going to be the case in 2011 or upcoming years, but, you know, we'll see.

Q. Your opponent played a between-legs shot in the first set. Do you feel surprise that he could do that, and what were you thinking at that moment?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, it was a great shot. I just hope that he cannot make a passing shot out of it, because I experienced that in the past.
I played it out. It's too bad he hasn't won the point. He deserved it.

Q. Do you know that a lot of your fans in China recently talk about your beard? They said you're growing your beard.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Doesn't look like it right now.

Q. Yeah, but last two days.

Q. In Chinese, there is a saying that when you have a certain goal to reach, you will grow your beard. So I want to ask you that: What's your goal for the rest of this year? Because you still have Davis Cup.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: So it's a long time to grow the beard? So I should let my beard grow up to Davis Cup? Well, I will be a Santa Claus then, probably.

Q. So you are more focused on the Davis Cup?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, that's one of the priority goals. Maybe "the" most important thing for me this year, to be honest, is to win the title in the Davis Cup.
Of course we have a very difficult opponent. We have France with a lot more successful in competition than us and has a long tradition and a lot of good players, but we have a great team that this year made some fantastic Davis Cup ties, and we have a home advantage that we believe we can use.

Q. You do have a great personality with your humor. Can you share with us, is there any new imitations you have created in the locker room right now? Maybe Caroline Wozniacki?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: That's a good idea. I'll work on that, definitely. (Smiling.)
I haven't worked on anything, to be honest. It will just come spontaneous. We had fun. Roddick and I played an exhibition in Korea couple days back, and we did a lot of imitations there, so maybe if you can catch up the video, you can see what we did.
But I don't know. It's just if the moment is right, maybe I'll do some new players. God knows. (Laughter.)

End of FastScripts

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