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October 2, 2012

Novak Djokovic


6‑1, 6‑7, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in Chinese, please.

Q.  Congratulations to you for your win.  I want to ask you, this is the first match you played after you lose to Murray.  How do you feel today?  It's easy for you to win the first set and the third set, but for the second set, although it is tough, you lose the set.  What might be the reasons?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it was the first match in the new stadium after two years in China, and it was very nice to see, you know, the attendance was really good today for the first round's match, great supporters, a lot of fun, good points, entertaining points.
You know, I think I played well overall.  And in second set, my service game played quite comfortable, but, you know, he served extremely well.  You know, he pushed the second set into a tiebreak where he hasn't missed the first serve and came into the net a couple of times, played some really good points.  He deserved to win the second set.
But generally it's, you know, it's been a good match, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Q.  My question is after you lose in tiebreak, what kind of motivation or driving force did you have to move forward?  Because I noticed small ball boy gave you a big smile, so that means that he give you a lot of forces or driving force to move forward.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yeah, sure.  (Smiling.)
It's nice to see, you know, young kids and obviously tennis players, I guess, being a ball kid.  It means a lot to them on such a great tournament, and I remember myself and probably majority of the tennis players at the top right now have been in that position, being a ball boy at some event of some kind.
I know that it means a lot to them, and that experience of being close to their idols and tennis players, it's quite a happening.
So, you know, I try to give the smile back, as well.  You know, why not?  Because they looked a little bit stressed.  Yeah, it was nice.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English.

Q.  Can you give me your thoughts on the announcement by the Australian Open organizers today that there will be record prize money in January?  Does that mean that any reports of a threat of a boycott are now over?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, I've heard it.  It's news for me as well today.  It's a step forward, definitely, from Australian Open and they have clearly shown understanding for players' demands and what the players had to say.
So that's really nice to see, but it's definitely a positive thing.  It's not over yet.  Obviously there is other Grand Slams that need to react, and we are still in negotiations and we are still doing it behind closed doors obviously.
So you will be updated when something happens, but this is great news for every player that plays this sport.

Q.  I guess after the second set did you make any particular adjustments that you think helped you in the third?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I had tough time to really return his serve in the second, because he went for precision more than really speed of his first serves.  He had very high percentage of first serves in, and, you know, he put a lot of pressure on my serves coming in.
I tried to stay closer to the line in the third, and it worked.

Q.  You have not been in 2011 here in China, and what is your impression now for the China Open?  You have here many fans from China, and we see Serbian flags all around.  What is your impression about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's a very positive impression obviously to see that many Serbian flags in here in this stadium and in China.  I probably have some of the best supporters that I have in the world, for sure.  They have been very loyal.
And, you know, I have had experiences here in China with the fans that I haven't had anywhere in the world, you know, receiving presents every day.  They were welcoming me in the airport, and they were following me in the airport when I leave.
So this is something that you do not get to experience maybe aside your own country.  So, you know, that's something that makes me smile.  Obviously they appreciate what I do and what the tennis players do and, you know, coming in here, performing the best tennis possible for them.
That's our mission.  That's something that we need to do and to return the love and support they are giving us.  I haven't been last year, as you said, because of injury, but the new stadium looks incredible.  You know, it's bigger than the old one, but still, you know, they are one of the best if not the best tournament here in Beijing in their category in the world, and they're still seeking to improve, especially the players' facilities to make the players feel like at home.
Anything that we might demand, they listen to us and they allow us to have that.  So, you know, I feel great personally in China, and I love playing here always.

Q.  Compared to the courts here in Beijing to the courts in Australian Open, also US Open, can you tell which one is slower to play, which one is faster, and which one suits your game better?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, even though they're both hard courts in those events that you just mentioned, there is a certain difference.  Balls are different.
So I guess the people who, you know, follow tennis but are not being involved in any organization of the event or being with a player or being a player themselves, they don't understand, you know, how many changes you have to accept and you have to adjust to.
So it's, you know, dry air, humidity, balls in different parts of the world, altitude.  This all affects the game.  But speed‑wise, they are quite similar.  I think Australian Open court and center court is similar speed to the center court here.

Q.  It seemed like Berrer came out and played a pretty aggressive style, going up to the net a lot.  Is that something you anticipated?  How did you kind of tailor your game to that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, first set I felt that I could return a lot of serves back, which I did, and played a really good first set and then had a couple of break points in the first game of the second.  He stayed with some big serves.  That's when I think he changed his tactics and his service games.  He started mixing up more, and I had tough time to read it.
So as I said, I made little adjustment on the return, came closer to the line, and it paid off.

Q.  I was kind of like referring to him coming up to the net, and it seemed like in the third set in particular you were able to lob it over him considerably easier.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he has this variety in his game, and he's a big guy and he chips the ball really well.
Yeah, it was tough.  It was definitely unusual because not many players do that, and I had to make the adjustment as the match was going on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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