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October 11, 2012

Novak Djokovic


6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Novak.

Q.  You've heard this one before, but it seems like the serve is still working very well.  12 aces I think today.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, well, I'm trying to enjoy the efficiency of my serve.  I'm not very well‑known around the tour for big serving.  But so far in this tournament, and also in Beijing, it has been working very well for me.  It has been giving me a lot of free points, a lot of confidence into the matches.
This is a bit faster surface compared to the one I played last week, maybe compared to the majority of the hard court tournaments we're playing.  So serve, advantage of having good serve, precise serves, is really very much needed in these circumstances.

Q.  Time and time again people have been saying 'greatest era'.  Is it a fair reflection of how things actually stand between the four of you in that each of you has won a major this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Reflecting on 2012 in specific, I think it's fair to say it has been quite an evenly balanced year between the four, if you want to call it.  But it hasn't been over.  There's still a few more big events to come.  Still there are things up for grabs, like No.1 place in the world.  It's something that gives me a lot of motivation with Roger also.
On the other hand, we haven't had four Grand Slam winners in how many years?  So this is a great opportunity for the people to see a new Grand Slam winner, to get more attention to our sport.  From that perspective it's really good.

Q.  Last year, this time of the year, you struggled after the US Open.  You were physically struggling a bit.

Q.  What has been the difference this year?  You're obviously playing well now.  Is it because you're not carrying any injuries or have you paced yourself better through the year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the scheduling more or less was similar in these two seasons.  I haven't changed my routines that I've been respecting in practices, preparation and recovery programs.  It all has been the same.
But I've made maybe a couple of more wiser decisions on how to play, what to play, what to do in order to stay fit.  I've had very long and emotional 2011.  Winning the US Open also brought me a lot of joy, but a lot of fatigue also.  I went back to Serbia and played a Davis Cup match, which got my injury worse, then I had to be away for two months also.
This year hasn't been the case.  I haven't played a Davis Cup.  Maybe that helped me to stay fit.  But I'll be having Davis Cup matches in the next year hopefully.  I'm really looking forward to play for my country once again.  I'll try to keep the good scheduling as a priority.

Q.  We talked about a Nobel prize winner the other day and you said you read a lot.  What are you reading now and what is your favorite writer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, Ivan Ivo Andric is one of the Nobel prize winners, one of the biggest Serbians we have.  I'm not really sure if you know him.  He's one of my favorite writers obviously.
Right now, during the tournaments, I usually like to read some easy reads, easy books.  Let's say fiction, like Hunger Games, that trilogy that I read.  That's something that keeps me interested in a book but also doesn't require much mental involvement, if you want to call it.
When I have a little bit more time and I have no matches, then something a little bit more psychological, I guess.

Q.  In Beijing you told us Chinese fans are very good at presents.  Any special ones you got this year?  You need more suitcases to go back to Europe?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's for sure.  I have many, many presents already here in Shanghai in these couple days.  Many different ones.  I got some masks.  Usually the presents that I get are the ones which are associated in some way with Chinese tradition.  So that's something very nice that I can take home and keep as a nice memory.
But my favorite ones are the albums that they make.  It's incredible.  I've been saying it, I'll say once again, I'm impressed with the talent they have for drawing things.  I think China has a great future in art because they are really, really good at it.

Q.  You might play Janko in the quarterfinals.  I think you reached the top 10 when you were 19.  He reached it when he was 27.  Why do you think it took him longer to get to the top?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's very individual, this sport.  It's unique.  It requires a lot of I guess professionalism in every sense of that word.  Somebody realizes what he needs to do earlier, somebody later.  That's also subjective.
I can't really say why it took him so long.  He can answer that better.
I know him for a very long time.  I think because we are coming from the same country, because we know each other really well, I think we helped also each other to kind of grow into better players.

Q.  Back to the Davis Cup situation.  A lot of words have been written and spoken whether the top guys really rate Davis Cup.  Nobody is more patriotic for their country than you in the top four.  How hard was it for you to turn your back on the Davis Cup this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it was.  But sometimes you have to make certain priorities depending on the season that you plan.  I won with my teammates the Davis Cup title in 2010.  That gave all of us wings, strong confidence boost that we used in the period to come after that.
But we also all rate that title as probably the best experience that you can have because it's a team competition.  Team spirit is something we don't get to experience that often, having a national captain on your bench supporting you, having all your colleagues from the national team supporting you whether you lose or not behind the court all the time.
It's a very special feeling and I love playing Davis Cup.  It's just that the scheduling of the Davis Cup is not so convenient for players, especially the top ones who play a lot of matches.

Q.  What did you do this year when Serbia played in Davis Cup?  Were you there?  Did you watch it on TV, ignore it altogether?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, I never ignore it, especially when my teammates and friends are playing.  I try to look at it on the TV whenever I can, follow it live always.
This year we had the Davis Cup tie right after the Australian Open.  It was very grueling for me physically, so I couldn't be there.  Then after Miami again there was a long couple weeks for me, a long tournament there.  Unfortunately, I had to miss that.  We didn't make it through the semifinals.
But look, you know, every year is a chance for us to try to get all the way.

Q.  You talk to Janko and Troicki and Zimonjic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  We're in touch.  They're the players I spend the most time with on the tour.  They're from my country.  I know them the longest.
We always speak about that.  We share the same opinion:  when we are together, we can bring the biggest success to our country.  We hope we can all work our schedules for next season and seasons to come so we can play as much together as possible.

Q.  You are the national hero or icon for your own nation.  So is Li Na for China.  It feels like more of a burden for Li Na.  Can you share some thoughts on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Sure, I can give you one fact why that is the case:  I come from a country that has seven and a half million, and Li Na comes from a country that has 1.6 billion.  So there is not that much difference there (laughter).
No, it's always individual.  Everybody feels different.  You can't generalize things, especially because we are coming from different countries obviously.
But Li Na is a Grand Slam winner, she's top 10 player for a while.  That already is a great achievement for her country.  So we are about to see if she can maintain that.  You can't predict anything because tennis is such a unique sport, very individual, demands a lot of commitment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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