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November 4, 2012

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How are things generally since you went out of Paris?テつ Seemed like you weren't at your best.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Yes.テつ Well, so far so good.テつ I've been in London for last couple days trying to get used to the conditions here, try to prepare for the season finale.テつ Obviously, the last tournament of the year, and very important for all of us who are taking a part in this great event.
I want to give my best.テつ In this moment I'm not only trying to be as optimistic as possible.

Q.テつ You still have a few issues physically?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, yeah.テつ I mean, it's expected, you know, not to be always in your top form, especially at this time of year. テつI think the effects of the long season can influence you physically and mentally also.
But, as I said, this is a very important tournament, and I definitely want to do well.テつ I am sure that I will find the strength, mental and physical strength, to perform my best.テつ We'll see if that best will be good enough.

Q.テつ What would it say for your competitive spirit to be able to start the year with a Grand Slam and end the year with winning the championships?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, that would be an ideal end of the season that was fantastic overall for me, but also for many players.テつ For the first time after many years, we have four different Grand Slam winners, which is a very interesting fact and something that attracts a lot of attention to the men's tennis at this moment.
I'm happy to be sharing this great period for our tennis with many other great competitors and great players.
As I said, everybody will try to take the last drop of their energy in order to perform their best and to get as far as they can in this tournament.テつ It's not easy task obviously after a long season.テつ But that's why we are here, because we appreciate this tournament and we understand the importance of a season finale.
We'll see how it will go.テつ There will definitely not be any easy matches.テつ You're having the best eight players in the world in this season, round robin system, which we don't experience very often.テつ We just had it in the ATP Tour a couple years ago.テつ It is an interesting format.テつ It guarantees you three matches.テつ So even if you lose, you still can get to the semifinals, which is very encouraging for tennis players which don't get to experience that very often throughout the year.

Q.テつ Can I ask about your rivalry with Andy Murray.テつ You very much grew up together, came up through the game together.テつ You were the first to win a Grand Slam.テつ You became world No.1.テつ Do you feel that now this year that Andy is right up there with you or do you still feel you have a little edge because you're the world No.1, won more Grand Slams than him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, I believe this year in men's tennis has been as equal as it can be between I think four of us at least, which is different from previous years where you always had a single dominant player.
Now, as I said, four different Grand Slam winners.テつ That says enough about the competitiveness and the quality of different players right now on the tour.
Andy has won his US Open title.テつ He won it in a great style.テつ It wasn't easy for him after many years of being at the top but not being able to win the major, being in the finals.テつ Many people were questioning if he can really make it.テつ But he has proven everybody that he's a Grand Slam winner, that he's a champion.テつ There is no question about it, that he deserves to be mentioned in that group of the top players in this year or any other previous year in the last five years.テつ Even though he was not winning majors, we all knew he was definitely one of the best players around.
As I said, for me, it's great to be part of that rivalry.テつ It's great to be part of this era between four of us really good players, and we are trying to bring the sport to another level.テつ It's really nice to see that these rivalries are evolving, these rivalries are getting stronger and more competitive.

Q.テつ How is the court here playing?テつ The distractions which you alluded to last week in Paris, hopefully they now improve, what's going on back at home, for this week.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, the court itself is quite similar to the one in Paris, but still there is some noticeable difference, at least in my opinion.テつ It's probably not because of the surface itself but because of the soil under the surface.テつ I guess it's different.テつ Maybe in Paris it's on the wood and here is on the concrete.テつ You get to feel that a little bit.
But it's not a significant change.テつ I think the people from organization have done a good job in making it convenient for the players to have a very similar surfaces before this World Tour finale.
The second question, well, it's some private issues that obviously everybody is facing in their lives.テつ It's not something that is unusual.テつ But I'd rather not talk about it because it wouldn't be nice and it's not the right moment for me to talk about these things.テつ Right now I just want to focus on the tennis tournament.

Q.テつ I want to ask about your travel to Brazil in two weeks.テつ How excited are you for this match against Guga?テつ What are you planning to do besides playing against Guga?テつ What are you going to visit?テつ What is your relationship with Petkovic?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ He's friend of mine.テつ He's one of the people that is responsible for my coming to Brazil.テつ I'm very glad because, as I said, he's a friend of mine.テつ He's a Serbian.テつ He's a big star in Brazil.
I've never been to Brazil, so this is going to be the first time I am in your country.テつ I'm very excited, first of all, to see Rio.テつ It's apparently one of the nicest cities in the world.テつ Also to play against a legend of this sport, Guga, is something I look forward to, not just because of his tennis skills and career, but because of his fun personality.
I still didn't have any plans on my whereabouts in Rio.テつ I leave that to my host.

Q.テつ Just a thought on what it means to you to finish the year once again at world No.1 for the second year running.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, it means a lot.テつ To all of us from our team, we are very proud of what we have achieved in 2012.テつ It's definitely not easy ending the year at No.1, considering the competition that we had this year.
I'm very happy.テつ I'm very proud.テつ This can serve only as a great confidence boost for me to upcoming years.

Q.テつ Novak, Roger and Andy have both been asked about drug testing in tennis the last couple days.テつ They both said there should be more testing, specifically blood testing.テつ Is that something you agree with?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Yeah, sure, I agree.テつ I mean, we are trying to make this sport as clean as possible, as fair as possible for everybody.テつ I have nothing against testing.テつ Why not? テつWe should do it more.

Q.テつ You play Jo in the first game.テつ Is it a tough first one?テつ You beat him quite well several times.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, of course it's tough one.テつ As I said before, you cannot expect an easy opponent or an easy opening match of a tournament because everybody here, they are top players in the world and in this season.
I played Jo many times.テつ Last time was in the finals of Beijing tournament.テつ We always have good battles, tough battles.テつ He's a big server.テつ He's the kind of player that feeds off the energy of the crowd.テつ He played finals here last year.
It's going to be very difficult for both of us, but obviously to have a win at the start of the tournament would mean a lot for every player here.

Q.テつ There's an expectation that London will get the championships for a few more years, although no decision yet.テつ Could you give an impression of what you think about the staging of it here, how it's worked.テつ Are you one of those that would like it to stay here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Well, we have it I think for this year and one more year, so that's five years in total.テつ I think most of the players would share the opinion:テつ this is one of the probably best Masters Cup we had organization‑wise, just having it played in the city which has a long tennis history and culture.テつ You could see that the crowd is very knowledgeable about the sport, which makes it very interesting for us players to perform here.テつ Of course, it's a pleasure.
Everything that concerns the organization, from the hotel, transportation, player facilities, everything is organized at the maximum level.テつ We are very happy.
But I am actually one of the players that supports the global promotion of this event and this sport in general.テつ So I think that after being held five years here, we should give the opportunities to other cities around the world to have this tournament, because in that way we can promote the sport in best possible way.

Q.テつ In Argentina, fans and supporters are very passionate.テつ I would like to know the greatest thing that a fan did, to meet you, get a signature?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:テつ Very interesting question.テつ I've had many, well, fun and entertaining meetings with the fans.テつ The ones that are probably the most passionate I've met are from South America and Asia, from China especially.テつ They bring a lot of presents.テつ Funny thing was that one of the fans couple years ago changed his name to Serbian name, and he also sang perfectly from A to Z the Serbian anthem.テつ From me that is incredible effort that is so far away from Serbian culture and Serbia as a country.
I appreciate all the fan support from all over the world, not just my fans, but sportsfans.テつ It's nice to see passionate fans.テつ Coming from Argentina, there are many of them.テつ They are the ones that give us energy.テつ They are the ones that give us love, to continue on, to work hard, try to perform well in front of them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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