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November 9, 2012

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/T. Berdych
6‑2, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Do you get the impression this week that the season is taking its toll on the quality of tennis?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  In what sense?

Q.  Well, that it's maybe not as high a level as it might be in some of the earlier matches.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I don't agree.  I think the quality of tennis has been really good this week.

Q.  You said when you arrived that you felt basically as tired as the other years.  But it seems like winning a match, winning two matches has given you energy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, of course.  If you are winning matches, I mean, obviously you feel better.  But still, I mean, the fact is that it being the last tournament of the year here in London for most of the players, it is a challenge finding that last drop of energy, physical, mental, to find their best game and go as far as they can.
So that's in my case, same thing.  I played a lot of matches this year.  But, you know, for the first time I won all three in my group.  This is very encouraging for me, so I will try to focus on the semifinal now.

Q.  He put up a bit of a fight in the end, but then you won five points in a row.  What exactly do you do to flip the switch like that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I just try to have a simple thinking, you know, fight every point that I have.  Guess it works sometimes.  Sometimes it doesn't work.  I'm glad it worked today.

Q.  You stood in the court for the homage to Juan Carlos Ferrero.  What are your thoughts?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, Juan Carlos is definitely in the history of our sport, was No.1 of the world.  He won a Davis Cup, he won a Grand Slam.  He's greatly appreciated and very respected athlete, and very nice guy, especially.
He was one of the players that was always treating me nice when I was coming up as a youngster, so I never forget that.  I try to show my appreciations to his retirement.

Q.  Given Roger Federer's record here the last couple of years, do you think he deserves to be regarded as the favorite and the main man to beat here this week?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I mean, definitely considering his success he had on this court, I mean, he's been playing really well.  He hasn't dropped a set.
I mean, if we get to play each other, it's always a challenge.  Whoever plays him, Roger is always playing consistently well, especially in such a big tournaments.  He's definitely one of the favorites.

Q.  It's been a difficult few weeks for your family.  What would it mean for them for you to win here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, every win means a lot for my family and me.
But there are more important things in life, and that's health.  I guess that's the priority now.

Q.  You mentioned Juan Carlos Ferrero being kind to you when you were coming up on tour.  Are there players you see four or five years younger on tour now that we might be seeing in London soon?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, there are.  I mean, Janowicz has just played the finals of Paris.  It's very good for the sport.  Tomic, of course, Raonic, these guys are youngsters who are coming up.  They already establish them self in the professional tennis.  Tomic played the quarters of Wimbledon, still struggling a little bit with consistency.  I guess that's kind of the challenge that you have to face when you are young and not so experienced.
To play consistently well throughout the whole year, that is the only thing that is going to get you here, to play in the best eight.

Q.  How hard has it been to focus this week, given your father?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it was.  It still is.  Good news every day.  Makes me happier, makes me play more relaxed on the court.  I switch off on the tennis court.  I try to think only about the match.  And it's been working well so far.

Q.  How is he?

Q.  You came onto the tour pretty young.  What we've been seeing is that the average age, we don't see youngsters anymore, we seldom see a teenager in the top 100.  Is there an explanation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's a good question.  You know, we didn't have so much young players so successful at the top of the men's game.  Maybe Raonic, as I mentioned, Tomic, they're one of the two guys that managed to get to top 20, top 30 of the world, but not more than that.
Maybe it's the competitiveness nowadays.  It became more physical.  Not just that, but also points system.  I think it has changed.  It makes it much more difficult for the lower‑ranked players to make a breakthrough.  The distribution of the points is different comparing to what it was in the past system.

Q.  You were just talking about Tomic, the aspect of you being mentored by somebody like Juan Carlos.  Have you spoken to Bernie in recent weeks following all the issues that he's had off court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  But I've seen what he has been doing (smiling).  Yeah, it's definitely not the right thing for him at this moment, at this stage of his career.  He needs to try to find a way to focus on tennis if he wants to become one of the best players in the world.
I honestly think, and he has proven, that he has the ability, he has the quality, he has a great talent.  That's not everything that is necessary for somebody to play this game on the top level.

Q.  Janko Tipsarevic said earlier in the week he wouldn't be surprised if you didn't win all four Grand Slams next year.  He says he also gets the impression that you want to be world No.1 forever and ever and over.  Can you give us an idea of how much intensity you have for the game, your desire to keep on winning and dominating?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, as long as I have this motivation and inspiration and love for the sport, I will try to be the best in what I do.  I don't see anything wrong in that.
Everybody here playing in this tournament, whoever plays this sport, any sport, wants to be the best in what they do.  That's I think the highest goal of all the goals for an athlete.
I had lots of success in past two years.  But I still feel that there is room for me to improve and to get better on the court, off the court, try to get as many big titles as possible while I'm playing well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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