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November 11, 2012

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/J. Del Potro
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  We're used to seeing you a bit quicker into press conferences.  Has there been a bit of a problem?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  In terms of scheduling the conference after the end of the match, that's what you're alluding to, right?

Q.  Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No.  We just took a little more time to do all the post‑match recovery program because I'm going to play tomorrow.  I needed to be fresh and ready for a press conference, as you guys always can be very challenging (laughter).

Q.  Seemed to turn around so quickly, the momentum, in the second set.  Was there anything tactically you did different?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He's a big server.  I was aware that the key for me would be to try to get as many returns back in the court and get into the rally.  I wasn't managing to do so, especially the end of the first set, beginning of the second.  I dropped with my first‑serve percentage, made a lot of unforced errors.  He used it.  He was the better player at that time.
I believed that I could come back.  I believed that I could turn this match around in my favor, and I've done so.  I've played from that moment on, when I got the break back, very flawless tennis.  That makes me very happy and also confident before tomorrow's final.

Q.  Could you sum up what it means to you to reach the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm very pleased.  I mean, it's the first finals here in London.  I haven't played a finals of Masters Cup, World Tour Finals the way they call it now, since 2008.
I really look forward to it.  It's already a great success.  But knowing it's the last match of the season, I'm really going to try to give my best physically and mentally tomorrow to eventually try to get the trophy.

Q.  I'm sure you wouldn't say which opponent you prefer.  You've played so much against Andy this year.  It's been such a narrative.  Would that be in some ways the perfect ending to the year if it was him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  For me, it's already perfect ending, being part of the finals match here in London.  I mean, Roger and Andy will play tonight, a match that is expected to be a great one for the crowd.  I'm sure they're going to come up with their best tennis.
Whoever I play against tomorrow, it's going to be very open.  I think there is no really any predictions about who's going to win.
I played Andy already this week, a long match that was decided in the last couple points.  So I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case, if I get to play him tomorrow, or Roger.  Very few points will decide the winner.

Q.  When Del Potro is hitting his forehand like that, is there much that can be done?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Sure, there is.  You can avoid that part of his game, you know, try to get more shots in his backhand.
That was I think also a change.  I've played a little bit more on his backhand side and got more opportunity to attack, where in the first set I played too much on his forehand, got crushed.

Q.  On the face of it, your levels of energy look as though they're pretty good at the moment.  Are you feeling inside as good as you looked at the end of the third set today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I had a little, let's say, crisis in today's match from 4‑All first set to 2‑All in the second where I didn't feel so good on the court, struggling to find my momentum and my rhythm.  Also when mentally you're not confident and you're not in the control of the match, obviously your energy level drops.  So you try to be positive and push myself to fight for every point and believe I can come back.
That was the case.

Q.  Do you have a favorite for the Davis Cup final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's played in Czech Republic, so I guess that's always the home advantage is important in Davis Cup.  It's a team competition.  So support will be very big, I'm sure, for Czechs.  They've been looking for that final for many years.
On the other hand, Spain is the most successful Davis Cup team in last five, ten years.  So it's quite open in my eyes, to be honest.

Q.  This is a very special tournament where it can happen where you can play twice with the same players.  Some players didn't like that at all.  Does it make any difference for you to play the same player twice in the same place, in the same tournament?  Do you think psychologically it makes a difference?  Would you rather always play a different opponent?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, I think I never experienced that actually.  Even though with this format, I think I never played the same player twice in a week.  So if I will get to play Andy, you know, tomorrow, that would be definitely a different experience.  I don't know how it's going to feel on the court.
But definitely what I know for sure is that I will try to win.  That's my mindset.  In terms of that, it's not going to change.

Q.  A lot of people see Juan Martin as maybe the guy who is most likely to challenge you for the Grand Slam titles.  Would you agree with that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Sure.  He already won a Grand Slam title, US Open.  He knows how it feels to win Grand Slam.  He's definitely one of the players behind the big four that can challenge for winning a Grand Slam.  Next to him it's obviously Ferrer that had a fantastic year, the best year of his career.
So there are players, and he's probably one of them.

Q.  Could you sum up the ATP World Tour Finals, your memories really, what the key this week has been to get to the final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, first of all, I felt coming into the tournament feeling a little bit better and fresher physically than I was in last two years.  So I think that was, you know, something that is very encouraging obviously, very positive before you get to play a top player.  That was a big difference this year and made me be more prepared for all the matches and play a more aggressive style of the game.
You know, in previous years I had an opportunity to play in the semifinals here, but mostly I was ending up in the group stages.  Wasn't very successful on this surface.  But this year it's been all good.

Q.  Pretty interesting year, you winning the longest Grand Slam final ever, then Rafa beating Bjorn Borg's record, then Federer winning Wimbledon, breaking Sampras' record, then Murray at the US Open.  As a fan, which was the best narrative?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, wow.  It's interesting analysis there in facts.  It's a great year for the sport, for sure.  Not to repeat yourself, but it's been a very successful year for four players in particular.  It was a very even year.
I cannot choose between these four success.  But one thing is for sure, and that is that tennis is becoming more popular globally and that we are attracting more attention because of the rivalries we have and the competitiveness that is present in this moment.

Q.  It's been such a tough season.  How much are you looking forward to putting your feet up and doing nothing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Look forward to that very much.  But right now I need to try to do my best to get ready for the finals.  It's the last match of the year, so I'm going to give my best, then have a couple weeks off.

Q.  You are No.1 in the world.  Nobody wants to take anything out of you being No.1.  This was in a year where there were four different winners.  Murray was the only one who won also Olympic Games.  Do you think if he would win, for the public opinion, even if you will be No.1 for the ATP computer, he could be the No.1 in the public opinion image, as it happens for Serena Williams, that she is No.3 in the world but everyone thinks she's the best?  What do you think?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Thank you for a very easy question (smiling).  I need to be modest here and just say that I'll leave the judgment about who is the best player of the year for you to say.  From what I know, he definitely had a fantastic year, and myself also.
I can't really say what you value more.  Just being No.1 of the world at the end of the year means the world to me.  That's enough.

Q.  Everybody obviously knows how much your home country means to you.  Are there ways in which you are either as a person or a player a typical Serb?  You're atypical in terms of success.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  There's successful Serbians.

Q.  You stand out in many ways.  Are there ways in which you think of yourself as a typical Serb and are there things about Serbian history or character‑‑
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  In what way, typical Serb?

Q.  Whatever way you think that definition is.  Are there things about the history of Serbia that inspires you on court?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm trying to take the best from my culture.  In that way, I consider myself a Serbian, proud Serbian.  Why not?  Coming from Serbia, I am proud for that.  I always try to use the opportunity to promote and present myself because of the past that my country had.
Unfortunately we had a lot of bad press, bad times in last two or three decades with wars, economy crisis, politics and everything.  So sport is one of the ways to give people hope in a way.  It's a very positive message that athletes in general from Serbia are sending to the people.
We get also a lot of appreciation and positive reaction from Serbian people.  That's something that always inspires me and drives me to make more success in my tennis.
Before we get to Serbian.  Whatever happens tomorrow, I have a surprise.  Thank you for your cooperation throughout the whole year.  I have a little chocolate treat for everybody.  If you would be kind and accept my present to you (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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