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CHINA OPEN


September 28, 2013


Novak Djokovic


BEIJING, CHINA

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  We are surprised to see your name on the doubles draw.  It's been a while since you played doubles.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It's been a while that I haven't played doubles.  I miss it in a way because I think it brings a lot of positives to my game and also to my confidence because it's the opportunity to have this kind of a team spirit on the court in a way, because you're always alone, so when you play doubles, you get to share the court with your partner, and also work on things like serve and return.
I look forward to it.

Q.  Why do you choose Wawrinka as your partner?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Because we are good friends.  I asked him if he wants to play doubles.  He accepted.  I look forward to that.

Q.  You recently became the ninth player in history to reach 100 weeks at No.1.  What does that mean to you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It means a lot because it's a result that comes from hard, hard work that we put in all these years.  Since I was seven, eight years old I've been dreaming to become the best in what I do, what I love the most, and that's playing tennis.
I owe a great gratitude to my team, my family, all the friends and people who are close to me in my life, managing to contribute with their sacrifice, energy, with their expertise to this achievement.
It's really fantastic.

Q.¬† Do you think you'll be able to hold off Nadal in the end‑of‑season rankings?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  We'll see about that.  As long as there is a chance, I will fight for that top spot.
But, again, with no doubt he has the best results this year.  This year he's been the best player in the world.  I have been having ups and downs throughout this year.  But still it was a quite good season for me, but it's not over.  I want to focus on this week's China Open because this is where I traditionally play well, and I would like to have another successful week.

Q.  Last night you lost for the first time ever in this city to a WTA player.  Can you talk about the experience last night.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was a great experience because it was a charity match.  It was played for a great cause.  I think the purpose of last night's match is to gather as many people in the stadium as possible and get as much awareness about this beautiful sport in China, helping many kids in this country, trying to inspire them to start playing tennis.
That's something that we played for.  It was a lot of juniors.  It was a lot of nice moments in yesterday's experience.

Q.  Is there anything about the venue that makes you be so successful here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the conditions are quite suitable to my style of game, the speed of the court, the bounce.  I love playing here.  Not just that, but also the atmosphere that goes around this tournament, in this country, is something that I enjoy.
I had a great reception yesterday on the airport.  I have fans that are following me throughout the whole year.  They're here.  They come.  They give me presents.  When I arrive to the tennis venue, when I'm in the hotel, they wait for hours and hours.  That is something very unique and special about China.  I really respect that and I enjoy that.  They feed me with a good energy.

Q.  Congratulations on your engagement.  Does proposing right before the tournament take any pressure off?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Maybe we'll see that in the first match (laughter).

Q.  You were in three finals out of our Grand Slams.  Some people might expect more from you.  Can you talk about your performance in Grand Slams this year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† The performances in Grand Slams were really good.¬† I think the other tournaments I haven't done really well, especially 1000 events.¬† Except Monte‑Carlo, I haven't reached the finals of any other 1000 events.
I did have maybe less success in those tournaments than I've had in previous years.  But, again, the goal is always to try to perform the best tennis in the Grand Slams because those are the tournaments that count the most.  Those are the most valuable tournaments in our sport.
You know, I played two finals, in Wimbledon and US Open, very close semifinal against Nadal in French Open.  All these matches I could have won, but I lost to better players that day.  That's about it.
I'm generally happy with my performances on those four tournaments.  I'll continue to work hard and try to win more Grand Slam titles in the future.  That's something that is definitely an ambition.

Q.¬† We've read recently you put your dog on a gluten‑free diet as well.¬† Did you bring him with you on the Asian swing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, unfortunately it's a bit complicated to get a dog here from Europe.  The dog is staying with mama at home.

Q.  The big four players are all in stable relationships.  Can you talk about how that helps your career.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I cannot talk in the name of other players, but I can talk in my name.
From my personal experience in my life, it has helped me a lot to have this emotional stability.  It does affect everything you do basically, you know, because it's you.  You cannot separate your private and your professional life.  It's all the same.  It all comes down to you as one person.
As I said, it brought me a lot of love, positive energy, stability, having a long relationship with my fiancée and also having a close relationship with my family.  It's something that is essential.

Q.  Before the US Open, you have Fibak.  For the next season do you have any changes in your coaching team?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† So far we don't have changes.¬† Fibak has been present at our preparations for China, in Monte‑Carlo where we practice.¬† He was there for a week with us.¬† He doesn't travel here.
We will talk about his role in the team after the Chinese swing and we'll see if he's going to be with us for the rest of the season and next season or not.

Q.  You published one book this year about your diet.  Do you ever that players will develop an understanding of the secret of your diet?  Have you reserved some details about your diet so players won't have a very good understanding of those secrets?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† I don't think it's a secret.¬† The diet that I have, you know, I've been quite transparent with that.¬† In 2010 when I started respecting that diet, gluten‑free diet, lactose‑free diet, I have had a lot of success in my career.¬† I helped me a lot to not just be a better tennis player but to feel better and have a better well‑being in general.
Publishing the book was an idea that came to our mind because I just wanted to share my experience with the people around the world.  Maybe people around the world, whoever reads it, can find something useful for their own diets and for their own health.  That's the whole purpose.

Q.  By changing your diet, you can have a better performance in your profession.  You can't take all the food all the time, you can't make a choice.  Did you have a lot of hesitation before?  You have to make a choice.  Does that bother you too much, as well?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think the experience that I had in the early stages of my professional career with retirements on the court after long rallies and long matches under extreme conditions have alarmed me.  I wanted to try to find the source of those problems.  I had the respiratory problems and so forth.
The diet actually helped a lot to basically solve all these issues.  After that I lost weight.  I'm not as handsome as I was, but I feel much better on the court.

Q.  According to the news report in Serbia you are getting married next year, is that true?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I rather not talk about that date now because we are still enjoying the engagement right now.  We are talking about the wedding date, but I'm not saying nothing right now.

Q.  What do you think about Li Na's performance?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was an enjoyable experience, as I said at the start, because of several reasons, but also of the unique opportunity to play in front of a full stadium with a national hero, with Li Na, who is a Grand Slam champion, an idol of many kids around China.
She enjoyed it.  We had a lot of laughs.  That was the most important thing from last night's event.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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