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October 6, 2013

Novak Djokovic


6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Congratulations.

Q.  You had a lot of success here.  You had a lot of success in Australia.  Two questions:  Do you like playing in Asia?  And question number two:  You used to bring chocolate to the press at the end the Australian Open.  Is there any chance to...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  To get a chocolate to you now?

Q.  Just asking.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm sorry to disappoint you.  I wasn't ready with the chocolate this time.  But that's a little I would say tradition or gesture towards the press for beginning and the end of the season.  That's what we do.  I'll consider your request for Asia also since I have so much success here.
It's been an incredible week again for me in China Open.  Still haven't lost a match here.  I just love the conditions.  I love the court and the atmosphere that goes around the tournament.  Center court is exceptional, and I enjoy it.  I try to cherish every moment that I spend here every year.
Results are showing how much I really enjoy being here and enjoy playing in this tournament.

Q.  If you can compare with what happened in Montréal and in New York, what made the biggest difference today?  Was it your serve?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, probably my serve, but also kind of emotional stability in the crucial moments I managed to stay tough and not drop in the concentration, which I think I did in both Montréal and US Open in the important moments.
You know, I learned my lesson.  It was few very tough and close matches that I lost against Rafa in hard courts, especially the last one in US Open final.
I needed this win today.  I really wanted to get my hands on the trophy and win against Nadal, who has been the best player so far in 2013.

Q.  You won 40 or 47 service points today.  How were you able to maintain such a high level of efficiency throughout the whole match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I'm going to go back few days.  I've said in last several press conferences that playing in doubles in this tournament helped my serve; I still believe it.
So I was really enjoying my doubles with Wawrinka, and that's what I was looking for, actually, to get that positive energy on the court of sharing the court with somebody, the team spirit.  That's something you don't get to feel when you're playing singles.
It also helped me to practice on my return and serve game and volleys also, so I felt that improvement in last few matches.  There is no doubt I was serving great and getting a lot of free points on that part of my game.
That's crucial, you know, to get that confidence, necessary confidence when you play top guys, and somebody like Nadal that loves to get into the rally, loves to be in his comfort zone.
I was trying to always move him around the court.  I've done pretty well.

Q.  As you can see today, the pollution levels are very high.  Is there any concern among the players, or have you been talking to each other about the playing conditions here?  Even though it seems like you really like this court.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's not ideal in terms of pollution, as you said.  But, yes, we been talking about weather conditions.
It is what it is.  It's something that has been the same for last few years that I been coming back here.  The people who are in organization of the tournament, they are trying make us feel at home and do everything possible in order to get a good tournament.
Sometimes you cannot effect the weather.  It's nature and he's a higher force.

Q.¬† How was it important psychologically to win that one at this moment with the ranking move, with the three losses in a row against Nadal, the fact you didn't win any title since Monte‑Carlo?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  No, it's very important for my confidence.  It's very important mentally, emotionally for me.
At this stage of the year I tend to play really good tennis.  Looking at the results in last four, five years, I been always performing well in Asia.
This season I had a lot ups and downs and haven't done so well on the tournaments aside Grand Slams.  I lost last few matches against Nadal, very important matches.
So looking from that perspective, it meant a lot to me.  I feel relieved in a way, and I can kind of try to continue on playing the tennis that I played today.

Q.  Novak, you used to stay in world No. 3 and then No. 2 for a long time; then you become No. 1 and you were there for two years.  Talk about the different challenges between staying No. 1 and trying to get the spot back.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the way I see things in life and in my tennis career so far is that everything is a learning process in a way.
Also taking Nadal's example, he had been I think the longest No. 2 in history until he became No. 1 with Federer back in 2008.
So he definitely can also share his experience and views of how mentally challenging it is to keep on working year after year after year believing that you can actually get to No. 1.
So I have tremendous respect and admiration for what he has done.  Also, it helped me to be tough and keep believing that after many years spent on No. 3 or 2 of the world that I can become No. 1.
And then the 2011 season arrived, which was the best so far in my career.  Since then, you know, I've always been in contention of being No. 1 in the world and playing many finals of Grand Slams.
Rankings will always follow good results.  I know that.  So my focus is always to try to win as many top tournaments, of course Grand Slams, as possible, because then rankings will follow.
Again, winning two Grand Slams sometimes is not enough if you don't do well on the other tournaments, 1000 or 500 events.  You have to be consistent throughout the whole year on all surfaces in order to finish the year at No. 1.
I know how challenging and difficult it is.  I appreciate the opportunity to be in the position to fight for No. 1 of the world.

Q.  Obviously you have a lot of the fans here.  They're looking forward and appreciate you coming back to play the tournament again and again.  There are also rumors that your contract with the tournament expires this year and you might consider playing Tokyo next season because you have a very important sponsor there.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, sensitive subject, huh?  I don't know what to say.
No, for now I'm playing Beijing.  Beijing is my priority because I just have a perfect result, perfect score, perfect history here.  I enjoy this tournament so much.
So as long as there is interest from the tournament to have me here, I'll be also wanting always to come back to this place.
THE MODERATOR:  Chinese questions, please.

Q.¬† You gave the first loss to Nadal, which is really exciting.¬† Why we didn't see the symbolic gesture, you tearing off your T‑shirt to celebrate?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You didn't like my celebration?  Was that the question?  (Laughter.)
I don't know what to say really.¬† I was just happy to win and I didn't tear my T‑shirt off.¬† Just gave the whole shirt to the fan after that.¬† (Smiling.)

Q.  First of all, congratulations.  I want to ask something about the clothes.  You wear something on court, and know red color is very special for Chinese.  It means power and encouragement.  Are you specifically choosing to wear something red?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes.  Red is one of my favorite colors, and I know that it's very respected color here in China all.  Yes, I did it with intention, picking out the clothes.

Q.  Actually, you used to star in movie.  Do you want to play a part in movie next time?  If yes, what kind of role would you like to play in a movie?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I played a role in a movie, but my scene was not in the movie.  It still was a nice experience.
Well, if Jackie Chan offers me a partnership in the movie, why not?  I would love to be with him, for example, and do all these different tricks.  (Smiling.)

Q.  We know that in Serbia the total population is just ten million, which is less than Beijing.  Many people want to know, how did you make yourself No. 1 in the world or the best player in the world?  A lot of kids in China have started to be fond of your play.  They want to know how are they going to try to be as good as you are and overcome those challenges?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Good question.  Well, you've done your research right.  Actually, Serbia is not ten million, it's only seven million.  So it's probably one third of what Beijing has with population.
We are a very small country comparing to China, but we have lots of success in the sports.  Throughout the history in last few decades we had a lot of success in team sports.
Now we have few individual athletes coming up with tennis of course in last five to ten years.  We have athletics, different variety of individual sports that are coming out.
There is not really I would say a rational explanation for the success we had in tennis because we didn't have a huge success from a country and from let's a say a structure as we were not part of the system.  We all succeeded because of our families, because of our individual ways.
It happened by chance that we all come up on the top at the same time.  I'm talk about Ana Ivanovic, Jankovic that were both No. 1s of the world, Grand Slams winners.  Tipsarevic, Troicki, Zimonjic, all these tennis players from such a small country.
My advice to the young kids in China first would be that they should always pick and do what they enjoy doing, what they love doing.  It's the most important thing.  As long as they really have passion and enjoyment for this sport, then they should go for it.
Especially at that age when you're growing up, around ten years old, it shouldn't be an effort.  Shouldn't be an obligation to play tennis.
After, obviously with the support of this country that is so big and that also has a long tradition of sports with racquets, badminton, ping‑pong and now tennis with Na Li, I see over the years that I been coming back to Beijing and Shanghai that the tennis is growing more and more, especially women's tennis.
So hopefully we can see also some men's Chinese tennis players competing on the high level.  It's a big country.  It's a big market.  There are many opportunities.  There are two big huge tournaments that are one of the best tournaments in the world right here available for the local players.
But it takes time.  Like in any other sport, it's a process of understanding what you need to do individually, because it's individual sport.
But of course it always helps if you have support, a system, if you have a great coaches, facilities, conditions to become a professional player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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