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SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS


October 13, 2013


Novak Djokovic


SHANGHAI, CHINA

N. DJOKOVIC/J. Del Potro
6‑1, 3‑6, 7‑6


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Tonight you write two Chinese characters instead of one:  love and smile.  For the past two weeks in China, what is the thing you love the most and what gave you the best reason to smile?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, the thing I love the most is love, I guess.  Two things that I love the most I have written on the camera after the match.
It was a great experience again in Shanghai with a thrilling performance from both my opponent tonight and myself.  I think the tournament had a fantastic final.  I'm just very glad to go out as a winner from the court tonight from such a close match.
I think either one of us could really take the title.  I just managed to hold my emotions and I managed to believe in the victory enough in the end to play the right shots at the right time.

Q.  You tried really hard tonight.  It looks like you really wanted this one.  Your opponent was a very decent opponent.  It's possible you can gain back your No.1 ranking.  Does that give you the extra motivation to put a lot into this match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  First of all, I have to say my opponent was more than 'decent'.  I would say he's a fantastic player and a great person.  He showed that again.  He has a really likable personality.  He's a big fighter.
All the way up to the last point, I don't know if I'm going to win the match.  It was a very even match.  As I said before, he would definitely be a worthy winner of this trophy if he was there standing as a winner.
Considering the rankings, I put myself in a better position right now with back‑to‑back wins.¬† But the fact that if I would win, I would put myself in a better position, did not affect my motivation.¬† My motivation is there always, especially when I'm playing finals of such a big event.
I want this title as much as my opponent.  That's what's going to stay forever.

Q.  Could you talk about the first service game in the second set.  Bit of an odd one.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Whose?

Q.  Yours.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Just a bad game, you know.  A few really bad forehand mistakes.  I allowed him to come back to the match.  Up to that point, I felt I was in control of the match.  I was playing an incredible first set.  Suddenly I just started making these unforced errors that got him back into the match.
When you drop your serve against Del Potro, you don't have many opportunities after.¬† Even though I had the Love‑40 at 4‑2, he played great.
I think he increased the first‑serve percentage.¬† He got more free points on his first serve.¬† I think that's something that gave him confidence to go for his shots on the baseline.¬† His forehand is one of the best in the game, one of the best I've ever played against.¬† It's a huge weapon and once it's on, it's very dangerous.

Q.  Were you struggling with your balance in that game, footing?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It happens.

Q.  Do you think Del Potro has a real chance of challenging right at the top of the game, the world No.1 ranking, also to win slams, if he can keep this up?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He has potential for that, no doubt about it.  Since his first Grand Slam title in 2009, we all knew has a caliber to be a top tennis player and always a contender to win any Grand Slam he plays on.
With his serve and his game, for his height, he moves extremely well.  He uses the court very good.  He has a very good anticipation.  He's mentally really strong.
So he has the potential, there's no question about it.  Now, for somebody his height, I think it's two or three times more physical effort to overcome these kind of matches.  That's I think the biggest obstacle he has, is to be able to stay fit throughout the whole year.

Q.  Which is more important to you next year, getting No.1 or winning the Roland Garros title?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Next year?

Q.  Yes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I'm still in this year.  It hasn't been finished.  I really will try to do my best till the end of the season, then I'm going to start thinking about what my goals are for next year.

Q.  How will you prepare for your wedding?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  That's a kind of preparation that I never had in my life, so it's going to be very difficult for me.  I will leave most of the part of the organization for the wedding to my fiancée.  I'm sure she's going to handle it better than I do.

Q.  Maybe you can buy some souvenirs here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I'm going to have to buy many gifts, that's for sure.

Q.  You got really good fan support tonight.  Talk about what part that played in your winning the match.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† We both had a big fan support.¬† Being able to play in this kind of atmosphere is really a pleasure.¬† The tournament I think could not have a better final.¬† We pushed each other to the limit, 7‑6 in the third set, two and a half hours, a packed stadium.¬† It was really an enjoyable match, enjoyable experience.
When you have support in this particular situation, in big matches, it really helps.  You try to feed on that positive energy.

Q.  You talk about that support, but there were times in the second and third sets when you seemed to be getting pretty frustrated.  Were you getting a little annoyed that the crowd were getting behind Juan Martin?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† I was trying to get them on my side.¬† That's what you do as a player.¬† It's very necessary to have the support.¬† When the match is so even, we are going toe‑to‑toe, one point can really decide a match.¬† So you're trying to get the crowd behind your back.

Q.  The two characters you wrote on the camera, when you put it together, there's a meaning there.  It means love smiling.  We know you're the kind of a guy that loves to put a smile on people's face.  When your opponent Del Potro hit the big forehand during the match even.  Is that an attitude to relax yourself in the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I think it's wiser and it's better for me, for a player in general, to smile than to break the racquet, that's for sure.  But sometimes emotions get the best of you.
Yeah, in some situations when he hits such a big shot, you can't do anything else but smile.  That's all.

Q.  You talked a few times about how fantastic the fans here are.  Can you tell us what gift that surprised you and impressed you most this time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, there's been so many gifts really over the years here in China by the fans.  What I'm impressed the most with is the appreciation that they have in really being able to come every single day in front of the hotel, morning and evening, and wait for you, wish you luck, welcome you.  For me that's unusual because I don't get to experience that in the other tournaments.  I really respect that a lot and I feel that love, and try to return that as well.
Regarding the presents, there has been so many beautiful ones.  I think the few ones that stand out is the albums they make with the pictures, the whole story, the drawings.  It's incredible how much talent these young people have.  Really nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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