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November 3, 2013

Novak Djokovic


7‑5, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Congratulations, first.  How tough was it today to go through David?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he is the defending champion, and obviously he enjoys playing on this surface in these conditions.  I knew that coming into the match I'm going to have to work for my points.
He is not going to give me too much free points.  He's going to run every ball.  He's a great competitor, one of the most respected guys on tour because he works hard and he's very humble and he's a very nice person.
So, you know, the opening four or five games went really the distance, and, you know, he was a better player.  He was taking the ball and, you know, running me around the court.
Physically I didn't feel as good today, but in important points, in important moments, I managed to overcome, you know, the challenge.  I managed to play the right shots.
Second set, when he was serving for the set, I was fortunate to come back in the match.  He gave me the game, you know, with few unforced errors.  Then, you know, when the chances were presented for me, set points, match points, I managed to use them.

Q.¬† I had a coach who always said that 7‑5 sets were mostly mental.¬† It's just that close.¬† Both times you served for it.¬† Do you feel today was more mental than physical or tactical?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It was very physical, trust me.  But in the last few games of both sets it was mental in the end, you know, just trying to show your opponent that you're there, that you want to attack, that you want to take your opportunities.

Q.¬† You just won three consecutive tournaments; first time you do this since spring 2011.¬† How important is it for you, and does it mean that we can consider that you're very close now to the level of game you had two years ago, two‑and‑a‑half years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Um, I am definitely playing the best tennis this year, including the start of the year with the Australian Open and Dubai that I had a great run, you know, starting 2013.  You know, summer was up and down, and now again I'm playing on a very high level and have lots of confidence in myself, in my game.
I'm at the good spot at this moment.  I enjoy tennis.  I enjoy competing.  I have a right schedule, even though, you know, it's going to be three weeks now in a row for me:  Paris, London, and Davis Cup final.
You know, physically it's very demanding, but it's not just me that is tired and has played many matches.  All of the top players have had long seasons, and you just have to try to find the strength, find a way to recuperate, recover.
Every day really matters now for me to do things properly in order to play all the matches in a high level.

Q.  You have said that you have been working on your game lately.  I guess you must be happy to have won 15 of 18 net points today.  Also, you made more than 10 backhand errors in the second set.  Can you comment on that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, you know, I needed to be constructive in my points with David today, but I needed to be also aggressive and being aggressive.  Sometimes if it goes the wrong way of course you make errors.  David is a kind of a player that makes you always play an extra shot.
I did miss a lot of backhands and that was an issue, but as I said, in important points I managed to stay patient and make him work for the point and he made some errors and allowed me to win.

Q.  Is it reasonable to continue from Asia, Paris, Masters, Davis Cup?  I mean, it's almost crazy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is what it is.  I can't complain now and say, Okay...
I have to accept it.  It is the schedule this year.  Next year is going to be a week between Paris and London.  All the eight quarterfinalists here are the eight players who are playing London.
So I think that those eight players, we all showed how much we really respect this tournament and how much we really wanted to play well here.
So I really enjoyed this week, thinking in advance, you know, maybe you would say, Okay, it's smarter to kind of calculate physically, mentally, to get yourself ready for London because it's so important.  But I don't think in that way.
For me, tournaments like this, of this importance, I need to play well and I need to go far.  Every match I need to win.
So from tomorrow I'm going to start thinking about London.  From tonight, actually.  Because on Tuesday night I play Federer already, a huge challenge for me.  But I know what is expecting me.
As I said, it's a very delicate situation with scheduling this year.  It's the same for everybody.  Of course for us, for me and David today, it's going to be physically more demanding.
But, you know, what can you do now?  You just have to accept it and try to take the best out of it.

Q.  David was saying yesterday he thinks indoor might be his best surface.  Having seen him today and having beaten him relatively easily in Australia, what makes his game work so well indoors with the conditions here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he's always very solid on every surface, really.  You know what to expect from him.  You expect from him a very competitive spirit on the court from the first to the last point, fighting for every ball.  His game does not go too much up and down.  He's in a very high level all the time.
But he has improved on certain things.  He's using his serve more efficient, and, you know, he's coming to the net.  He's returning really well, I mean, also.  You know, of course against the player like him you need to serve well.  You need to get few extra free points on the serve.
But if you don't, then you get into his machine and then he wears you down.  That's why he's one of the best players in the world the last few years.

Q.  When you say you were not feeling physically at your best today, is it just fatigue or is it something else?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:¬† Well, you know, I have a few issues, but I think it's going to be okay.¬† It's just that today, you know, we opened up the match with very long rallies and I just ‑‑the general feeling was not as well as I had this week physically.
But as I said, you know, for me it's important to stay tough and overcome these issues.  I mean, it's not the first time that I'm facing, you know, this kind of specific situations physically.
You need to push yourself to the limit, even over the limit, in order to recognize and to, you know, discover how much you can really go.
So for me, that's another positive of this match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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