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November 1, 2013

Novak Djokovic


N. DJOKOVIC/S. Wawrinka
6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  How satisfied are you with the performance today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Very satisfied with the great intensity from the start of the match.  I tried to be as aggressive as possible when I have a shorter ball, but still get as many returns back and serve efficiently.
The serve was going a little bit up and down, but aside that, I think I have played a great match.

Q.  Your coach said he was impressed how good you played at the net today.  Are you surprised it clicked so fast for you to move forward?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it didn't click so fast, trust me (smiling).  I had to work and put in many, many hours on the practice court that you guys don't see.
It's all work and it's constructive approach towards an improvement, and with my team I'm making sure I always get to the stage where I want to improve my game.  Coming to the net is one of the improvements that I had recently.
It's still not at the level that maybe can be, but I think it's much better than it was.

Q.  Speaking of the net, I know one shot of yours that some commentators have identified as a relative weakness is your overhead smash, in general.  How much is that a focus for you?  Is that a shot that comes up relatively rarely and is not a huge concern?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it comes rarely but comes in some important moments.  I think I haven't missed an overhead for a long time, so, yeah.
It's tough to say.  I don't think it's a weakness.  It's just sometimes it happens that in a bad moment, you know, you lose the balance and you miss the overhead.  Again, it happens rarely, so...
I try to work on that, also, you know, to have my footwork and to adjust well to the ball.  Sometimes it's not possible to be as efficient as possible, but most of the overheads that I make are in the court and are winners.

Q.  The 8 in the quarterfinals here are the 8 that go to London.  That rarely, rarely happens.  Has that surprised you that it's happened this year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It just says enough about the quality of this tournament and about the players who are participating in London next week and want to do well this week.
Yeah, this is where you need to step up and this is where you try to perform your best and win against the best players in the world.
Of course it's not going to be easy to get to London and play right away, you know, in a day or two time.  But it is what it is with the scheduling this year, and somebody, whoever is in the final, has to suffer and play right away the next evening in London.
Again, next year I think we're gonna have a week between Paris and London, which is I think better for the top players.

Q.  I have been impressed with your French this week.  I have heard you speak Italian, German, and Mandarin in China, too.  How many languages would you say you speak if you could rank them in order of proficiency maybe?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I don't know what is the definition of speaking of languages, but in my understanding ‑‑and I like to always learn a little bit of every language, the new language that I experience, you know, the new culture that I see.
My Chinese was improving.  Of course it's still on not on the level of my English and some other languages, but I'm working on my French.  That's my top priority now, because I also live in Monaco where it's a French‑speaking area.
And Italian, also.  So, you know, I'm a European guy.  I try to take as much from diverse cultures as possible.

Q.  So can you tell us in French what did you...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Thank you for testing me right away (smiling).

Q.  What did you eat before the match, please?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  (In French.)  I ate normal things that I usually eat:  Pasta, rice, vegetables.  Nothing special.

Q.  You haven't played Federer this season, so what will it mean?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Roger is probably experiencing the worst season that he had in last 10 years, but he's still a player to beat in every tournament, because he's Roger Federer, because he has won 17 Grand Slams, and we all know how successful a career he has.
You cannot underestimate him, although maybe he's not at the form where he was when he was No. 1 of the world.  But I have been watching his matches in Basel last week and here.  I think he's playing really well.  He's playing really well.
Obviously his matchup against Del Potro ‑ they are still playing ‑ is always going to be tough.  A few points can decide a winner.  Up against Del Potro, I have played in Shanghai, 7‑6 in the third.  You know, those guys are right at the top.  There is not much difference, really.
I hope that I just can continue on playing well the way.  The way I played today I think was better than the first two matches, so I have been gradually elevating my performance, the level of my game, and hopefully I can do that tomorrow.

Q.  For ESPN South America, I don't know if you speak Spanish.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Spanish, I have to work on that, yes.  Sorry, there are languages in line I have to...  (Laughter).

Q.  No, just about Juan Martin Del Potro.  I want to know if something has changed when you have to play against him since these last weeks.  What do you think about his new game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  I think Juan Martin is a player that loves playing on hard court, and he was very successful if you look at his career indoors.  So he's definitely one of the best players in the world indoors because he has a big serve and he has a ripping forehand from all over the court and he moves and anticipates on the court very well for somebody that is as tall as him.
Whenever I play against him, I know that one, two points can really decide the winner.  So if I get to play him I'm expecting exactly that, and I need to be very focused from the start in having the right intensity on the court.

Q.  How is your relation with him?  You are the two with the great satisfaction with the football.  With him you speak about football?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, we speak about football; speak about many things.  You know, I can say he's a good friend of mine.  Off the court and on the court we have a lot of respect for each other.
You know, I really admire everything he has done in his tennis career, but also for the person he is.  He's a great guy, and he always accepts the defeats very graciously.
He's also gracious in his victories, so I only think the best about him.

Q.  (In French.)  If you play Roger tomorrow, can you talk about the rivalry with Roger?  You haven't played him for a year now.  What does it mean for you to play him in the semis here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  (In French.)  After the rivalry with Nadal, I believe that against Roger I have played many matches, at least 30 matches.  It's not easy for me and it's not easy for him.
Every time just a few details make a difference and determine the winner.  I know that, but I'm going to go into that match with confidence because I played well today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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