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October 31, 2013

Novak Djokovic


6‑7, 6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How frustrating is it to have so many break points and to have to wait and just say, Okay, he's gonna serve an ace maybe?

Q.  How do you feel about that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, it's always a big challenge when you play a server that gets a lot of free points on his serve.  He definitely has one of the strongest and one of the best serves in the world.  On any surface, if he serves well, he's dangerous, you know, for any player.  He can win against anybody, really.
So knowing that obviously creates a little bit of added pressure coming to the match that, you know, you kind of have to hold your serve and be patient and wait for the opportunities, and when they are presented you have to capitalize.  You have to get the opportunity.
But it's easier said than done, obviously.  In the first set I could feel that.  I was returning well, was playing well, you know, I had many, many opportunities, and then, you know, I didn't use it.
When I was set down, I just‑‑ I was frustrated, but I tried to, you know, hold my composure.  It's not the first time I'm in this particular situation, so that experience helped to, you know, keep on believing I can win.

Q.  What do you think, Novak, particularly you just swung the match so hard in your favor through the second and the third?  Was it just a matter of getting one break and that was it, or...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, obviously he didn't serve as strong as the first set.  You could feel he has some issues.
But, again, the angle and the pace he gets, even though it's maybe 15 kilometers slower, it's still a big serve.
I just needed to be very tough mentally and just believe I can make a break.  I knew as soon as I make a break I'm going to start playing better and relaxed in a way, so that's what happened.

Q.  Was it his abdominal you were talking about at the net?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  His stomach.  That's what he told me.

Q.  Can you talk about finding again Stanislas Wawrinka in your way in a tournament?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It is a big challenge for me and both ‑‑ Wawrinka, also.  It's not the first time I'm playing against him at this stage of a tournament.  It's not best of five, so we will not go the fifth set (smiling).
You know, whenever we play each other it's long exchanges, you know, very tough match mentally, physically.  But I'm ready for it.  I have been playing well, and obviously he has been enjoying his probably best season in a career.
He has always been a very skillful and very dangerous player for anybody on any surface because he has a big serve, has one of the best one‑handed backhands in the world.
He just feels more confident than he ever was.

Q.  A less serious question, but there was no mask on your face today on the court.  People are complaining.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yeah, I know, I know (smiling).  It's my fault.  I was not prepared enough.  They didn't find the proper mask.
So I'm going to have to be pretending that I'm myself this year.  No Darth Vader.

Q.  You have had some great moments this year and some frustrating ones.  How important are the last two tournaments, and how do you think you'll remember 2013?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  All in all was a solid year.  You know, I played really well on Grand Slams, even though I thought I could get at least another Grand Slam.
But look, you know, I have had tough matches against Rafa in French Open and US Open, and Rafa is No. 1 of the world now because he deserves to be here with results that he had throughout the whole season.  He's definitely been playing the best tennis in 2013.
The other hand, I didn't have as good of results as I had in previous years in the Masters ‑‑sorry, 1000 events.  Could have been a little more consistent there.
But, again, every year is a new experience, is a new lesson, in a way.  I try to take the best out of it.  It's the last few weeks of the season, but I just feel very extra motivated to play better and better as every tournament goes by, as the weeks go by.
In China I have had probably the best two weeks of the year, except at the beginning of the year, so it gives me a lot of confidence.  I feel that I'm back mentally where I need to be, and, you know, hopefully I can maintain this winning streak and I can, you know, kind of keep on playing better and better.

Q.  Does Marin Cilic having his suspension reduced and being able to come back this week make you more optimistic for having Viktor back for the Davis Cup final potentially?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, potentially gives obviously a reason for all of us who are close to Viktor and who know he's innocent to have the positive verdict, and, you know, to allow him to play hopefully already in the Davis Cup final.
Because with him definitely we are more complete team.  We are stronger.  And, you know, just for him personally, as his close friend, I would love to see him play, you know, soon, because I think the time is wasted, you know, in his case and also in Marin's case.
Marin proved to be right, but he still lost four months of his career.  Who is going to answer for that, right?  Nobody.
So in the end of the day, that's how it goes.  You know, the players have to wait and have wait in these particular cases.  They lose time.  They lose money.  You know, they lose the chance to perform well.
This is their life, and so I just hope that Viktor will have the same result as Marin had and we're gonna see him in Belgrade.

Q.  Do you think he will be ready after having that many months off to come back for a Davis Cup final?  It's a big ask.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  He's been practicing.  We have been practicing before the Chinese swing.  I speak to him frequently and I know he's getting ready.  He's positive that he's going to get back on the court very soon.
Of course, it doesn't depend from him now, but he's doing everything in his power to be ready if he gets an opportunity.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

Q.  Everybody noticed you improved considerably your French.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  You think so?

Q.  Is it important for you to speak French?  Is it difficult to learn?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Yes, it's difficult for me to learn French, but every year I come to France.  I play the French Open, I play here in Bercy, and I take advantage of this to speak French.
I just love languages, and I believe French is a beautiful language.  So it's average, eh?  The quality of my French is so‑so.
But I hope I will improve.

Q.  What is your favorite word in French?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Merveilleux, meaning wonderful.

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