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BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS


November 5, 2013


Novak Djokovic


LONDON, ENGLAND

N. DJOKOVIC/R, Federer
6‑4, 6‑7, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you give us your assessment on tonight's victory over Roger Federer.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it was probably the toughest start I could get for this tournament, especially considering the scheduling that I had, you know, playing two days ago in Paris Bercy finals, then playing Federer here, where he had a terrific record in the past, winning several titles.
Was always going to be a tough match for both of us. You know, I didn't know how I would respond physically. Also the conditions I find are faster than Bercy and find them different than from what I played the whole last week. It took some adjustment, but I'm happy with the way I played.
Of course, Roger was fighting through. The second set was very close. I was not satisfied with my serve. I basically played with no serve, no first serves the whole second set. But when I needed to in the third, I served well. Just happy that I overcome this challenge.

Q. How physically demanding did you find that tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It's very physical, you know. Look, I knew what's expecting me. When the scheduling went out, I could assume last year that I can be in this position, you know, if I go far in Bercy. That's what happened. It happened the same for Ferrer, who played even more tournaments in a row than me.
Well, that's the way it is this year. Next year we're going to have a week between, which is going to be better for the top players obviously.

Q. You said you find the court slower than Paris Bercy or faster?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I just said it was faster.

Q. Faster here?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

Q. How did you manage to handle yourself out there so well with all the support for Roger, a Davis Cup‑like atmosphere?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it's not the first time for me to play in this particular atmosphere in these big matches. I did have my own supporters.
But for me was important to direct all the concentration in what I need to do on the court. Of course, it was intense, it was emotional, up and down. But I lost my calmness, I have to say, in the middle of the second set. 2‑All, I had 40‑Love. I lost that game for no reason. He started playing better. He started making less mistakes.
Well, I never expected that I'm going to have an easy straight‑sets win. You know, he put up a fight. I'm just glad I managed to go all the way through.

Q. Your next match is against Del Potro. What is the difference between the last match and the next one, Shanghai?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, obviously the difference is that this is the last week, not including the Davis Cup final that I play next week. This is the last week of the official ATP season. You know, all of us players are coming in, you know, exhausted after a long season. But we all have extra motivation to do well here because this is, by some standards and quality of the tournament, probably the strongest field after the four most important ones, and those are Grand Slams.
This is where you want to do well. This is where every match is played on high quality and you need to be on top of your game.
For me the good thing is that I have a day off and I just found out that I'm playing in the evening, which is great. Best possible schedule that I can get in this moment. I'm going to do everything to recover and get ready for that one.

Q. I appreciate that you've played Roger on a number of occasions. Does it make any difference having played him three days ago to playing him now as far as winning that and coming into this one, so close to one another?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, I cannot say anything further than the fact is this is the schedule this year and I have to adjust to it. As I said before, I was getting ready mentally, also physically, for a tough week in Paris, and then back‑to‑back coming here.
You know, all the quarterfinalists in Paris were the eight players that are actually taking part in this tournament. So, you know, after I finished a match with Roger in semifinals last week in Paris, I found out he's going to be my first opponent here. It was not the best news. But still, you know, it's what it is.
I knew that I'm going to have to play top players here. It's no difference.

Q. May I ask your reaction to Troicki's ban being cut today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I have a little bit of paperwork here done because I knew you were going to ask me about it.
First of all, Viktor is a very good friend of mine. I know him since I was eight years old. I've been involved very much in this case of his. I've been talking to him. I've been talking to his agent. Obviously I'm following the scenario that was going on in last five months.
It's a very bad news that we got for him, and for me, for all of us who are close to him.
But I think it's just not bad news for him, it proves again that this system of WADA and anti‑doping agency does not work. Why am I saying that? Because, first of all, as a tennis pro, our job is to play, of course, tennis and respect all the rules and know all the rules of our sport.
But when you are randomly selected to go and provide the test, blood test or urine test, the representatives of WADA, anti‑doping agency who are there in the tournament, are supposed to give you the clear indications and explain you the rules and regulations and what the severe consequences or penalties that you might undertake or you might have if you fail to provide the test.
The representative, she didn't do that in his case.
So first of all he's not positive on any banned substance. I'm not saying that it's completely not his fault, but the way it was is that he had a medical pass where he was fainting, if he feels bad when he provides the blood test. He asked if it's possible to avoid providing blood test that day and he would come the next day ‑ not because he wanted to hide anything, he just felt bad.
She did not clearly present him all the severe consequences that he will have if he avoids that. She told him that he needs to write a report and that he will be just fine.
And because of her negligence and because of her unprofessionalism, he is now off the tour for one year. And now it makes me nervous as a player, you know, to do any kind of test.
And I heard Andy Murray also said that he wants to take some actions into, you know, making sure that he has the independent laboratory also following his tests that he provides to WADA and IDTM. That says enough.
I don't have trust in them anymore. I don't have trust what's going on. I don't know if tomorrow the representative, the DCOs who are representatives of IDTM and WADA there at the tournaments, because of their unprofessionalism, because of their negligence, because of there unability to explain the rules in a proper way, I don't know if they're going to misplace the test that I have or anything worse than that.
For me, the whole procedure of the court case is totally against the player and player's rights first of all.
I don't know how much you know, but once you're accused, you have to go to the court that is in London actually. It's called International Anti‑Doping Tribunal, which is financed directly from IDTM, from WADA.
Whatever the situation you are in, and looking at the history, there is no one player that won the court case in that particular court.
So, first of all, you're going to lose the time, as it happened in Cilic's case. Actually I talked with him last week. It was proven in the end, because they found apparently something that he was positive on, the banned substance, then in the end it turns out they didn't find it in the blood.
So what happened? Who is going to be responsible for that? Whose duty is going to be that he lost four or five months of points, money, everything. That is his job, that is his life. Who is going to be answering for that?
Now in Viktor's case, he's going to be sanctioned until July next year, and this lady, the DCO, the representative that was there that day, she's going to come back tomorrow for the job. Nobody is going to answer for that. Only him. Why?
In the official media announcement, you can see, I don't know if you read it, that the tribunal in Lausanne, which is where Viktor appealed for this court case, actually stated that it was a huge misunderstanding and that they accuse‑‑ I'm going to read it, sorry, I don't want to miss something. Sorry, but for me this is total injustice. It's just incredible.
So the tribunal in Lausanne is stating that the rules are not good because DCO, the representative, should be obliged to call some ATP staff member in cases like this, and they suggest that the rules should change.
I mean, after this kind of announcement and after this particular situation, the only one who is suffering here is the player. ATP, who is supposed to be an association of players of tennis professionals, who is supposed to be the governing body, the association that stands behind the players, are not going to answer on this announcement, are not going to do anything for Viktor.
So Viktor is there by himself. Tomorrow can be anybody else. Cilic was there in this situation. Tomorrow I don't know who, just because of the negligence and unprofessionalism of these representatives, of so‑called professionals, you know.
For me this is just another big reason, another example that there are some certain things that have to be changed definitely.
I mean, also because I'm emotionally, you know, connected to Viktor because I have a long history with him and friendship since we were nine years old, but also from my point of view looking at the whole scenario that happened, it doesn't give me any trust in that, in them, in the whole procedure, in the whole rules, in anything.
That's it. That's my statement. Sorry, but that's what I had to do. Not just because of him, but because of the sake of the players and because of the sake of the sport. It's just ridiculous.

Q. Along those lines, we don't have a leader of the tour, haven't had for a number of months. Is that a role that might be able to address some of these issues? Do you think it needs to be filled?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, the general situation in tennis is too complicated because there is an ATP, ITF, Grand Slams, IDTM, so many different governing bodies, associations that are independent in a way. It's so complicated to change anything or to move towards some kind of positive solutions for players or for any other party.
You have the player like Nadal, who just says, I have enough, I don't want to have any part on that. When Ljubicic was president of council, he actually took the initiative, sat down with all the top players, I was No.3 at that time, he spoke to me, to Nadal, to Murray, to Federer, to four of us, said, Listen, guys, I think you should be involved in the sport because your voice is very important here, you make the show, you should be part of decision making, and you should express your wish, your desire, your thoughts in order to improve this sport, in order to get it better for your interest and, you know, just for better of the sport in general.
There were some things. Brad Drewett, I have to say, with all respect for him, what he has done, he has done tremendous work in trying to improve and trying to, you know, listen to the players. But the system itself is so complexed, and it's not working for players because ATP is 50% players, 50% tournaments, right? So every time you want to vote for something, you have to get the super majority of votes, that means four against two, which is impossible, because you're going against tournaments, and tournaments have their own rights, and it comes down to the president.
Players have no energy or time to spend on these things. Then they involve their agents. It gets complicated, prolonged, whatever, politics. We don't have time for politics.
The structure right now doesn't go in favor of players. I mean, I don't want to sound like somebody that is complaining all the time. There are so many good things about this sport. But there are also many things that can be improved, that can go in the right way, but it doesn't happen because we don't have enough say, we don't have enough say in the present structure.

Q. The CEO has the vote.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Exactly. There were particular situations in past few years where CEO has made decision that was not in the interest of the players because he has the right to make a decision whatever he thinks is right for the sport, which I respect.
But, again, we have to depend from him. We as players, I think we are the show‑makers, the one that without us there is no tournaments, this is not possible, of course we have to have a little bit of a stronger background, you know, strong representatives with a stronger say in those votes. And that's not happening.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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