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October 6, 2015

Novak Djokovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's been a big day for you in singles and doubles. Talk about which of the matches you played gave you more satisfaction today.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, obviously I started off with a win in singles that was a very good performance from me. I thought I played on a very high level considering it's the first official match out there after three weeks of the US Open. It's the first match here in the tournament this year.
Obviously in the first matches you still don't know how you're going to start out. It takes time for you to adjust to the conditions and so forth.
I came out with a great intensity, played some of my best tennis on this court, and managed to win against a player that I thought was playing well. He was coming out and putting pressure, trying to be aggressive.
I just executed everything I wanted.
Of course, doubles, very special occasion. First time I play ever with my youngest brother doubles. We already played an ATP event. I want to thank the organizers for giving us a wild card and opportunity to play.
Was a long match, almost two hours. Two somebody tiebreaks, a super tiebreak. We played against one Chinese player as well. The crowd got into it. It was exciting. I'm very happy for my brother, that he was able to experience such atmosphere. He never did that before. He never experienced such great crowd. He never played on a big stadium.
We enjoyed very much. Encouraging each other to the first win.

Q. What kind of part do you still play in your brother's career? You know how tough it is to make it in tennis.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, my oldest brother is 24, he stopped playing tennis. The youngest one is considering if he wants to continue or not. I'm actually glad we get a chance to play before he makes any decision.
I tried always to be part of it. Obviously with lots of success that I had throughout all my career basically, juniors and then professional circuit, that added extra pressure on them and expectations. It was very difficult for them to handle such expectations.
As a matter of fact, if you look at the history of all the successful athletes and their siblings that are younger than them, there are not many that manage to follow that success up and at least achieve something that is close to that.
It's very difficult for them to have to encounter these kind of mental challenges everywhere they go.
Of course, it did allow them to have certain invitations to the tournament like here and so forth, some open doors because they are my brothers.
On the other hand, they had to overcome much more throughout their careers than maybe most of their generation did. So I try to participate in their careers, but I figure that if I constantly talk about tennis, trying to improve their game, give them advices, that would maybe jeopardize our private relationship and brother relationship, which is truly what I want to have with them. I want to be able to speak freely with them, not only about tennis. Whenever they want to talk, we talk. We have a great relationship, I must say.

Q. Talk a bit about your next match. It's against Zheng Ze, the Chinese player. You have great support here. Do you think there will be split loyalty in the crowd?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I'm definitely going to prepare for him as a Chinese player in the second round, he will get a lot of support, and deservedly so. He's one of the rare Chinese players to play at this level. To get an opportunity to play on center court against a top player.
A lot of facts will play in considering the support itself. But I have lots of support in China, have very loyal fans that I love very much and give me a lot of support each day.
Never played a Chinese tennis player before in China, other than doubles. It's going to be very interesting to see. I hope the stadium fills up and we can have a lot of fans cheering for both of us.

Q. I know you have competed with a lot of Asian players such as Nishikori from Japan. Can you share with us some of the features or the differences between Japanese players with Chinese players.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Nishikori is the best‑ever ranked Asian player in the game. He managed to break into the top 10. Other than that it's Srichaphan from Thailand. You have those two guys that I was lucky to be part of Srichaphan's era and now Nishikori as well.
It's nice to see the support they have from their countries. With their success, they contributed to the popularity of this sport in their countries, and in Asia in general.
Nishikori is a world class tennis player. He played a Grand Slam final. He beat me in the semifinals of the US Open last year. A few times I lost to him, a few times I won.
He's definitely one of the most talented, quickest players around. He's working with Michael Chang, who also has a connection to China, had a fantastic career.
Yeah, I mean, I think they are bringing a lot to the game in general in this part of the world. I think tennis still has a lot of potential to grow in Asia.

Q. You play all kinds of Asian players. Tell us what kind of difference between Japanese players like Nishikori and the Chinese players you have ever played?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I've never played a Chinese player, that's what I'm saying. I've practiced with them.
There is a significant difference in the quality, obviously. Nishikori is No.5 of the world, he's top‑10 player. Chinese players are not close to that.
But, again, you think that the country the size of China can, and I'm sure they will, produce some high‑quality players. It's just a matter of how much you really invest and dedicate the time and energy and funding to the sport.
Bring in the experts. China is a very stable economical market. I'm sure if they find an interest to support men's tennis, it will be great obviously for our game. You already have many great Asian tournaments, in China specifically, three, four men's and even more women's.
People here need a home player. They want to see a home player. That's why I think it will be exciting for me to play against one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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