Menu Nitto ATP Finals The O2, London | 15-22 NOV.

Djokovic Sunday Press Conference

Sunday, November 10, 2019
Novak Djokovic

Press Conference
N. DJOKOVIC/M. Berrettini

6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I just want you to tell us how you manage to look so fresh at the end of the season. What's your strategy? How do you stay in this shape?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don't know. It's probably combination of things. Obviously I try to take care of my body throughout the entire year.

Of course, as probably everyone else, I did go through some major injuries, thankfully not too many, and I value always the longevity and recovery and importance in my career very much. I try to surround myself with the right people and be professional, I guess, committed with the routines daily, because I know that in the long run that pays off.

That's probably one of the reasons why I have managed to be healthy and fit, I guess, and fresh in the end of the season, but also because I think mentally, you know, you kind of are obliged to draw that last, I guess, drop of energy that you got in order to finish the season in the best possible way.

So I kind of push myself and try to create even more energy for these last couple of tournaments. And also, knowing that I have done so well throughout my career on indoor courts, especially Bercy and London back to back, kind of every year gives me more motivation and confidence coming into these tournaments.

Q. 6-2, 4-0 up, you're playing beautifully, you then miss a couple of forehands and you start screaming at your team. Is that the perfectionist in you? What's going through your mind when such a brilliant performance suddenly...
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah. I mean, look, you know -- yes, to answer your question simply, probably yes, is no other reasonable explanation than trying to play as perfect as possible. But I guess that's me, you know.

Everyone is different. Throughout my career, I always intended and always tried to perfect my game and, you know, in the midst of a battle and heat of the moment, sometimes you just get frustrated with certain things regardless of the results.

Sometimes I really don't mind the results as much as I care about the execution of certain shots or tactics or whatever it is. That's all it is (smiling).

Q. At some stage this week you will play Roger Federer. The last time you met was the Wimbledon final, obviously, and the British crowd were overwhelmingly in favor of Federer. You even said after the final you were twisting the Roger, Roger chants to Novak chants. If that happens again this week where the crowd are on his side, how will you react? Do you hope there's more respect shown towards the two opponents here at the O2?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, I said it after Wimbledon finals that, you know, I understand -- look, I understand why there is so much support for Roger. He is who he is. And what he has achieved and the personality that he is, he deserves that.

Sometimes, you know, the crowd is on your side, the majority of the crowd is on your side, and sometimes it's against you. It's something throughout my career I had to learn how to handle, how to accept, and how to deal with that.

When I said that I was kind of trying to transform the chanting into Novak, Novak when I heard Roger, that's really what I try to do. It really works mentally in these kind of moments.

It will not be anything particularly different in terms of my reaction if that happens. I mean, look, you know, I'm going to accept it and respect it, and that's it. I'm going to try to focus on what needs to be done for me, you know, tactically in order to win a tennis match. That's all it is.

Obviously there is a lot of people and tennis fans that like to see us going head to head, and of course I understand that, and hopefully it's going to be a packed house and everyone will enjoy their tennis.

Q. When you played Roger, do you think the fact that he got himself into such a strong position in that match and wasn't able to close it out obviously was a massive disappointment for him? Do you hope or do you think there will possibly be some scarring from that Wimbledon final mentally for him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I will not expect it, to be honest, because Roger's experience and mental strength has been almost unprecedented, you know. He's one of the greatest players ever to hold the racquet.

His ability to recover after big losses and, you know, cope with the pressure in tough moments on the court has been phenomenal over the years. I have tons of respect for him. I understand that, you know, regardless of the age or surface or whatever it is, when I play Roger, I know he's going to deliver his best tennis.

Rarely he didn't deliver his best tennis when we played, and we've played many times. So I don't think it's going to create some kind of a mental challenge or obstacle for him.

Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. But I don't want to think about that or expect that, because I want to rely on really what I do well and try to execute that.

Q. You know that Berrettini's best stroke is probably serve and forehand. Today you broke him five times in a row, which is not too bad. 6-2, 6-1. Federer beat him 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in Wimbledon. Do you remember when you played your first ATP Finals if you were tense like probably he was?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah.

Q. And what do you remember of that match? Also, do you know anything about Jannik Sinner?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I remember back in I think it was 2007 that I played for the first time in the ATP World Tour Finals in Shanghai, and I think I lost all three matches in the group. I was with Nadal and Ferrer, I can't remember the fourth guy.

But I was tense. I mean, I was happy that I was there, of course. I was very proud to be part of this elite eight guys, but, you know, it's an environment which is kind of new to you. Even though it's a tennis court, a tennis match, it's still different, knowing that you're there for the first time and that you're going to play against a top-10 player every match in the group.

It's a lot of pressure mentally, you know, that you have to deliver your best, where for us guys that have been playing on the top level for many years, we have the experience. We know how to, you know, handle these kind of situations emotionally, mentally, you know.

So that's why, at the beginning of the match, knowing that he's, you know, he's probably going to feel a bit more nervous, I wanted to try to use and break the resistance very quickly, which happened in that midway first set. He missed a relatively easy forehand for him. That gave me break. And after that I started reading his serve better, positioning myself on the court. I started moving really well.

Just, yeah, I'm very pleased with the way I returned, knowing how good of a server he is and how strong and fast the serve is. I'm really happy with the way I was getting most of his serves back, especially from that moment on towards the end.

Q. And Sinner?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sinner, yeah, congratulations to him for win of NextGen Finals in Milano. I saw that. It was very impressive win against de Minaur that is finalist last year and already, I can say, is experienced player even though he's young but he's had a great season. And for Jannik to win that comfortably, it's really impressive, at home in Italy.

I think NextGen Finals tournament is a great way to launch young tennis stars, you know, in the world of tennis. So he's definitely the next star that people will look at, will follow.

I know him from before. I have practiced with him more than few times in Piatti Academy in the past several years, and he's always been very, very dedicated young man, very respectful, and he's in good hands because Riccardo is a good coach, he used to be my coach, as well. I'm sure they know what they are doing, and the results are showing that.

Q. Today was the first time you played Matteo. When you have to face someone the first time on the ATP Tour, how different is your preparation from playing Nadal and Federer?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I try to do my homework with my team. Of course I have both tennis coaches at this tournament with me. We watched the videos, tried to collect data and do the thorough analysis of his game, prepare ourselves well.

I think it's necessary to do that homework. I'm sure everyone does it. You know, it has worked. It has worked well.

It's not a guarantee that it will work well, but at least you know the patterns of play of your opponent, which helps, especially if you have never faced him before.

Q. Could you please also talk a little bit about your experiences against Dominic and also about his development on hard court? He has won three titles on hard court this year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think he was mentioning earlier in the week that this has been probably his best season, winning at home in Vienna, and of course that was a very important win for him. Indian Wells. We know how good of a player he is on clay. He's been proving that he can play equally well on other surfaces.

He's already established top-5, top-10 player. We don't need to talk about his qualities. Quality is great. His dedication and professionalism and hard work ethics is fantastic, and he's a really nice guy. So all positive things about him.

His coach, Nico Massu, that I have known for many years and I have played against him, as well, they are a great team and they deserve to be here. It's going to be interesting to see how he plays against Federer tonight, and then we'll see after that.

Q. You have talked about one last push earlier. I just wondered, does it feel different coming into this tournament knowing you have two weeks left rather than one, maybe five singles matches in Madrid? And maybe you were hoping that wouldn't be the case in future years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, part of me of course is kind of willing to go to holidays right after this tournament. You know, of course I'm looking forward to holidays. It's been a long season.

But at the same time, you know, part of me is excited to be back in the national team again and playing Davis Cup. It's a different format, and as you mentioned, there is a potentially five days in a row for me, five singles matches and maybe five doubles matches, as well.

But I do feel good. I have been taking care of myself pretty well with my team. So my body has been responding positively, considering it's final, you know, stages and final few weeks of the year where you tend to, you know, maybe have a bit more pain, so to say, than at the beginning of the year.

But I feel confident about my game in this tournament. I look forward to try to progress as much as I can here. Then I will think about Madrid. Should be fun, should be exciting. I've had, in the past, experiences where I was really even coming injured and playing Davis Cup, and for some reason there is always this additional energy and motivation that you get when you're in the team. And when you're surrounded with your friends, playing for your country, it's just completely from any other event.

So I'm sure regardless of the fact that it has been a long season and it's the last week of the year, I still will find that necessary strength in order to play well there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
 
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