N. DJOKOVIC/P. Polansky
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Today was your second match in singles ever with the shot clock in use. Did it maybe affect your serve and what is your take, in general, on this rule that is now in place?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn’t feel that it affected me in a negative way at all in those two matches. In contrary, I actually feel like there is more time now than before because the shot clock starts counting down once the chair umpire calls the score. Sometimes it takes several seconds before the chair umpire calls the score if it’s a long exchange or a good point and the crowd gets in.
So I’m pretty comfortable with it. You know, it’s good that we have shot clock in the tournaments prior to the US Open. It’s basically Toronto and Cincinnati and Washington have shot clock because of the decision of the US Open to introduce it to the main draw. That’s the reason why we have it.
Q. I just want to quickly ask you about Davis Cup. You’ve heard about Larry Ellison backing this new bid. I know you’ve had some strong comments on what needs to happen with Davis Cup or how they can alternate things. Just your thoughts when you heard that and what you think of this new plan for the end of the year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, Davis Cup is, you know, very historical competition, team competition in our sport, the only official team competition that we have in tennis, you know, so far.
And lots of players in the last 15 years have talked about the urge to change the format. Because if you see the last 10 years, you know, the amount of times that the top players played Davis Cup, it was not very often.
And it happens, you know, you play one year, and then the next year you don’t play. It’s just the scheduling of this kind of format so far has been pretty bad. And, you know, I was talking about it years ago, and I think that format needs to be changed. And I’m all in favor for that.
Q. Looking at today’s match, Peter was getting kind of close in your serve in that opening set. He had Love-30 in the first game and a couple of deuces later on. But after that deuce game midway through the first set, he didn’t really have any more chances. How did you turn that around and get control of the match?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I thought I served well in the moments when I really need it and I was looking for the first serve. I thought I found, you know, pretty good accuracy and angles with the first serve, and also second serve worked pretty well.
You know, overall game was so-and-so. In the moments when, you know, I probably needed to step it up, I did, and it was just enough to win in straight sets.
Q. Your term as president of the player’s council is coming to a close soon. Is that something that you would ever have an intention of doing again? And what’s something that you are happy with achieving during your time in that role and maybe something on the other end of the spectrum that didn’t go maybe the way you would have liked?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I’ve been part of the player council earlier in my professional career for three years, and then I haven’t been part of it for some time.
And then now, you know, the last term was three years. And I was also acting as the president of the council and that was a big responsibility. And obviously I was, you know, very appreciative of my fellow colleague players that they chose me to be the president. And I took that role very seriously.
And I was reelected in the council, so I will still be in the council for the next three years. Whether I will be president or not, we will see about that in US Open in a few weeks.
I think comparing to the earlier days of my moment in player council, the beginning of my career comparing to this last three years, I think there was just much more communication, proactivity from players, willingness to participate in conversations. And you can see that there is much more improvement in that particular matter.
I think the World Team Cup is something that we are very proud of. We worked very hard together with ATP management to make that happen. Obviously, it’s still not 100%, but it’s looking like that’s going to happen. That competition will be revolutionary competition for our sport.
You know, the prize money increases in Grand Slams across the board, you know, but there are things that just take time. Three years is not enough, you know, to change. And we had a lot of, so to say, minor changes in the weeks and certain tournaments changing their surfaces in order to survive economically.
And, you know, you just have to take into consideration so many different interested sides in our sport. It’s not just us that have, you know, all the right to make decisions. You know, we are part of the association that is 50% players and 50% tournaments. So, you know, you have to discuss and go to the board and vote, and so the process is quite long.
But it has been much better in the last couple years than it was, you know, in the last 10, 15 years.
Q. Back to your match. Those high-arcing shots that you had that ended up working in your favor, is that a strategy or just something that happened to work for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, it’s difficult to call it a strategy.
But in particular situations on the court when you’re in a very defensive position and you can’t hit the clear shot and the opponent is already at the net, that’s one of the better shots, I guess.
You know, I’ve been using it in the past quite a lot in order to get back to the right position on the court and try to get back in the point.
And so today it worked actually when I broke his serve in the second set. I won two points with those kind of shots. So sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. There was no wind today, so I could really loop the ball pretty high.
Q. I’m just curious like at any level event that you play at, how hard is it to not get tempted to look ahead in the draw, potential matchups, and truly just look at each match as it goes.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, look, you know, I know the draw. We all know the draw, but that’s all it is.
I mean, I have to focus on the upcoming match and take one challenge at a time. That’s how it is.
And, you know, if I dissipate my focus and my energy, it won’t be good for me in the present moment. That’s all I have.
Q. The Instagram post that you put up after Wimbledon talked about achieving a golden balance in life, presumably juggling parenthood with the demands of the schedule. How you were able to do that? I think that’s something that a lot people have trouble with in their lives.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I mean, balance is the key in life. You know, I love talking about that. And this, you know, balance as a word, as a term, is kind of a philosophy of my life and my approach to life.
There is one thing that I think that, I mean, I personally have learned over the years when balance comes to matter is that balance is something that once you achieve it, it doesn’t mean that you are in balance. You know, it means that, you know, the next morning when you wake up, you got to do it again, and again, and again.
So there are days when you’re not in balance and there are days when you’re in balance, on the court, off the court. So that’s life. You know, you’ve got to keep on going and understanding whatever new day brings to you and try to be grateful for everything that you are, that you have, that is happening to you.
And that’s how I start my day, expressing gratitude and trying to deal with whatever life has on play for me. And it’s all part of my evolution.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports