Q. I know you take nothing for granted in this sport, but were you at least slightly surprised at Andy’s resilience after the tough week he had?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not too much. I expected him to play on a high level. As I said yesterday after my semifinals, I didn’t expect him to be too tired.
But I just played very poorly, made a lot of unforced errors from the backhand side. It just wasn’t my day. On the other hand, credit to Andy for being mentally tough and playing the right shots, making me play extra shots in every rally. He definitely deserved to win.
Q. We did feel like you were getting better with each match. Can you account for that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s sport, you know. There are no rules. Every day’s different. Every day you feel different. I guess this was one of these days where I didn’t feel the ball as well as I wanted it. That’s all I can say.
On the other hand, I had a player who felt that I’m not comfortable from one side, and he kept making me play. Just too many errors.
Q. Do you think the past few weeks played a part in this, lack of confidence in your baseline game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Could be. But, you know, as I say, of course always I guess it’s required from a player to come out on the court in these particular occasions, playing top guys, to come out with his top game. I wasn’t closest to that. There was no serious chance for me to win today’s match. From the very beginning we could see that. He was just a better player all in all.
Q. You achieved a career Grand Slam this year. What is the new goal next year for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, right now the goal is just to rest a little bit. It’s been a long season, a very nice year, a lot to reflect on, a lot to take in. But, you know, it’s time to leave the racquet aside for a little bit, just recover, then I’ll start thinking about next season.
Q. How do you explain or analyze January to June, then June to now, or June 2015 to June 2016?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the last five, six months have not been ideal. Surely, you know, I could have maybe done slightly better in some tournaments. Nevertheless, I played finals of US Open, finals here. It’s still pretty good playing finals. Even though I set a high standard for myself, especially the last couple years, I’m very grateful to have had the career that I’ve had.
But, you know, sometimes it’s just normal, I guess, to experience, to live these kind of things, not to have the half seasons as well as you want them to be, as well as they’ve been in the last three, four years. That’s all, you know.
Surely there were things I could have done better on the court. I know that. It was also a tough season considering there were Olympic Games. I’ve just been through so much emotions in the first six months with Roland Garros in place. I needed some time to really take it all in, digest it. But I didn’t have that time. I had to a few weeks later be on the court right away. I guess that all had its toll.
Right now I’m actually looking forward to have a month and a half with no tournaments. That’s something that is a luxury in the men’s tennis.
Q. I wonder how much you’re looking forward to wrestling with Andy for the No. 1 next season? Losing the No. 1 spot, is that a motivating factor you need to lift your game?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: To be honest, I’m not thinking about it at all at the moment. We should all let Andy enjoy this a little bit. Don’t ask him questions about next season. He deserves to be in the moment and to really take everything in what he achieved. His team as well, and his wife. She has to get some credit, guys. She gave birth this year. He has traveled all over the place. I know how it is with my wife Jelena, what she had to go through as a mother back home with a little baby.
So, Kim, well done. She’s maybe made even a bigger effort than Andy.
Q. Do you think in the last five, six months, you have suffered from not playing enough matches? Until June, you would always get to the finals of tournaments. You’ve had some early defeats. Andy has played probably twice as many matches as you in the last five months of the year. I wonder if you have suffered from that.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You know, maybe. Maybe in the decisive moments today I lacked that, I guess, match play, match situations that I didn’t have too much in the last couple of months.
On the other side, he played a lot of matches, especially in the last couple of months, and he won them all. He’s on a streak. I guess even though he has had very long matches, especially the one yesterday, people were thinking maybe he’s going to be slightly tired, but he didn’t seem so. More than anything, he felt comfortable in the rallies and exactly knew what to do.
On the other hand, I hesitated, and it didn’t work.
Q. If someone said to you January the 1st, you’re going to reach three slam finals, win two of them, including the French Open, would you have taken that? If there is any hesitation in saying yes, is it that kind of mentality that isn’t satisfied that would drive you on?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sure. Look, we’re sitting now talking post match, obviously analyzing the whole year. As I said, many highlights, many things to reflect on and be proud of. French Open is definitely on top of that list. I’ve had better seasons results-wise.
But every year is an evolution for me. It’s a different year. I mean, it’s hard to expect to repeat all these things forever. I mean, nothing is eternal. I know there are other players coming up, present players that are getting stronger. I’m trying to do the same thing. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
All in all, it’s one great lesson that you have to accept and move on hopefully as a wiser person and as a better player.
Q. How do you feel about having more points to defend than Andy early in the new year?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Sir, I would love to give you an answer on that question. Right now, it seems very far away for me.
Q. Could you tell us any more about your coaching plans?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Right now, no. Sorry.
Q. I wonder if you feel he did anything different tactically? You’ve been a difficult matchup for him, but you haven’t played him in a few months. Did you feel he was doing anything differently today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I mean, he was just playing an extra shot back. He was not too aggressive, but he was quite patient and constructed the point well.
On the other hand, I didn’t do much from my side. Every time I would get an opportunity, I would miss. Just, as I say, too many errors. For me it wasn’t a really great match in terms of play.
Again, because of the player that he is and because you know you’re always going to get the ball back, I guess that’s what makes you think about the risk management. Today just certain things didn’t work out as well for me.