Rolex Shanghai Masters
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
N. DJOKOVIC/D. Shapovalov
Q. How do you feel physically, especially given the fact you had a lot of problems in your shoulder? How do you feel about energy inside the stadium today?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It was great. It’s nice to be back. And also, it feels very good to play as well as I did today, considering I had only a little hit, warmup today on the center court before the match. Obviously playing on center court and other courts is quite different.
You know, I came in late to Shanghai because of the Japan tournament. You know, I knew that Denis is very dangerous player. You know, if he has time, if he’s feeling the ball well, it can be a tough match.
He was serving really well, high percentage also first serves, and just really difficult to return in the first set, so it took me a little bit of time to really adjust, start reading his serve a little bit better.
But I thought I served really well. I used angles. I was very solid from back of the court. I had no problems with the shoulder pain. That hasn’t been the case for the entire — this week or last week, as well. So no concerns there. Everything is feeling and looking good.
Q. You won this title last year without dropping a set, and you won the same last weekend in Japan. Do you feel pressure to keep that momentum going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t think it is ever when you don’t feel pressure, you know. So it’s part of what we do, but it’s also a privilege and a sign or kind of an indicator that you’re doing something that is important and that you’re doing well.
I think when you feel pressure you’re doing well. You know, it’s something that is inevitable, so you might as well embrace it and accept it.
I actually, because of the history that I had in this tournament and in general in the Asian swing and lots of success and lots of matches won in my career, I actually feel less pressure, you know, because I’m more confident that I can perform at my best.
Q. It seems that you’re very interested in different cultures. No matter in Tokyo or here, you always try to learn language, write new characters like you did today. Could you talk about your interest in cultures helps you keep your job interesting and help you play many more years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s an interesting question. I think I guess I can only speak on my own behalf. Of course I am, first of all, very respectful towards my host, you know, which is in this case China. Last week was Japan.
I think people appreciate when you pay them respect through learning a little bit of their language and learning a little bit about their culture, their heritage, their tradition.
I think it just makes your stay feel more comfortable. At least you have a little bit more, you know, friendly people towards you and more positive energy. And obviously it’s one of the reasons why I do it. But also I’m very interested. I like to learn. I’m open-minded.
Obviously both Japan and China have a tremendous history and culture. There is so much that can be, you know, learned and experienced. I need many more years to do that. Obviously I don’t have much time once I get — once the tournament starts, you’re locked in. So you’re kind of hotel, tennis, hotel, tennis. There is not much free time for you to go around sightseeing, but that’s usually done before or after.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports