Q. You practiced with Rafa the other day and I can’t remember it ever happened during competition. So I wonder how did it go along, and what kind of message is it? Because it’s rare to see two top rivals hitting together at any sport, I want to say.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I enjoyed it, to be honest. It was great. It was a lot of fun. It was very intense and competitive, as you can imagine, obviously, but in a very respectful way.
And, you know, we played a couple of days before that, an exhibition charity match in Kazakhstan. Also, we got to spend some time together. And obviously we are rivals but that doesn’t prevent us from being respectful and treating each other in the right way and our teams as well.
I have always had that kind of relationship with Rafa. And regardless of which course our careers went to and how tense maybe sometimes rivalries were, but we always had respect for each other.
It was actually very unusual because we haven’t practiced for years. And, yeah, it was strange because, you know, when I see him across the net, that means I’m playing him probably semifinals or finals of a big event, but this time it was a practice session. But nevertheless, the intensity was like a match.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports