Djokovic was quite open about his goals for the rest of the season leading up to the ATP Finals. Winning the event wasn't his major concern but rather securing the year-end No. 1, which happened after he bested Holger Rune in the first match.
The second major goal is the Davis Cup, which is coming up in a few days, but the ATP Finals trophy seemed to be secondary. He ultimately did get to the semi-final and bested Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in back-to-back matches to win it, but it wasn't high on his priority list.
He even admitted to mentally checking out a bit, which was noticeable in the round-robin match against Sinner, much more than these recent two matches.
Obviously what Goran was referring to is probably after I clinched the year No. 1 with the first win over Rune, I was not mentally present I think fully in the tournament. After that I was like, yeah, kind of half in, half out feeling. That reflected on my level of tennis and my performance and the way I felt on the court.
Getting into the semi-final and playing against these brilliant young players refocused him, and it again showed on the court. He bested both of them comfortably to win the event, which came from a concentrated effort to do better than before.
Obviously thanks to Sinner for allowing me to be in the semifinals when I was there. I thought now, okay, I'm going to try and step it up. And I did. I played two really high-level matches. I think the match against Alcaraz last night and the one tonight, probably two best matches under the circumstances that I've played this season against two players that are in fantastic form.