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Djokovic Keen To Resume No. 1 Contest

Beijing, China

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic says there is all to play for in the battle for year-end No. 1.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic is looking forward to resuming the contest for year-end World No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings and believes it’s all to play for as he looks to start by winning the China Open title for the third time this week in Beijing. The Serb, who won the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in 2009-2010, has not played since finishing runner-up to Andy Murray in a five-set finale at the US Open last month.

"Three weeks is a very long gap for tennis players in the season," said the 25-year-old Djokovic, who is set to face German qualifier Michael Berrer in the first round. "I am excited about tomorrow's match. I'm ready to play. I want to play. I have been practising and preparing for a good performance."

Djokovic was usurped at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings after Wimbledon by Roger Federer, who clinched his 17th Grand Slam championship with victory over Andy Murray. With five weeks remaining in the regular season, and 1,500 points available for an undefeated champion at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Djokovic believes there is all to play for during the Asian Swing and European Indoor circuit.

"It is still open, the No. 1 spot of the world," declared Djokovic. "Obviously I will try to dedicate myself and focus on every tournament that I play. I try not to think about what's going to happen at the end of the season because there is still more than a few tournaments to go here in Asia and then the indoor season in Europe. Everything is possible, but I will try to not think about calculations, not think about any other players' results, and just concentrate on my own game."

Djokovic was also quick to dismiss the notion that he and newly crowned US Open champion Murray are now set to dominate the ATP World Tour with their rivalry. "Obviously there is nothing we can predict. It's an individual sport," stated the Belgrade native. "A lot of things can affect your career. Obviously staying healthy is a priority for all of us. It's a very physically demanding sport.

"At this moment [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal, Murray, myself, we have been playing really, really well in the past five, six years and grabbing most of the Grand Slam titles. So I think that gives more attention to our sport, the rivalry that we have between each other.

"Murray I think is playing better than ever. He won his first Grand Slam title. I'm sure he's going to be one of the contenders to win every Grand Slam he plays in. He definitely has the skill, the quality. But there are many more other players like [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga, [Tomas] Berdych, [David] Ferrer who can surprise, who can be out there fighting for a trophy."

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