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Djokovic Won't Give Up On No. 1 Bid

New York, U.S.A.

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic eyes a strong finish to 2013, with the World No. 1 ranking in the balance.

Novak Djokovic has not given up hope of finishing the year as World No. 1 despite seeing Rafael Nadal open up a massive lead after winning the US Open. Nadal, who has won two majors and five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles this year, now has a 3000-point lead over Djokovic in the Emirates ATP Race To London, a predictor of the year-end rankings. Djokovic has finished year-end No. 1 the past two years.

"I'm still No. 1 of the world in the rankings, but he has more chances to end up [at year's end] as No. 1," Djokovic said. "Look, there are still tournaments to go. We'll see. I will just try to prepare myself for China." Djokovic's next outing will be at the China Open in Beijing, starting September 30, followed by the Shanghai Rolex Masters. he is the defending champion at both events.

Despite the loss, Djokovic said that the US Open final against Nadal was a memorable experience. "I do appreciate the occasion playing against Nadal in the finals of one of the best tournaments and most important tournaments in the world. Obviously I just feel disappointed for losing... It was obvious that in the important moments he played better tennis and that's why he deserved to win. I congratulate him, and I move on.

"Many times you fall as an athlete, and you have to learn the lesson and keep on going, keep on fighting, keep on improving."

The Belgrade-native takes each loss as an experience to grow and believes that there are many more Grand Slam titles on the horizon. "I'm still 26, and I believe the best time for my career is about to come. I feel that. I believe that. As long as I believe it, the fire of the love towards the game is inside of me. And as long as that's present, as long as I feel it, I'm going to play this sport with all my heart, as I did for the last 10 years."

In 2013, Djokovic reached three Grand Slam finals but only captured one title, defeating Andy Murray at the Australian Open to open the year. The Serb does not consider his majors' campaign a failure and plans to come back hungrier and stronger next year.

"Overall, it was again a very successful Grand Slam year for me. That's something that I always try to have in the back of my mind, to set my own shape for the biggest ones, for major tournaments. That's where I want to play my best in. As I said, I wish there was another title, but it is what it is."

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