ATP Tour

Djokovic rejuvenated by Murray No 1 battle

Novak Djokovic (AFP)
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Paris - Novak Djokovic admitted on Sunday that Andy Murray's dramatic last-gasp assault on his world number one ranking has rejuvenated a season which was limping into mediocrity for the 12-time major winner.

Djokovic has suffered a worrying dip in form since winning his first French Open and completing the career Grand Slam in June.

He had a shock early loss at Wimbledon followed by a first round exit at the Olympics and a runners-up spot at the US Open.

But as the 29-year-old prepares to defend the Paris Masters title he has won for the past three years, he insists Murray's charge for the top has provided the fresh impetus he needs.

"It makes me want to go on court and fight for every point because there is something to win at the end," Djokovic said Sunday adding he felt "rejuvenated and regenerated".

If Djokovic reaches next Sunday's final in Paris, he will retain his world number one ranking.

But if he fails to make the championship match, then Murray will become the number one as long as the British star wins the title.

Djokovic, who has admitted "private issues" contributed to his summer slump, believes Paris is the perfect place to revive his fortunes on his return to the French capital.

"Winning Roland Garros this year gave me a lot of joy but it required a lot of energy. I felt a little exhausted after and I was a little less motivated," said the Serb, who hasn't played since a semi-final defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in the Shanghai Masters.

"I took a little time to think about all these things, to find a new motivation and a new ambition. It's in place. I feel good. I'm happy to come back here to Paris. I hope to have a good week."

Djokovic has a bye in the first round at the Paris Masters before facing either Nicolas Almagro or Gilles Muller.

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