10/15/12 6:48 PM | Johan Lindahl
Novak Djokovic leaves China as an unofficial tennis emperor after lifting two titles in as many weeks, capping his visit with a 5-7, 7-6 (11), 6-3 defeat of Andy Murray to win the Shanghai Masters.
With the Serb now closing in on the world No. 1 ranking of Roger Federer, whom Murray beat in the semi-finals, Djokovic has re-stated his obvious aim for the 2012 season. "Regaining No. 1 is my biggest objective in this moment," said the winner of three Grand Slam titles during a history-making 2011.
"It’s something I’m aiming for. Obviously this is going to be a huge confidence boost and also is going to help me in the race for No. 1. As I said, it’s still not done. I still have to play well indoors."
Federer and Murray could well clash again in a few weeks as they both play the Swiss ace's hometown event, the Swiss Indoors in Basel. All three men - Rafael Nadal is out injured - should meet up the week following at the Paris Masters, which Federer won a year ago along with Basel and the year-end World Tour Finals in London.
Djokovic admits he's psyched after saving five match points in his three-and-a-half-hour epic over Murray in Shanghai. "I’ve had an unbelievable season. Comparing to 2011, results wise-maybe it wasn’t at the top, because I had three Grand Slam titles, this year I have only one.
"But I’ve had an incredible year. We have to pay a little bit of respect to the other players. They’ve had an amazing year also."
Djokovic added: "At this level you cannot expect to win all the matches. With this Asian swing so far, maybe comparing to 2011 also it’s one of the best years I’ve had in my life. So I’m enjoying this moment. I’m enjoying every match that I play against them (the other elite players)."
Djokovic said that he and his team have truly improved his game when it comes to the big matches.
"Before 2011, I was losing most of my matches against top guys, especially important matches. Then that changed. 2011 I won basically all the matches I played against them. This year, it’s quite even with all of them. I’m enjoying my time. I’m playing well and I have a confidence."
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