Novak Djokovic returns to China this week to put a stamp on his No. 1 ranking, and the Serb has had a lot of success in the country. Djokovic enters the China Open having won all 19 matches he’s played in Beijing winning the tournament four times!
And overall Djokovic, who has also won the Shanghai Masters 1000 the last two years, is a 20 match win streak in China!
5 2013 Shanghai (d del Potro)
5 2013 Beijing (d Nadal)
5 2012 Shanghai (d Murray)
5 2012 Beijing (d Tsonga)
The last player to beat Djokovic in China was Roger Federer at 2010 Shanghai!
Djokovic also won in Beijing in 2010 (d Ferrer) and 2009 (d Cilic).
“I enjoy my time in China. I think over the years the tournament has been growing in every sense,” said Djokovic. “You can see that more fans are coming to support their tennis players. I have a big fan club here, teenagers especially, who come and support me, give me presents every day. That’s something that makes me feel very special and encourages me to play my best tennis here.
“As soon as I arrive, I feel this generosity from the people and I feel their hospitality. That’s the first kind of positive feeling that I get as soon as I’m on Chinese soil. Then the court itself and the balls and the conditions are pretty suitable to my style of the game. So for the last four, five years I’ve been playing some of my best tennis on the centre court.”
Djokovic will be joined in China by rivals Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and of course Rafael Nadal who returns for his first event since Wimbledon.
“If we get to play each other here, obviously it will be another big challenge for both of us,” Djokovic said of Nadal who he beat in the 2013 Beijing final. “Of course, I always look forward to these big matches. It’s still a long way. It’s his first tournament after Wimbledon. I am sure he still also is not aware of how his game is going to be on the court.
“He’s definitely always one of the biggest favorites to win any tournament in the world because he’s Nadal and he’s a great champion.”
The top-seeded Djokovic opens his title defense on Tuesday against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Djokovic has four titles on the season, most recently at Wimbledon. He lost to Kei Nishikori in a one-sided US Open semifinal. The 27-year-old who got married after Wimbledon is also expecting a baby in the next month.
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