Novak Djokovic is ready to fight to end the 2016 season as world number one with Andy Murray closing in on top spot following his seventh title of the season at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Briton, who has been the in-form player on tour in the latter half of the season can overtake the Serb with a good run at the Paris Masters, which begun on Monday (31 October).
The world number one Serb suffered a minor slump after his French Open success in June where he completed a career Grand Slam and has won just one tournament since. He lost in the finals of the US Open to Stan Wawrinka, and most recently in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters to world no 19 Roberto Bautista Agut.
Djokovic has won the Paris Masters for the last three years and if he makes the final again this year, he will be favourite to end the year as the top ranked men's singles player. The 29-year-old has confirmed he is rejuvenated and ready to deny Murray his dream of finishing number one.
"It makes me want to go on court and fight for every point because there is something to win at the end. I have been in these particular situations before in terms of ranking, so I know what to do, and I just keep things very simple," Djokovic said, as quoted on BBC Sport.
"Winning the French Open this year has brought a lot of joy to me but on the other hand has taken away a lot from me, as well. I felt a little bit exhausted, I must say, and maybe less motivated. So I had to kind of rediscover that feeling of being on the court and keep pushing myself.
"I guess it took a little bit of time, more time, and I'm in a better state of mind at the moment than I was some months ago," the Serb explained.
Murray is now just 415 points behind Djokovic in the rankings and has won three titles in as many weeks coming into the Paris Masters. A win in Paris and a bad run for the Serbian world number one, will see the Briton take over at the top of the world rankings.
Djokovic has credited the Briton for his recent form, but made it clear that he will have a fight on his hands to claim the top spot in the men's singles rankings.
"You've got to give him credit for what he's done in the last three or four months — the second part of the year is quite incredible.
"He's playing maybe the best tennis he's ever played, very consistent, very strong. He definitely deserves to be in the position of being number one at the end of the year. But that doesn't just depend on him," Djokovic added.