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Djokovic qualifies for London

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Originally published on: 20/08/13 00:00

He may have failed in his attempt to become the first man to win the “Career Masters Slam” – all nine Masters 1000 titles – when he lost in Cincinnati last week, but Djokovic’s quarter-final defeat to John Isner at the Western & Southern Open was enough to secure his spot at The O2.

Djokovic, who will be playing in the season-ending event for a seventh straight year, is the second man to qualify for the 2013 edition after Rafael Nadal, who moved up to No.2 in the world rankings following his victory in Cincinnati last week.

Bidding to end the year as world No.1 for a third successive season, reigning champion Djokovic admits that having to defend 1500 ranking points in London will make it tougher.

“It adds a little bit of extra expectation and pressure,” said Djokovic, who beat Roger Federer in last year’s final. “Knowing that I can play that well on the centre stage gives me enough reason to believe that I can do it again. That is something that inspires me to prepare well and perform my best.

“My favourite memory is winning the title in 2012, when I won all five of my matches and I played some of my best tennis. It was the best way to finish the season.”

“We’re delighted that Novak will return to The O2 this November to defend his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title,” said tournament director Andre Silva. “He’s had another exceptional season in 2013, starting with his Australian Open triumph, and we look forward to seeing him compete in the season finale for a seventh time.”

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