Novak Djokovic began his quest for a fourth Rolex Shanghai Masters on Tuesday by beating France's Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 7-5 in 84 minutes for a place in the third round.
The Serbian, victor at the Qi Zhong Stadium in 2012-13 and 2015, is 27-2 since a Roland Garros quarter-final exit, according to ATP World Tour official website.
He will next look to extend his 14-match winning streak against Italian No. 16 seed Marco Cecchinato, the player Djokovic lost to at the Paris major, or last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung.
“Both of these players won against me, the last time we met," said Djokovic, who lost to Chung at the Australian Open in January.
"I think I'm [a] completely different player than I was in first, five, six months of the year. Hopefully the outcome can be different, as well.
“I'm very grateful to play on a high level. I think that I'm very close to my best, you know, and [my] ‘best’ changes day to day. I can always strive to be the best I can be on that given day. Today's performance was pretty close to that."
If Djokovic, who is now 41-10 on the season, reaches the Shanghai final on Sunday, the Serbian will also pass Roger Federer at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings.
Winning his 32nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week, Djokovic will move to just within 35 points of the absent Rafael Nadal (7,480) in the battle for year-end No. 1.
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