SHOWS: DUBAI, UAE (FEBRUARY 23, 2020) (ATP MEDIA / IMG - NO RESALES, NO ARCHIVE) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SAYING: "I missed it, I haven't played here for 2-3 years and I look forward to getting out on the court, I started off the season in the best possible way in Australia and I'm hoping I can continue that streak right here in Dubai." 2.
REPORTER ASKING ABOUT HIS UPCOMING TIE AGAINST MALIK JAZIRI, WHO HAS SAID HE OFTEN GETS TOUGH DRAWS 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ON JAZIRI, SAYING: "I have (played him) yes 4-5 years ago and we get along very well, he's a super nice guy and we train a lot.
It's unfortunate, it's very off that that happens in terms of the draw but you know, he's a very talented player and he's very experienced as well, he's played many years on the tour.
He upset (Alexander) Zverev last year in China if I'm not mistaken, so he doesn't feel too much pressure playing on the centre court in big tournaments, so I've got to approach that very seriously and try to bring my best game, because the first matches always out there (after) several weeks of a break is tricky, so you have to approach it seriously." 4.
REPORTER ASKING ABOUT ATP CUP AND DAVIS CUP'S FUTURE 5.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ON JAZIRI, SAYING: "Well I don't think this is only my opinion, I've talked to a lot of players and there's been extensive talks between ATP and ITF and Kosmos Group to merge the two events.
I think that would be the best solution, it's very hard to expect that they can co-exist 5-6 weeks apart, (they are) very similar formats, you know of course there are differences, but with Laver Cup involved as well and several other exhibition team cups, it's really hard to expect that top players will choose to play both events." STORY: Novak Djokovic prepares to return to action in Dubai for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after clinching 2020's first grand slam in Australia last month.
The Serb world number one is set to face Malik Jaziri, an opponent who has often complained of being unlucky with tournament draws.
Djokovic heaped praise on his opponent on and off the court and said he was wary that the first match back from a few weeks out of action was always going to be tough.
Djokovic won his 17th overall major honour in January at his favourite hunting ground in Melbourne, where he captured his eighth Australian Open title.