SHANGHAI, October 12 - Novak Djokovic arrived in Shanghai Monday only hours off his weekend title in Beijing and heading for a return to third in the world rankings at the expense of injured Scot Andy Murray.
The Serb has been on fast-forward in Asia after winning the China Open at the same venue where he lifted an Olympic bronze medal in 2008.
This week's new Masters 1000 at the Qi Zhong complex is also a happy hunting ground for Djokovic, the 2008 Australian Open champion, who won the last edition of the Masters Cup here in November, 2008.
According to ATP calculations, Djokovic will take over from Murray as third in the world rankings next Monday.
But Djokovic has had little time to pause and reflect, even with a bye in the Shanghai tournament's first round.
"I feel very confident now, playing on Asian soil where I've had a lot of success playing in the last three years," said Djokovic, the tournament's second seed behind Rafael Nadal.
"Shanghai was a big achievement for me last year when I won it. Coming to Shanghai after a big victory in Beijing certainly gives me a lot of motivation.
"I'm just going to try to recover before the upcoming match and then start all over again. I'm not going to have much time to celebrate, that's for sure."
Djokovic joins the top eight seeds with a bye into the second round, where he will meet the winner between his childhood tennis friend Ernests Gulbis of Latvia and Italian Fabio Fognini.
For the first time in months, Gulbis put together back-to-back wins last week in Tokyo, starting as a qualifier and reaching the quarter finals after putting out Radek Stepanek in the first round. Gulbis eventually lost to champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Shanghai, which was played as an indoor Masters in Madrid until a 2009 ATP schedule shake-up, is missing only two of the world elite.
Roger Federer is resting and enjoying his new twins after a season where he reached all four grand slam finals.
Andy Murray remains in London nursing a wrist injury which he hopes to have sorted in time to play in three weeks in Valencia.
Federer is due to return at his home event in Basel from November 2.
Rain delayed some matches on outside courts Monday, with Shanghai officials closing the roof on a showcase arena so that some play could proceed.