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Novak Djokovic gets in a practice session at the China Open in Beijing.

‘More Complete’ Djokovic Says 2015 His Best Year

As he aims for a record sixth China Open title in Beijing, Novak Djokovic says 2015 has been the finest year of his career. Even better than 2011.
It’s hard to top Novak Djokovic circa 2011. That’s the year the Serb sprinted out to a McEnroe-esque 41-0 start, finished at 70-6 and claimed the year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He would claim 10 singles titles, including a record five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns and three majors. He was an astonishing 21-4 against Top-10 competition.

A career year, right? The kind that summons comparisons to the sport’s all-time greats. But even though we’re barely into October, the 28 year old insists his 2015 campaign has already surpassed it.  

“Somehow I feel like this one is even better,” said Djokovic, in Beijing to defend his title at the China Open. “I just feel like a more complete person and a player. I'm a father and a husband, just different circumstances that happen in my life in the last couple of years that have helped me to enjoy all the success that I have on the tennis court even more. So 2011 was absolutely an incredible year. But I feel this year I'm enjoying it even more because I'm more, I would say, fulfilled, more complete, more mature as a person and a player.”

Djokovic, who for the second time in his career came within one major (Roland Garros) of a calendar year Grand Slam, will surely add to his 2015 numbers in the coming weeks. The World No. 1 is already 63-5 with seven titles on the year and traditionally plays some of his best tennis during the ATP World Tour’s Asian swing. He’s chasing a record sixth China Open title, and has won the Shanghai Rolex Masters in two of the past three years.

“I love playing these tournaments,” he said. “I've had lots of success in these two cities. The first time I came to Beijing was for the [2008] Olympic Games and I won the bronze medal.  Ever since then, I've won five trophies here. Shanghai I won a couple times there, won the first Masters Cup. So the record that I have in these tournaments in China gives me a lot of obvious motivation to come back, a lot of great memories that I built my approach on for this year."

Djokovic, who has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 15-22 November, is determined to maintain his run of form through to the end of the year.

“It's been a long season, no question about it, a lot of matches played,” he said. “But this is what I do. This is my life. I'm looking forward to perform in front of the Chinese people, who give me a lot of support over the years…The way they wait for me in front of the hotel and the club is something that I don't experience really more or less anywhere, maybe very few places in the world.”

Djokovic will open his title defence this week against Italian qualifier Simone Bolelli, against whom he’s 4-0.   

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