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Status Quo Not An Option For Djokovic

The Serb shares his philosophy for excellence

Novak Djokovic added a 26th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title to his resume by winning the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris for a third consecutive year, downing second seed Andy Murray in the final and improving his record against his nearest pursuant in the Emirates ATP Rankings to 21-9.

For Djokovic, there are few secrets to finding the road to success.

“Ever since very early childhood days, I have been surrounded with people who were very professional, very knowledgeable about the sport and lifestyle that is required for an athlete to reach the peak of his sport,” Djokovic said. “I think I have inherited that, first of all, from my parents, who were involved in different sports in their lives. Several coaches, people, mentors that have shaped me into the person and player I am today. I was fortunate to gather advice on how I should think about everything. Not just practice itself but recovery, nutrition and the psychological part, as well.”

Despite his record-breaking season, Djokovic insists that staying on cruise control is not an option.

“I try to take nothing for granted,” Djokovic said. “I try to work on my game all the time, because I know that the only way I can stay successful is to continue progressing. I'm not trying to keep the status quo, because for me, that's a regression.

“I just try to improve all the time, work on certain things in my life and my game, and hopefully get better in the process.”

The 28 year old's Masters 1000 domination in 2015 made success hard to come by for older peers such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Federer won his only Masters 1000 title of the year by beating Djokovic in the Cincinnati final, while Nadal was denied by Murray in his lone Masters 1000 final of the year (Madrid). Meanwhile, Djokovic is putting the finishing touches on his best season ever, and nothing suggests he will be slowing down anytime soon.

“I think there are few reasons why I have managed to reach my peak at this stage of my career this year,” Djokovic said. “I think in terms of physical and mental ability, I have reached my peak experience‑wise. Of course, I did go through certain periods of doubts and when I wasn't as successful. It all served as a great lesson, as a way to improve and to get better. So this season, everything came together.

“Nobody can be perfect, but if you are going for perfection, you might reach excellence. That's the kind of mindset I have.”