London: Novak Djokovic insists nothing can tarnish the memory of his dream season after the Serb's campaign came to a disappointing end at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Djokovic has enjoyed one of the greatest runs in tennis history after winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon, the US Open and five Masters events, as well as replacing Rafael Nadal as world number one.
He is the first player to win 10 titles in a season since Roger Federer in 2006 and has recorded 70 wins from 76 matches.
But the 24-year-old Serb finally began to feel the strain of such a gruelling 11-month schedule in recent weeks and his season has petered out with two successive defeats at London's O2 Arena.
Djokovic was eliminated from the season finale after losing to 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to compatriot Janko Tipsarevic two days after a straights sets loss to David Ferrer.
Yet he is adamant those results don't matter in the context of such a remarkable campaign.
"I had an unbelievable year. Nothing can really ruin that. I will always remember this year as the best of my life," he said.
"I just want to prepare well for 2012 now. I have more than enough time to get my old strength back. I'm confident I can do well in Australia.
"Compared to last year, I'm not playing Davis Cup finals, so I will have that extra week which will give me a bit more time to rest, a bit more time to prepare.
"I'm not playing any official tournament before the Australian Open. I'm playing a couple exhibition matches in Abu Dhabi, maybe some in Australia, then getting ready for the Melbourne."
Meanwhile, Tipsarevic admitted he put his holiday plans at risk by bringing Djokovic's season to a conclusion.
Tipsarevic has been friends with Djokovic for many years and the pair are so close they have booked a holiday with their families in the Maldives next week.
However, Tipsarevic may find his fellow Serb in a less chatty mood than usual when they relax by the pool after Friday's win over the world number one.
"I'm going to Maldives on Monday...hopefully with Novak!" Tipsarevic said.
"He's going to come there on Thursday. I was telling you guys that we are close off court. I'm having dinner with the guy tomorrow, and I saw him this morning on breakfast.
"That's why I generally don't like playing Serbian players because we're so close off court."
Tipsarevic admitted Djokovic was clearly feeling the strain on Friday and he added: "I'm not trying to undermine my performance or my victory, but I can freely say that this was not Novak Djokovic from the US Open or Wimbledon.
"He won everything a person can win. He had one of the best season in the history of this sport. So it's normal that he had some shoulder issues and feels tired."
While Tipsarevic may never reach Djokovic's levels of success, he has enjoyed a fine season himself, rising from 49th the rankings to ninth by the end of the year and he credits his friend with a key role in that improvement.
"I feel extremely lucky that I am able to see the world's best player, how is he living his life, doing practices and playing matches from a first row seat," Tipsarevic said. "I really feel like being around him helped me to become a better player."
And Djokovic was delighted that his friend, who was only playing in the tournament after Andy Murray's withdrawal, was able to finish the year with an unexpected Christmas bonus.
"It's great for him, he deserved to win. He was the better player in the second part of the match," he said.
"It's obvious it's never easy to perform against somebody you know very well. I'm glad he got the chance to play and got the chance to win as well. It can give him a lot of confidence for next year."