Novak Djokovic appoints spiritual guru to reverse fortunes ahead of Paris Masters

Novak Djokovic has turned to spiritual guidance ahead of the Paris Masters as he seeks to strengthen his number one spot.

Novak Djokovic appoints spiritual guru to reverse fortunes ahead of Paris Masters
Can Djokovic hang on to his number one spot? (Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has enlisted a spiritual guru who preaches love and peace to help arrest a slide that has his number one spot atop the ATP rankings in jeopardy with Andy Murray lurking nearby.

The Serb could surrender position at the summit of tennis should Murray lift the crown in the French capital and Djokovic falls at the semi-final stage or before.

The world number one has endured a turbulent year since his third round Wimbledon exit, withdrawing from the China Open and crashing out at the semifinal stage in Shanghai to Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Spiritual assistance

To reverse his fortunes, Djokovic has reportedly turned to Pepe Imaz, a former Spanish tennis player who specializes in spiritual guidance by love and peace.

"We're all looking for love, happiness and harmony," remarked the Serbian number one in a video published on the coach's website. "We need to be able to look inwards and to establish this connection with a divine light."

Contrasting year

Few could have anticipated the drastic dip in form Djokovic has endured since he captured the elusive French Open title in June.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion commenced the calendar year with his sixth Australian Open crown and completed the Indian Wells-Miami double during the Spring months.

An inexplicable loss to Jiri Vesely in Monte-Carlo was swiftly eradicated with a title in Madrid but Djokovic tasted defeat to Murray in Rome amid slippery conditions.

The tide began to turn, with the Serb citing family difficulties for his shock third round loss at Wimbledon and being left visibly distraught after being dumped out of the Rio Olympics in the first round by Juan Martin del Potro.

He booked his place in the final of the US Open, however -- aided by a walkover and two retirements -- but was beaten in four sets by Stan Wawrinka.

The world number one opens his campaign in Paris with a clash against an in-form Gilles Muller while Murray meets Fernando Verdasco.