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Novak looks unstoppable
Novak is No Djoke!!
Let’s play a little True and False!
1. Novak Djokovic has not lost a match in 2011 and is 18-0 in ATP events. (True or False)
2. Novak Djokovic is now ranked #2 in the world overtaking 16-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer. (True or False)
3. Novak Djokovic became the third player to beat Rafa and Fed in the same tournament twice. (True or False)
4. Novak Djokovic has beaten Roger Federer 3 straight times in 2011 and dropped only 1 set in those matches. (True or False)
5. Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in January without dropping a set. Winning 7 straight matches in convincing fashion. (True or False)
6. The Serbian last suffered a defeat last November when he was beaten by Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals. (True or False)
7. It was the Serb’s second triumph in the elite ATP Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells, having first won the title here as a 20-year-old in 2008. (True or False)
8. Djokovic had never beaten Nadal in a tour-level final (0-5 mark), including a loss in the 2010 US Open final and in 2007 at Indian Wells, before Sunday’s win. (True or False)
9. Including Davis Cup matches in 2011 – Djokovic is actually 20-0 in his won-loss record. (True or False)
10. Djokovic became the sixth active player to win 21 tour-level titles (21-13 finals record) and joined four-time former champion Federer as the only players to have won three successive titles in Dubai. (True or False)
10 questions – and 10 true statements! Remarkable considering a few months ago we were talking about Rafa winning the Rafa Slam! This guy is oozing with confidence and the players, who we once thought of as unbeatable, are feeling the heat – BIG TIME!
It’s one thing when the media members and tennis commentators are predicting greatness, but when the current number 1 is tooting your horn you know good things are on the horizon.
Following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday, Rafael Nadal declared that the Serbian is “in the best position” to finish as the year-end World No. 1 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings.
Djokovic, who displaced Federer at No. 2 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings on Monday, has opened the season with an 18-0 match record, taking in titles at the Australian Open (d. Murray), Dubai (d. Federer) and Indian Wells.
In an interview with Reuters, Serbia’s Davis Cup captain Bogdan Obradovic said that this is only the beginning for Djokovic.
He thinks that Djokovic could become the best tennis player in the world, the world number one, by the end of the year. And here is why:
“He has become mentally and physically stronger; he is even more accurate with his passing shots than in 2008 and can win points quickly when he needs to. With all that in mind, it will be very difficult to stop him from becoming the world number one this year, if he keeps playing at this level throughout the season.”
We know how important it is for players to get stronger mentally and physically – especially when you see what happened to Spain’s Rafael Nadal in this tournament. But is this to be believed?
Djokovic ahead of Nadal? This can’t be right??
I mean it is a Serb talking about a Serb right? How objective could a countryman be?
But he is the Davis Cup coach – he has a great handle on the top players in the world and their game styles. Maybe we should take his statements at full value. You would think – if he wasn’t purely speaking from emotion – that he would have the best perspective to evaluate the long-term success of his student.
Wasn’t it just days ago that we were talking about a “Rafa Slam” and anointing Nadal as perhaps the best player of all time? Some prognosticators had already figured out how the Spaniard would get to 20 slams.
And now a Serb is saying a Serb is going to be the world’s number one tennis player by year’s end?
Based on what I’ve witnessed in this short season – I think Obradovic is bang on!
Sport is amazing that way. Things can change in an instant. Anything is possible. And that’s why we watch. Watching on Sunday – it was unbelievable how confident this guy is. His ground-strokes are so solid – so penetrating. The angles he can create are brilliant. His new and improved serve makes him unbreakable.
If he stays healthy it will be hard to imagine how he won’t win multiple slams in 2011. You’d have to make him the favourite in New York. He is no question about it, the best hard courter in the world right now. Grass and clay may be a different story – but only time will give us those answers.
One day you’ve got a picture in your head of a Spaniard drinking eternally from the sweet cup of victory, the next day you’re watching a Serb quench his thirst, while the people around him talk about ruling the world. Are we all too eager to jump off the Rafa bandwagon?
Right now, there is no question that Djokovic is the best player in the world. He is making mince meat out of Federer and he now has proven he can beat Nadal in a big match. This game is about confidence. And without a doubt, the most confident player on the planet at this particular juncture of the season is a young Serb who looks unbeatable.
Written by Michael Emmett