Friday, 10 December 2010
Novak Djokovic - ATP Year End Report
Novak Djokovic won two titles in 2010, but called Serbia's Davis Cup triumph the highlight of the season.
ATPWorldTour.com reviews the best players of the year, beginning with the World No. 3 to No. 5.
For the fourth straight year, Novak Djokovic finished as the world’s No. 3 player. But in contrast to the previous seasons, 2010 was crowned not by his individual achievements, but by the collective effort of the Davis Cup team.
Djokovic was the backbone of the Serbian squad, going 7-0 in singles rubbers to lead the nation past the United States, Croatia, the Czech Republic and France. In the final, he kept the country’s hopes afloat after it’d fallen behind 0-1 and 1-2, drawing Serbia level with France each time and giving countryman Viktor Troicki the chance to become the hero with victory in the Cup-clinching fifth rubber.
Showing their solidarity, the 2008 Australian Open champion and teammates followed through on their promise of shaving their heads if they won the Davis Cup, each taking turns to complete the ritual on centre court at Belgrade Arena. Djokovic stated afterwards, “This is by far, individually and for the team, the best achievement in our career by far… Definitely the best feeling that we have experienced on a tennis court, ever."
In 2010, Djokovic also managed to break – albeit temporarily – the stronghold of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top two spots in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, holding down the No. 2 position for 26 weeks during the season and entering Roland Garros in a three-way battle for the No. 1 ranking.
At the US Open, Djokovic took part in one of the most memorable matches of the season when he saved two match points to defeat Federer in a five-set semi-final. Though he lost to Nadal in his third appearance in a Grand Slam final, Djokovic collected titles No. 17 and 18 during the season as he successfully defended his crowns at Dubai and Beijing.
But he finished the year with two question marks going into 2011. Can he finally push higher than No. 3 in the year-end rankings next season, and will he go a third year without adding to his first Grand Slam title won at the 2008 Australian Open?