Thursday, 30 December 2010

Novak Djokovic - The Last Word 2010


Best of 2010

Viktor Troicki’s win over Michael Llodra in the fifth and decisive rubber of the Davis Cup final, in which Serbia beat France. Oh, Djokovic contributed his maximum two singles wins, but had Troicki not sealed the championship for Serbia, Djokovic would not have enjoyed “his greatest moment in tennis.”

Worst of 2010

Djokovic lost his first match (after benefiting from a first-round bye) in Miami to diminutive Olivier Rochus, No. 59 in the world.

Year in Review

A five-set loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Aussie Open quarters—on the same court where Djokovic beat the same opponent to clinch his first and thus far only Grand Slam title—was a pretty good predictor of what lay in store. Although Djokovic would go on to win in Dubai a few weeks later, he struggled at the two big U.S. hard-court events in the spring and ran out of steam at the French Open, losing in the quarters to Jurgen Melzer (after blowing a two-set lead). He followed that with a remarkably passive semifinal match at Wimbledon that punched Tomas Berdych’s ticket to the final. Djokovic recovered—barely—at the U.S. Open, narrowly avoiding a first-round upset to slash his way to the final with Rafael Nadal. He played a terrific match there and seemed a man reborn. He won Beijing, lost the Basel final to Roger Federer, then, with the monumental Davis Cup final approaching, he cooled his jets until he led his team to the win over France.

See for Yourself

Djokovic picked up a lot of steam with his fourth-round win over Mardy Fish at the Open; these highlights show him at his punishing best:

The Last Word

Having to labor in the shadow of the consensus Greatest Player of All-Time (Federer) as well as a man who seems bent on snatching that distinction away from him (Nadal) has to be dispiriting. And despite occasional lapses (it’s almost as if Djokovic said, earlier in the year, “Aw, to hail with it. . .”) as well as a tendency to ham it up and enjoy his reputation as a showman, Djokovic has done well to keep himself not only in the mix, but within striking distance of both Grand Slam titles and the No. 1 ranking. It would not take a whole heck of a lot for Djokovic to win two majors in 2011 and end up with the top spot, what with Federer less lethal than he once was and Nadal injury-prone and coming off a career year. If something even remotely like that happens, you can attribute it to the boost of morale Djokovic got from leading his small nation, Serbia, to the Davis Cup championship. When he said it was his greatest moment in tennis, he meant it.


  1. I remember when he lost to Rochus. I was surprised to say the least! Hopefully he'll go far in the Australian Open. Would love to see him get his second GS!

  2. I have tried to wipe that match from my memory :(

    Novak has the confidence so hopefully he will do well in Melbourne. Each of the other top 4 players have pressure on them. Rafa to do the 4 in a row, Roger to defend and Murray to get his first.

  3. But don't forget Djoko has also got pressure on him. He has to prove he's not one slam wonder and as his many fans know he's got talent and potential to be a multi slam winner. He can't have a season like 2010, he needs to step it up. Since USO he's been in the right direction. His semis against Fed still my favorite match of him for a very long while. Ajde Nole!

  4. That too is true but I am hoping Nole can go un-noticed in Melbourne. All the eyes will be on Rafa.