Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Can Djokovic overtake Federer & Nadal?

Courtesy: Bettor

The quest to become number one in the tennis world has done considerably good to the sport itself. Players are more committed, willing to go that extra mile, train hard mentally and physically and demonstrate the courage and bravery never seen before. The same spirit works behind the Grand Slam tournaments which have grown increasingly intense these days.

Last few years have witnessed current world number one Rafael Nadal and number two Roger Federer locked in a tough battle to overcome each other. Although Nadal clearly has an upper hand on Federer, the results can never be anticipated. In 2010 US Open, Federer was knocked out in the semifinal by Djokovic after a nail-biting encounter. Serbian star had lost to the Swiss master thrice in the US Open before but eventually prevailed.

Recently, world number three Novan Djokovic again downed Federer in the Australian Open semifinal in straight sets to cruise into his second Grand Slam final. Serbian Djokovic has an impressive record against the King of Clay, the title duly attributed to Rafael Nadal, crushing him in seven encounters. It’s not an easy job now to predict the finalists of a Grand Slam in the wake of imposing performances from Djokovic. 

Many analysts believe that there is definite sniff of change in the air after Djokovic’s thumping victory over the Swiss superstar. However, the real test comes in the Wimbledon and French Open. Nadal has won the last five out of six French Open titles, besides asserting his dominance in Wimbledon also, winning the title in 2008 and 2010. Nadal has defeated Djokovic every time they met each other on the grass and clay courts. On the other hand, Federer also has an unbelievable record on grass court, with six Wimbledon championships to his credit.

Federer and Nadal have shared 21 of the last 23 Grand Slam titles. If Djokovic is to gain the number one position, he will have to improve his performance both on the grass and clay courts. Not even once has he featured in a final of Wimbledon and French Open.

This new year has started with a lot of positive changes for Djokovic with his victory in the Davis Cup last year and has carried over the energy into the new year also. The Serb downplayed the talk of the new era. In an interview, he said, “Federer is still motivated to regain the top spot, he is in great shape and has at least five more years of play. You have Nadal, on the other hand, who has been dominant over the last few years. We are all well behind him. It won’t be easy to become number one but is worth the effort now as the gap among the top three further narrows down.

Djokovic celebrated hard with his teammates in Australia after winning his second Grand Slam title but the quest is far from over yet. The running year is of key importance for Novan, as he will try to have breakthrough at the Wimbledon and French Open. After all, it’s good for the sport that more players are able to win against Rafael and Federer and we might soon witness Djokovic overcome the two tennis giants. 

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