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Djokovic sets sights on number one ranking

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Jonathan Overend | 22:56 UK time, Sunday, 3 April 2011

Their Miami final may have been a 25th career meeting but I can't avoid the feeling that the Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic rivalry is only just beginning.

Having faced each other in the first two Masters 1000 finals of the year, these are clearly the best two players in the world right now - their Miami final was quite stunning - and the more I watch Novak Djokovic, the more I think he can become number one.

What an astonishing final it was, over three hours and 21 minutes, and Djokovic's comeback victory, to record a 24th successive win this season and a fourth title, was clinched with a fizzing forehand winner.

To beat the world number one twice in successive tournaments, from a set down on both occasions, is a phenomenal achievement.

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic's powers of recovery have been a key factor in his recent dominance

How many other people could recover from losing five games in a row to the world number one in a best-of-three set match?

When Nadal led 5-1 in the first set, few inside the packed Miami stadium court imagined they would still be watching play almost three hours later.

Even though he was outplayed in the first set, Djokovic demonstrated his desire at the sit-down. He yelled his annoyance so loudly, the poor ball boy holding his umbrella jumped with surprise.

The match slowly turned as the quality of the play rose and the intensity grew. At times, Nadal didn't look himself and he was bent double from the pain of battle twice in the deciding tie-break.

But Djokovic deserves every little piece of praise that will come his way.

Just when you thought his searing sequence was about to end (he came here exhausted after a flying trip to Colombia, sponsor commitments and charity events including a football match and organising a dinner) he finds new energy, new shotmaking.

One sign of his domination this year is the number of 6-0 sets he has won; just the one in the whole 2010 - in Dubai against Ljubicic - while in 2011 he's won five in two tournaments.

Going into the final, Djokovic had won all 40 of his service games, saving 13 break points. He led the tournament stats for return games won (53%), break points converted (65%) and points won returning first serve (47%).

When you see those sort of numbers, you know you're in for a tough time however well you've been serving. Remember, Nadal achieved 95% of first serves in the first set against Roger Federer in the semis.

His retrieving, particularly into the forehand corner, is staggering. We've known that for ages, but did you see the one he dug out in the opening game of the third set? Nadal slammed one of his cross-court backhands at 200 miles an hour which it landed right in the corner, but somehow Djokovic controlled the defence and won the point.

I like his use of the drop shot and lob combination - at the moment, there is nobody better at this one-two sucker punch.

Take the sixth game of the second set. After his drop shot, his backhand lob was superb, down the line to prevent Nadal back-pedalling for a regular overhead - he couldn't get there anyway.

And Novak even had time to scratch his nose in between the two points. If you have it on tape, watch it back!

At the end of 2010, a year of three major titles for Nadal, all the talk was about whether Roger Federer was about to strike back in the new season.

But it's Novak Djokovic who has fended off Federer, for now, and looks in the mood to nudge out Nadal. He's still some way off but, the way he's playing, the number one ranking should be firmly in his sights.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Nice article !! To become # 1 Nole will have to improve his clay and grass stats and if he can do just that he will surely become # 1 someday.As of now i think Nadal is still too good in clay and grass !!

  • Comment number 2.

    With the Djokovic winning run going on and on and on, there is one clear winner....mens tennis. There is no reason at all why Djokovic cannot go on and take the #1 ranking in the world, perhaps even at the end of this year. The response by messrs Nadal, Federer & Murray (remember him) will be fascinating. Murray needs to appoint a coach faster than ever because the men at the top are taking the game to another level & he must stay close. Bring on the clay and grass court seasons.

  • Comment number 3.

    This really seems to be a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic. Like you said, coming from a set down to beat Nadal in two consecutive Masters 1000 series tournaments is no easy feat, and he is by far the best player right now. An unblemished record this year, and perfect on his beloved surface of hard courts. Being a huge Federer fan, I was amazed in each of the three matches in which he beat the great swiss this year, where each he showed a never before seen confidence and mental belief. The Djokovic of old might have crumbled say in the Indian Wells semis against Federer after losing the second set, but he seems to be a completely new player this year. His serve is something else really, considering the numerous problems he encountered with it for the past two years with the number of double faults and also changing racquets and so forth. And like you mentioned, I don't think there is a better mover on hard courts on the tour than Djokovic, its as though he's made of elastic!! I certainly think he has a great chance to become the No. 1 player in the world, but I still feel on clay and on grass, Djokovic still needs to prove that he can match Nadal (who I think is the greatest clay court player of all time). So only time will tell, whether Djokovic can reproduce this astonishing start to the season on the red dirt, but I'm sure that a certain Mr. Federer would have a lot of thinking to do on how and what he needs to do to beat Nadal and Djokovic this year with a 0-4 record against them. Reclaiming that No. 1 ranking is far away in the horizon now, and it could spark the prolongation of the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry for the upcoming future. This coming from a die-hard Federer fan.

  • Comment number 4.

    Djokovic's change in 2011 is down primarily to a massive swing in his mental belief. 2 things happened for him late in 2010 and their significance cannot be understated. 1 - his win in an epic battle over Roger Federer in the US Open semi-final. One of the matches of the year. Previously, he would have lost this one. 2 - his role in helping Serbia and those closest to him win the Davis Cup in December. Since then, everything has happened at break-neck speed for the young Serb. Long may it continue & hopefully it will inspire some of the other top players to take their game onto the next level. All we need now is for Federer, Murray & comeback king Juan Martin Del Potro to respond and we'll have some of the greatest mens tennis action in a very long time. We could be in for a cracking and unpredictable Wimbledon 2011.

  • Comment number 5.

    GREETINGS FROM BELGRADE:

    I watched Novak play in Belgrade arena in Davis cup final against France, and it was already there clear, that something clicked in his game. I guess, we can talk about it what did he improved, but most of all, he matured, he became a man that day. His game is steady and very patient, often waiting for mistakes from his opponents, but he did managed to find that right balance between waiting and attacking. As scary as that is, I believe that we didn't even saw the best from Novak tonight against Nadal, his serve was weaker, he made huge number of mistakes, but still, he worked his "assoul" out to stay in the match. He just outrun Nadal, and that is were Nadal is strongest, that is how Nadal wins matches, he does not have that style and class like Federer had,but he is tough and very persistent, it is that combination that made him number 1. Fact that Novak took that away from him, now twice in the row, its not a coincident anymore. It is a very rear moment in tennis we are watching right now, it comes every 25-30 years that one player has such a huge dominance against all others. Who could ever guess that it will be a Serbian player, who could ever real understand how did Serbia lacking all infrastructure just 4 years ago, went to get players like Djokovic, Troicki, Tipsarevic, or girls like Jelena Jankovic, and that sexy little thing, Ana Ivanovic...I still remember watching her in the lobby of Belgrade arena before Davis cup finals and whistling that Jazz tune: "Now baby or never"......
    oooouhhhhhhhhhhhh.....(;-))))))
    Lest go Novak.....Sky is no longer the limit....

  • Comment number 6.

    Firstly I have to say, what an awesome tennis match between two warriors. The one thing Djokovic has right now is pure confidence. He feels invincible. I hope he gets a bit of a break now before the grueling clay season begins. He was always the man on the outside with Federer and Nadal being the top dogs and Murray grabbing all the British headlines. But he can't be ignored now. Not long back in those hot humid conditions he had a history of physically wilting. No longer. He is now just as mentally and physically strong as Nadal (which seems almost impossible). As someone mentioned earlier this is now becoming a great era for tennis but who is the next kid rising up?

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm afraid mateja is getting a little carried away. What Djokovic has achieved recently is truly remarkable, though not better than, and not even close, to the achievements of Federer or Nadal or Borg or Conners or Vilas or McEnroe or Lendl or Muster or Agassi. The statement "It is a very rear moment in tennis we are watching right now, it comes every 25-30 years that one player has such a huge dominance against all others. Who could ever guess that it will be a Serbian player" is so far off the mark, and disrespectful to the great players of the past, well, 25-30 years.
    I'm all for you feeling patriotic given your country's recent troubles and limitations, mateja, though to view it in the correct perspective would also be doing justice to your Serbian player's achievements.

  • Comment number 8.

    To: Bjorn Borg.....

    I dont see it Bjorn? Why is it so for of the mark? It is true, last one that did what Novak did, was Ivan Lendl, 1986. Novak will break that record next week... It took 25 years for some one to repeat it, and guess what, it was not Aggasi, or Borg, or Nadal, or Federer,its Novak.... Thats a place in history books, thats a once in quarter of the century performance, no one can take that away, and no one (but really no one!) came close to that in last 25 years...
    That does not make him better, but it shows character and discipline that comes very rarely,and trying to bring it down with "that is so off the mark" its just wrong.
    There are at least dozens of players that have plenty titles and plenty silver, but from next week there will be only 2 that ever(read this again!) EVER did that what Novak did now....24 wins in the row.....
    That does not make Novak the best, or even second best, but it does not deserves to be called "so far of the mark".
    It is a performance that come only once in 25 years, to see something like this again, we will have to wait until 2036, I mean, thats a lot of years...
    You just watched the history being made, and you missed it completely...

  • Comment number 9.

    What's frustrating from a Brit's point of view is that two or even one year ago, Murray and Djokovic were equals- if anything the Scot was the better player despite Novak's sole Grand Slam victory. Now however, they are heading in completely different directions- from the outside looking in, the attitudes of the two players couldn't be different. Djokovic has the mentality of a champion- there is no way Murray would have recovered from the same situation against Nadal. Djokovic has a supreme level of self-belief, Federer/Nadal-esque, whereas Murray appears to play within himself- conservative and defensive too afraid of making mistakes. I really think that he is too stubborn to appoint a top-level coach and still believes that he can be a champion by himself. Unfortunately on the mental/psychological side he is poor, until that changes he will be another nearly-man and will never take the step up to join Rafa, Roger and Novak.


    When Murray is confident and demonstrates his full array of shots and fearsome serving he is as good as Djokovic if not better, he just needs to get his head right, appoint someone who knows what it takes to not simply be a good player, but a great one. Connors seems to think that he could turn Murray into a champion and I for one respect him enough to believe him.

  • Comment number 10.

    The next few months will be huge, still think Rafa will be number one this summer though as his best surfaces are coming up

  • Comment number 11.

    With Nadal having a lot more ranking points to defend than Djoko it depends on Nadals performance in the 3 slams to come. Seeing that he holds all 3 then anything less than a win will see him drop at least 1000 points from each one. Injury will also play a big part in seeing if Novak gets to No1. Nadal has had his problems in the past and may have the knee issue again after a long clay court season ahead. With Nadal also defending Madrid, Rome & Monte Carlo, Djoko will have his chances, but can he match him on clay.

  • Comment number 12.

    One of the things I love about Djokovic, and I have been saying it on this board for years, is that Nole came from nothing. No family money, no federation, no facilities, nothing, nada, nista! If you love an underdog as i do, he is the player for you.

  • Comment number 13.

    Djokovic has been playing brilliantly. Real tennis, an all-court game - some of his drop-shots, lobs and improvisations have been majestic. With all the fitness or determination in the world, Nadal could only dream of being on that level.

    As the Federer era draws to its close, we could be about to see the Djokovic era begin...

    Which is not quite as planned for me - four or five years ago I was predicting a Djokovic/Murray era. Andy has the talent to match Novak - but will he get the mental side together? It would be great - for tennis - if he could...

  • Comment number 14.

    It will be fascinating to see if Djokovic can beat Nadal during the clay court season, he has been close before, remember the epic Madrid semi final in 2009. They are clearly nos 1 and 2, and Federer is clearly no3. Add in Del Potro on a comeback trail and these are the top 4 men who seem set to dominate for the rest of the year. They all know how to win a slam as opposed to a best of three Master Series.

  • Comment number 15.

    Djokovic is the best player at the moment and Nadal has too many ranking points to defend. It would not take much for a change in the #1 spot. Such pressure has often been Nadal's undoing in the past as his body is unable to match his ambition. Federer is in decline and was unable to keep the pressure up but this year is likely to be different.

  • Comment number 16.

    @ RicinhoCFC - Connors wants to coach Murray? Where did you see that? To my mind, that we be a dream for Murray. I've always felt Murray's game was closer to Connors than any of the other greats (though his temperament is a little closer to the young McEnroe...).
    Last night's game was quite spectacular, some of the most brutal rallies I've ever seen combined with exquisite touches...I hope Djokovic can keep this level up, and I hope Murray can start to produce this sort of form. That way we'll see a lot more matches of this quality.

  • Comment number 17.

    Djokovic has finally arrived. It took a while, but now he is, without a shadow a doubt, the no. 2 (and challenging for the top spot). Nadal should remain no. 1 for some time though. And Federer no. 3 (but I don't see him troubling Nadal/Djokovic, it's a slow decline, but a decline nonetheless). As for the rest, Soderling and Berdych are too inconsistent, Murray badly needs to get his act together and Del Potro still hasn't completed his recovery. Further down in the rankings, we get the perennial top 8-20 trading positions week in, week out but no real big win potential there. I mean, Melzer and Monfils in the top 10... is this fo real?

  • Comment number 18.

    The men's game will be run by Djokovic, Nadal, Del Potro and Soderling over the next five years. Murray and Federer are finished.

  • Comment number 19.

    Djokovic is buzzing at the moment, a great match to watch last night. When you look at the top three they are only losing to each other at the moment [or not in Djokovic's case] - at the moment they are head and shoulders above the rest. For sheer energy Djokovic/Nadal cannot be beaten.

    Federer had a bad day at the office against Nadal but they are generally all three playing well.There is a 3000 point gap between them and Murray and a gulf in class

    Not sure how well Federer's cultured game will stand up against the manic energy of the other two - Roger is bit too old in the tooth to start flinging himself around the court. The great one does not do perspiration.

  • Comment number 20.

    Mateja, mate, just enjoy the ride. I am a fellow Serb and threat and exhult over every single game of our lot. Part of the reason why it took so long for Nole to mature and find his game I think was the tremendous pressure of expectations thrown upon him in Serbian press and attitude like that, and the same stands for Murrey's case. I have enjoyed all the other comments and agree completely the game is getting far more exciting with Djokovic's form and Del Potro come back.

  • Comment number 21.

    I saw the entire match and it was amazing. Some of the returns Djokovic was making on the Nadal forehand was brilliant. It is hard on this form to see Federer get back into the top 2 rankings. He looked very flat against Nadal in the semi's. Djokovic's confidence is sky high and his shot making is exceptional at the moment and has no fear in taking on high risk shots. I think what has also been good in this tournament is the near return to form of Del Potro. He absolutely destroyed Soderling. I will try not to mention Murray, but I had a bet in January that he wouldn't end the season in the top 5 in the rankings. What is interesting about the clay court season is that Nadal has 5000 points to defend and Djokovic only has 900 and that could have a massive impact on where Djokovic and Nadal rank come the Hard season before the US Open.

  • Comment number 22.

    You have to hand it to Djokovic. He's given himself a great chance of grabbing the #1 spot from Nadal, even if Nadal once again dominates the clay swing.

    The way he handles himself too, really impressive. He was not always the most popular guy on tour the last few years, and he's got a bit of a swagger that won't be to everyone's liking, but the way he has handled his success since the Davis Cup win has been exemplary. As good as Federer and Nadal have been for the game, Nole could take it to another level - he is a great personality on court, and a good bloke off it too. I guess it helps when you only have to talk about wins!

  • Comment number 23.

    To echo the thoughts of fellow posters, fair play to Djokovic!!! In all honesty, I had never foreseen him either making a fist of things within the top 2, or comprehensively outdoing Murray!

    I wish him the best of luck, his demeanour on and off court is way better than ever, and if he can add one more Grand Slam outside Australia en route to becoming Number 1, he will be a more than worthy best in the world.

  • Comment number 24.

    Dear Majeta23,

    You are very wrong when you say “it comes every 25-30 years that one player has such a huge dominance against all others.” You clearly mean that such dominance is told by consecutive victories. Why are you wrong? Well, you are misguided because the record that Nole is seeking is most consecutive victories AT THE START OF A SEASON. Not the record for a consecutive streak of victories. The holder for that in the open era is Guillermo Vias (46 victories).

    Roger Federer, who has been playing in the past 25-30 years, has six wining streaks of twenty matches or more (a record). His longest win streak? 41! Next he had one of 35 victories in a row, followed by those of 26, 25,23, 21.

    Nadal won 24 matches in a row as a teenager in 2005. He won 24 in a row again in 2006. He won 32 in a row in 2008.

    Here are others who have won more consecutive matches in a row in the open era.
    Ivan Lendl: 44 (1981/82)
    Bjorn Borg: 43 (1978), 35 (1979/80)
    McEnroe: 42 (1983/84)
    Thomas Muster: 35 (1995)

    What Nole has done is special, but it is not groundbreaking. Even more so in the past 25-30 years.

  • Comment number 25.

    George:

    I dont know where you get your informations, but this is offical: McEnroe 39 wins 1984...
    Lendl 25 wins 1986..,

    I dont know why ATP does not rank Muster in it, but this are official numbers, and just scroll trough any media, and you will find the same...

    There is also Villas with 46 1977 or Federer 35 2005, but I dont know why they dont rank officially, that is a question for ATP tour... It could be that they are counting from "start of the season"....

    "Only American John McEnroe and Czech Ivan Lendl have record more impressive winning streaks -to start a season-(!!). McEnroe won 39 straight matches in 1984 and Lendl won 25 in a row in 1986":tennisconnect....

    "his record of 24-0 in 2011 is the best to begin a year since Ivan Lendl started 25-0 in 1986":Sydney Morning Herald....

    "The red-hot Djokovic claimed his fourth straight tournament victory, and recorded his 24th straight win of 2011, the best start to a year since Ivan Lendl began 1986 with a 25-0 record":news-xinhuan..china.....

    This are 3 from 3 different continents, there is plenty more, pick any US sport news, or European...

    Only John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl have posted longer winning streaks to ... ran off 39 straight victories in 1984 and Lendl won 25 in a row in 1986". ... "sonny ericksson open".

    or just google.... "djokovic breaking lendl record"...or something like that, and you will easily find the same...

    Yes, you are watching history in progress,and with just a little luck, Novak can go all the way...
    People saying clay this and clay expert that, but the difference right now is so huge, I dont see anybody stopping him in Monte Carlo...In last 24 games from some 44-48 sets, he lost only 3-4....that is 10:1....
    Or 5:0 against number 1 and number 3 player in the world, or ...oh...there is so much more.....
    Thanks for writing me....
    keep it real with Nole....(;-))) Respect once in in the quarter of the century performance...
    We are watching something real special....
    very groundbreaking...even more......

  • Comment number 26.

    mateja

    You're clearly deluded. this statement proves it 'I dont see anybody stopping him in Monte Carlo'.

    Djokovic isn't anywhere near the level of Nadal on clay. The closest he got to beating Nadal on the dirt was back in 2009, when Nadal was around 60%. This is indicated by Nadal losing both his beloved Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles.

    100% Nadal on clay is far to good for anyone be it Djokovic, Federer or who ever you like.

  • Comment number 27.

    Mateja,

    Plenty of respect to Nole, but why do you think that someone winning 41 matches in a row (or 35 or 32 matches for that matter) in the middle of a season is less dominant that someone winning 24 at the beginning of the season?

    All I'm saying is that you can't say that it has been 25 years since someone has been so dominant. Federer, Nadal and Muster were all much more dominant over all opponents for longer win streaks than Nole, just not at the start of the season. You can say that it has been 25 years since someone has been so dominant AT THE START OF THE SEASON. There is a big difference between the two! That is all I am saying.

  • Comment number 28.

    MAXWELL AND GEORGE....

    To you Max:

    I really dont believe that there is any difference for Djokovic right now,where he plays, what kind of court is it... Its not about that, he is just better player now... He got all the momentum with him, and if he beats Nadal one more time, that will be 3 times in the row, and Rafel will need a bulldozer to dig him self out, just like Federer needs it now...
    I am not saying he cannot lose, but the way things are right now, or in the last 4 months, clay or not clay, it does not matter.. Djokovic is just to good.... Just watch what is going to happen to Nadal in Monte Carlo, I dont think he will reach the finals...It took a lot of power from him, he is hit really hard, twice in the row,and its going to be even harder to get up again. Those punches take a lot of power, Nadal is not a machine...

    And to you George:

    Its not about what I think, its ATP rules, and that is what matter. i do agree with you, specially about Muster, but it does not count, so it will never be recognized...
    WE can talk about it, but whats the point...?
    Its all about "from start to end" not from middle....
    I am not saying Novak is better then any other that you named, but he is crossing many rivers here, making impossible, possible,... Of course, a fact that he comes from Serbia, makes him even more important in my eyes, but he could also be Jamaican, it will still make his record very ground breaking and very very special...
    I guess we are talking about a same thing here, from 2 different directions...
    But good to hear some other people and their own opinion about it...

  • Comment number 29.

    Mateja,
    Nole is breaking just one of many official ATP records for consecutive wins, the one for consecutive wins at start of season. Consecutive wins at any time is also an official record. Consecutive wins on a surface or at grand slams are also records of dominance that are recognised. Have a look at all the records here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_records
    Click on singles and scroll down through them all. You'll find Nole down on the list for Win Steaks, tied for sixth on the post 1990 totals with 26 as they count his last two matches from last year.

  • Comment number 30.

    I believe in Novak. His game is improving and his character is also maturing. I think in sports you need a combination of maturity and improvement. So he is on his way to becoming number one, perhaps not so soon, but I am sure at the end of the year.

  • Comment number 31.

    What is so impressive about Djokovic and to a good measure about Nadal is that they added more speed to their serves. That too in a short span of time. Rafa spruced-up his serve during the US Open last year and Nole did it at during 1020 end and early 2011. Rafa did it by tweaking his racket hold. Wonder why players in the past could not do it that often. Nole on his part has become fitter, is moving better, sharpened his FH a great deal and some of his gets are plain insane. I think he would become number one before the USO.

  • Comment number 32.

    I am a big fan of Djokovic, being a fellow Serb. However, unlike some of the posters above, I would not want to place him alongside the tennis greats, present or past. Certainly, he is a long, long way behind Federer and Nadal on that account.

    One should make a point of what he might yet achieve, rather than what he has done so far. What he has done so far is that he has clearly established himself as the third best player over the last 5-6 years, an impressive achievement in itself when you consider the level of competition on top of the tennis game in that time. He has now moved on to the next level and competes on equal terms with the top 2 players of that period. The chances are that by the end of this year, he will have overtaken Federer permanently (in the rankings that is) and will be trying to wrestle No 1 position from Nadal.

    History tells us that most majors are won by number 1 and 2 players, so I fully expect Djokovic to add to his current majors tally. Every single major is within his reach – there is no question about that, although Wimbledon will be the toughest for him. I can perfectly see him wrestling one or two FOs from Nadal in the next 5-6 years. I think everyone will agree that he has a good chance of winning at the US and AO again.

    Hence my prediction is that, if he stays injury-free, he will probably end up with 5-6 majors and having held No1 position at the end of his career. That would make him one of the great, albeit not all-time-great tennis players. I would be happy with that and hope it happens.

    I would like to make one more point though. Andy Murray will yet have a major say in where the GS titles go in the next 5-6 years. To think otherwise is plain silly. Yes, he is having a bad patch right now but his class will carry him through. There are not many tennis players that can beat him when he is on top of his game and therein is the challenge for him: to learn how to be consistent. I do not understand why the UK tennis fans are so negative about his prospects. I am afraid this is something to do with an inherent defeatist nature of his nation’s sporting psyche, that cannot change easily.

    So, I foresee a ‘new big 4’ shaping up in the next couple of years, made up of Nadal-Djokovic-Murray-Del Potro. All four players will be winning majors. Sorry, Federer fans, your man will remain the greatest player ever but his time has come. If he does not win this year’s Wibbledon, he will never win another major again. Good luck to him, but the time of Djokovic has certainly come.


  • Comment number 33.

    Bladegunner

    Accept your comments about Federer but I never rule out a little cameo performance, where he might just snatch a final GS if Nadal and Djokovic both run themselves into the ground.

    Nadal and Djokovic's manic, if entertaining style may leave them prone to injuries, so don't write the great one off completely.

  • Comment number 34.

    Blade-gunner:
    Maybe we didn't watched same games. Once I saw, Djokoivic just took 4 titles in the row, including grand slam. He just beat number 1, twice in the row, and number 2, 3 times in the row. Its not just what I think, its pretty much what most of the any tennis experts writes, he will take number one place, before US open. I believe he will even break old Joe Mc record, 39 straight wins in the row. You are far out with Murray too,his form is so low, so deep in the problems, and you are predicting he will win grand slams? Murray does remind me on Ana Ivanovic, that went up to number one, and its happy if she gets to 4 round of any tournament.

    Time of Nadal as number one is over, Djokovic could lose some games this year, but most of the tournaments he will win, watch Monte Carlo..He will be fresh and rested, its going to be a massacre...
    '

  • Comment number 35.

    Hold it. Not so fast. Granted Djoko has had a fabulous series and is riding on confidence. Nadal has had similar series too. You continue the series because apart from being tops, you are full of mental confidence. But it can be cyclical. Winning continously means a lot of matches too and sooner or later you body asks for a break, after which the confidence is less high i.e. you can get beaten and then it is a new ball game. So let's wait the next 3 tournaments before giving the keys to the No.1 spot to Djoko. If he takes those keys, he will not let go of them easily. His chances are good. Nadal will do well on clay but his challenge will be to come out of the clay season in reasonable shape which will not be easy this year. Fed should just be on the lookout for opportunities. He will still get them.

  • Comment number 36.

    Novak is starting to fulfil his promise. To become a real great he needs to drop all that 25 bounce of the ball stuff that the umpire let him away with against Fed. - also his teams berating of Fed. Now he's at the top he needs to act as Rafa does.

  • Comment number 37.

    It is early to predict that Novak will take over the No. 1 ranking from Rafa. At the moment, Novak does has a better claim because of his performance on hardcourts. Lets see what happens through Wimbledon 2011. Roger may surprise almost everyone by winning Wimbledon 2011. Then, US Open 2011 will become the decisive tournament. Men's Tennis is begining to get very interesting...besides, Rafa, Novak and Roger, we have Murray, Del Potro, Sodeling, and an up and coming Raonic.

 

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