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Same Again for Novak Djokovic in 2012?
Posted by on Sunday, January 15, 2012
Tomorrow Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title in Melbourne. It will be the start of many titles he gained throughout 2011, an unbelievable year which saw him win 3 grand slam titles and only lose 6 matches throughout the whole season, taking him to the number 1 spot in the world rankings.
I remember sitting on the Rod Laver Arena watching Djokovic despatch of German Benjamin Becker in the first round of the Australian Open in 2008, even though he subsequently went on to win his first grand slam that year something didn’t seem right. There’s was no doubt of his ability, this guy was unbelievably sharp around the court and made things look so easy. Not only was he a maestro on the court, he also wowed the crowd with his antics off the court too. In an interview straight after the game, he duly gave his standard impressions of fellow professionals with comical charm, a routine which won the crowd over and gave him adulation everywhere he went. However, he wouldn’t win another grand slam until 3 years later in the same tournament.
So what happened in those 3 years to bring around such as resurgence? You don’t see the impressions anymore, and by his own admission Novak became a lot more professional on and off the court, speaking after winning Wimbledon for the first time in 2011 he cited that a more focussed approach was key to going from a player ranked 4th in the world who was streets behind Nadal and Federer, to a player ranked number 1 and beating both of his old adversaries in grand slam and masters series events, often with considerable ease.
History tells us that great players don’t rest on their laurels, Novak has 4 grand slam titles in the bag and you can bet your life he won’t want to stop there, however, in my opinion he can’t be classed as one of the greats of the game just yet. When Roger Federer was his age (24) he had already won 6 grand slams and has since gone on to win 16 major titles, won all 4 grand slams and has held the number 1 position for a record 237 weeks.
There’s no doubt Djokovic can do it, he increased dedication coupled with his sheer ability on the court could potentially push him into the stratosphere of tennis greats, but he must continue his drive in 2012 what he produced last year.
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