On top of the world

February 14, 2016

On top of  the world

Imagine losing 43 percent of all points you play and it being the best day of your life. Welcome to Novak’s world.

Novak Djokovic seems to be widening the gap between himself and everyone else on the planet. The gap feels cavernous. The ‘Big Four’ is currently dominated by one player.

Novak has been unbeaten so far in 2016, going 12-0 with titles in Doha and Melbourne. He has won 57 percent of his points so far this season. These numbers add up just perfectly for the world No 1.

The super Serb has 16,790 Emirates ATP Rankings points, which is about double that of World No 2 Andy Murray (8,945 points) and about 10 times as many as World No 20 Bernard Tomic (1,720 points).

The three-time French Open finalist has reached at least the semi-finals in Paris in seven of the last nine years.

Djokovic was a strong favourite in the 2015 French Open final, but went down to an inspired Stan Wawrinka, who blasted 60 winners in a four-set victory to collect his first Roland Garros championship and deny Djokovic the career Grand Slam last June.

Shrugging off that loss, Djokovic has won 34 of his last 35 Grand Slam matches, crushed his rivals in 17 of his last 18 matches versus Top 10 opponents.

When Rafael Nadal defeated Djokovic in the 2010 US Open final, he joined Fred Perry, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer who all have completed the career Slam.

At the age of 24 years, 101 days, Nadal became the first man since Laver in 1969 to win Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open in succession, and was the third youngest man to complete the career Grand Slam after Budge (22 years, 357 days) and Laver (24 years, 32 days).

Dojovic has won 26 Masters 1000 series titles, breaking the single-season record with six titles in 2015. This places him second on the list of Masters 1000 winners since its inception in 1990.

His records include winning 31 consecutive ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series matches, playing in the finals at all nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (shared with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal). He is the only player to win eight of the nine events at least once.

Ups and downs of life didn’t leave Djokovic, when he and other world top ranked tennis players were accused of match-fixing and wrongdoings, but the Serbian didn’t lie to the world about it.

Back in 2007, someone tried to offer him roughly $200,000 to lose a first-round match at a tournament in St Petersburg, Russia, he said during Australian Open in an interview.

Djokovic said he was approached through people that were working with him at that time but he rejected the offer. He didn’t even attend the tournament, but he said he still didn’t like the fact that someone even considered him for such a thing.

A number of players reacted to the BuzzFeed/BBC report about "match-fixing in men’s tennis".

The report did not name players because a direct link to betting could not be proved, but it said there was a core group of 16 suspected men ranked in the top 50, including a US Open champion.

But no matter what, Djokovic will be remembered as the best tennis player of this era.

On top of the world