Novak Djokovic will remember 2011 as the year in which he became acknowledged as the world’s best player. But can the world number one make the season ending ATP World Tour Finals his crowning glory at the end of a brilliant year?
In this article, I take a look at the Serbian ace’s journey through the year, and the form he brings with him into the tournament that is due to begin on November 20, at London’s O2 Arena:
En route to the quarter-finals, Djokovic beat Marcel Granollers, Ivan Dodig, Viktor Troicki, Nicolas Almagro, winning in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, he registered a straight sets win over Tomáš Berdych, avenging his loss to the Czech at Wimbledon. In the semi-finals, he beat defending champion Roger Federer in straight sets, and in the title clash, accounted for Murray, also in straight sets, for his second Australian Open, and grand slam, title.
ATP World Tour 500 Dubai Open:
In the UAE, Djokovic accounted for Michaël Llodra, Lopez, Mayer, Berdych, before beating Federer in straight sets to earn his third title, in Dubai.
BNP Paribas Open (ATP Masters):
In the first ATP Masters of the season, at Indian Wells, he reached the final by accounting for Roger Federer in the semifinals, before recording his first win against world no. 1 Rafael Nadal in a final.
Sony Ericsson Open (ATP Masters):
Straight sets wins over Denis Istomin, James Blake, Viktor Troicki, Kevin Anderson, and Mardy Fish, preceded a semi-final match with Federer that Djokovic won and displaced the Swiss legend as the world no 2. Djokovic went on to record his second consecutive final victory over Rafael Nadal, at in Key Biscayne, Miami.
The Serb decimated Adrian Ungur and Blaž Kavčič in straight sets to reach the semi-finals where he got a walkover after the withdrawal of Janko Tipsarević. In the final, Djokovic beat Feliciano Lopez, also in straight sets.
Madrid Open (ATP Masters):
Given a bye in the first round, he beat Kevin Anderson and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, with ease, to overcome world no. 6 David Ferrer, in the quarterfinals, in the process surpassing Ivan Lendl’s record start of 29–0 to the season. After beating Thomaz Bellucci, in three sets, in the semifinals, he set up yet another clash with world no. 1 Rafael Nadal, in the final that he won in straight sets.
Beating Lukasz Kubot, Stanislas Wawrinka, and Robin Söderling, en route to the semi-finals, where he defeated Andy Murray, Djokovic registered a fourth consecutive final victory over Rafael Nadal thereby extending his winning streak to 39, including 37 in 2011.
He beat Thiemo de Bakker, Victor Hanescu, Juan Martin del Potro, and Richard Gasquet, and got a walkover in the quarterfinals, when Fabio Fognini withdrew. Federer ended Djokovic’s winning streak in the semifinals at 43 matches, beating him in four sets.
At Wimbledon, he reached his fifth consecutive Grand Slam semifinal by beating Jeremy Chardy, Kevin Anderson, Marcos Baghdatis, Michaël Llodra, and Bernard Tomic, en route. A four-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga propelled Djokovic to world no one for the first time in his career, regardless of whether Nadal won the final. As it transpired, he beat the Spaniard in four sets for his first victory over Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament in six encounters.
Top-seeded at the Canadian tournament, Djokovic defeated Nikolay Davydenko Marin Cilic before beating Gaël Monfils, in straight sets, in the quarter-finals, before beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semifinals. He beat Mardy Fish in the final, thereby winning his 10th ATP Masters title and his fifth of the season, a record.
Western & Southern Open:
Taking American Ryan Harrison, Radek Stepanek, Gael Monfils and Tomas Berdych in his stride, Djokovic retired hurt in the seond set of the final against Murray, thereby recording onbly his second loss of the year.
In the final grand slam of the year, Djokovic got past Conor Niland, Carlos Berlocq, Nikolay Davydenko, Alexandr Dolgopolov and compatriot Janko Tipsarevic before defeating Roger Federer for the fourth time this season. Djokovic beat Nadal in the final, to win his first US Open having been a runner-up twice in the past.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.