Novak Djokovic will take down Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Published: May 22, 2015
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Novak Djokovic reacts during his match against Fernando Verdasco. PHOTO: AFP

The present era of tennis is indeed the best ever by a long shot in the history of this sport. This era boasts of few of the greatest names ever and is characterised by intensely fierce rivalries.

While the first half of the past decade was undoubtedly dominated by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the latter half truly belongs to Novak Djokovic.

And here are the reasons why.

Photo: AFP

By 2011, Djokovic had erased the label of being a one-slam wonder and came into a league of his own. It is considered as one of the greatest seasons ever by a player, not for his magical numbers, but rather for the sheer quality of tennis Djokovic has produced and the magnitude of his achievements against the likes of Nadal and Federer, two players vying for the tag of being the greatest ever in tennis history.

Photo: AFP

Not to mention, he went on to compile a combined 10-1 record against Federer and Nadal in the same season, most of his wins coming from the finals of Grand Slams and Masters Series.

Photo: AFP

Since then, Djokovic has gone on to win a Grand Slam each year and has emerged as the toughest player on tour – mentally and physically. And just when the tennis pundits started wondering whether they will witness the brilliance of his 2011 performance again, Djokovic is in the process of re-writing history with his seemingly unbeatable sets of skills and mental fortitude. His current season may not be the exact replica of his best season back in 2011, but besides his two defeats in relatively low key tournaments he is unbeaten in all major competitions so far, dating back to his victory during the Paris Masters last year.

He won the Australian Open crown for the fifth time in January, which is an open era record and he also became the first player to win the first three masters tournaments of the season. After a well-deserved rest in Madrid, he returned with a bang and was triumphant during the Rome Masters, stamping his authority at the highest level. It is once again not the numbers and records which are fascinating but rather the manner of his utter dominance over rival players, which is frightening to say the least.

Photo: AFP

The way he dismantled Andy Murray, Federer and Nadal, his biggest potential threats to glory, speaks volumes of his talent and intent. He went on to state,

 “I am the undisputed best player at the moment and I am here to stay for a long time.”

He is leading the leader board in victories against the top 10 players for this season as well, but numbers do not truly reflect the level of superiority he is enjoying over top competitors of the game.

Whether he will be able to reach the heights reserved only for the greatest of tennis players remains to be seen. However, going by his current speed, it is not hard to imagine where he will stand in the next few years. Djokovic has requisite arsenal at disposal to maintain his dominance in the foreseeable future.

His backhand is considered as one of the best and his agility and flexibility is unique. His return of serves is incomparable, and resilience too much to be matched. His ability to raise the level of the game when it matters most is simply astounding. He can redirect shots along both wings with ridiculous ease, and besides an impenetrable defence, he has the laser-guided precision to pepper baselines across the net on a consistent basis.

Photo: AFP

He relishes the challenge of competing in big tournaments. His domination of the Master Series since 2011 is staggering, with 19 titles and still counting. He only needs to win the Cincinnati Masters to complete his set of Career Golden Masters. He is rapidly closing in on Nadal’s record for the most number of 27 Masters Series titles.

Djokovic has already overtaken Nadal in a span of weeks as the number one player; he is only six seeds behind Pete Sampras and Nadal in the Grand Slam tally. Yet, the upcoming French Open remains the title he will be yearning the most to win, posing to be the only elusive title in his otherwise magnificent career.

Photo: AFP

The Serb came up short against Nadal ‘The King of Clay’ in his past three attempts during the French Open, but due to Rafa’s injury and constant struggle to find a consistent form, it seems Djokovic may emerge as a favourite and bag the title on Parisian dirt this year.

Photo: AFP

While he may or may not break most of the records, the fact that he established his domination during the best ever era of tennis, is a supreme achievement in itself. He is still only 27-years-old, a year younger than Nadal and another five years younger than Federer. He has time on his side and fully realises that he is at the peak of his career. He is not ready to yield even an inch to his fiercest of rivals.

He is present to challenge Federer and Nadal for the title of greatest ever player and is edging ever closer to overtake them both in a head-to-head record. It might be too early to say this, but going by his current form and fitness, he has the potential to eclipse their monumental achievements also. Djokovic is firmly on course for tennis immortality and it will take some time to stop this force before his reign is over.

Muhammad Tayyab

Muhammad Tayyab

The author is a sports and tennis enthusiast who has been playing and following the game for the past 10 years. A true nature lover, who loves trekking and hiking in Northern Pakistan. He tweets as @patriot_231

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • manderso

    Well, this is the year, if he doesn’t get the French now, forget about it.Recommend

  • Ravi

    Isn’t it scary in PakistanRecommend

  • Richard

    Great article, well said. I think what is most remarkable is that we had these tennis greats taking over. Fist Sampras he was ruthless in taking all records, then this gentle and friendly Federer passed Sampras in records books. Then you had Federer and Sampras playing exhibitions to showcase their greatness. Then suddenly Nadal came with his topspin and established a commanding head to head against Federer. So Federer now cannot be considered the greatest, he might be considered to have the best record. But to all surprise we now have Djokovic taking over. He was shunned and discriminated for a while, due to his extroversion however over the past years, he tuned his personality and is dominating the two greatest. Suddenly no one is this greatest any more. Which I feel is good for tennis and sport. Amazing times in Tennis.Recommend

  • Ali

    Federer will remain as best ever….fullstopRecommend

  • zee

    Great article: No doubt currently Djokovic is the best, by the numbers he is way far to be the greatestRecommend

  • Bushra Naveed Karim

    Awesome piece of work..this truly speaks of your craze for Tennis.. Hope to see more of you on the print media from now onRecommend

  • Headstrong

    Given Federer’s consistency and longevity, he should be considered as the most likely candidate for the title of the greatest. Forget the statistics – he has the most number of Grand Slam titles by a male – just the fact that he has been at the top of tennis for so many years and has managed injuries speaks for itself. Yes, Nadal has an overwhelming head-to-head record against him, but you have to account for the fact that Federer was already at the top when Nadal came on the scene, so he probably didn’t meet Federer when he was at his best. In spite of that, Federer won Grand Slams when Nadal was at his peak. Also, Nadal is undoubtedly a great player, but was plagued with too many injuries to be named the greatest. Maybe Novak could take over the mantle of the greatest – maybe. Let’s see. But for me, Federer owns the title as of now.Recommend

  • Mohammad Husain

    Great article indeed..now the only question remaining for Djokovic is finding that elusive answer in Paris.Recommend

  • Ayesha Anwar

    Impressive article..the way Djokovic’s playing right now, you’re almost hoping he’s going to be off his level. I feel like he’s a more complete player than he was when he won three of the four majors] in 2011.Recommend

  • critic

    nice work but i still think nadal will be back again and he has 2,3 good years left too and will take over fedrer as only 4 titles seperate themRecommend

  • Ayesha Anwar

    Impressive article..the way Djokovic’s playing right now, you’re almost hoping he’s going to be off his level. I feel like he’s a more complete player than he was when he won three of the four majors] in 2011.Recommend

  • Muhammad Amin

    Its a great effort..great views that reflects the writer’s interest and longing for this game..hope to see more writings from you..good luck and keep up the good work.Recommend

  • Muhammad Rozi Sameem

    great article kaka…! waiting for more writings from you..!Recommend

  • Rasul Jan

    Highly appreciable. Well written article. Relevant information, concrete examples, facts and figures are reflecting author’s level of interest in this particular game. Although I am not a tennis lover but after reading this article I am all agog to see Novak Djokovic playing tennis. …………….. Keep it up.Recommend

  • مليحه امين

    Such an illustrious and laudable writing, clearly portrays the writer’s delirium and love for the sport. Thumbs up ! And yeah way to go Djokovic (Y) Recommend

  • Muhammad Jibran

    Salaam.
    Djokovic is no doubt at the peak of his carrier. But he would take Federer as the greatest ever (or Nadal) would only be the writers desire and profound love for Djoker Nole.

    Djokovic Best Season Stats
    2011
    76 – 6 (92.1 %), 10 titles, 3 GS

    Federer Best Season(s) Stats
    2006
    92 – 5 (94.8%) , 12 tites, 3 GS

    2004
    74 – 6 (92.5%), 11 titles, 3 GS

    This is the reply when you are making Djokovic The greatest ever on the basis of a single season. Federer has won 3 Slams in a single year 3 times, the only player. Federer has won 2 Slams in a single year 5 times, the only player, and on, and on, and on.
    I wish more success to Djoker Nole, but right now it is what it isRecommend

  • Hissaan Hasan Haqqani

    Huge Rafa fan here. Hard to argue with numbers, statistics and other convincing arguments you posted in his favor though. That said, notwithstanding current form of the Big Three (yes I intentionally skipped out on Murray), Rafa leads all top ten players in the H2H and is second in all time GS titles race. Not to mention, owning a career grand slam absolutely has be a pre-requisite for the ever-so-dreaded G.O.A.T debate. Now, I know some big names do not have all 4 Grand Slams titles under their belt either (Borg, Lendle, Sampras, Edberg, Johnny Mac, Jimmy Connors to name a few) but in all honesty, can one truly claim that these guys are greatest of all time? Are they really in the same category as Rod Laver, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in terms of what they have achieved? I definitely do not think so. So I’ll wrap up my thoughts by thanking you for a great article with facts and convincing arguments however the jury is still out on Novak being amongst the best of the best; at least until he lifts that elusive Coupe des Mousquetaires.Recommend

  • JIK

    DON;T GLORIFY DJOKOVIC…HE IS NOT INTERESTING PLAYER…AT ALL…
    i DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT HIM…SOME OTHER PLAYERS ARE MORE INTERESTING….
    DJOKOVIC AND BECKER LOOKS LIKE IDIOTS TOG
    ETHER…Recommend

  • Muhammad Aly

    No Doubt Djokovic is dominating every where now a days…. Probably Federer needs some rest now ;-)
    With all due apology from the fan club of all time greatRecommend

  • Muhammad Aly

    all time great …… obvious…… cant deny the fact……. FedererRecommend

  • Vijay Kumar Tadakamalla

    No doubt currently he is in the best of form but he has to travel a long distance to be considered as GOAT. Roger and nadal too had simillar forms and seasons. Remeber in the current season he was beaten by stan in fench open, in montral he was beaten by Murray and in cincinati he was beaten in straight sets which means he was consecutively beaten in 3 important tournments. We have to wait and see whether at the age of 34+ will he be No.1 or 2 still beating younger players. Nadal is sick and i agree that it may not gain the old form. ofcourse, he has to curse himself. There are many things still to achieve what roger has achieved so far. Mind it fed is still playing and beating djoker on and off. However best of luck for djoko.Recommend