Novak Djokovic and a New World Order

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Roger Federer still has the edge in the all time record between the two, but in 2011? Djokovic all the way, baby. Djokovic is now 17-0 since the beginning of 2011. Roger Federer is 18-3. All three losses came against Novak Djokovic. The Serb beat Federer 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the BNP Paribas Open Semi Final, setting up another meeting with Rafael Nadal. The new Superclasico of the tennis world, potentially for years to come – Djokovic and Nadal.

If the beatings at Doha and the Australian Open weren’t enough to cement the fact that Djokovic is a better player than Roger Federer these days, mentally as well, he proved it again yesterday. Dominating the first set but messing up in the second as Federer elevated his game to sublime levels only he can reach, Djokovic didn’t lose his cool in the third. Yes, he dropped a 2-0 lead and was a point away from going down 3-2. He even threw his racket violently on the surface. This would be a point we are used to see Roger seize the moment and go for the jugular while Djokovic would start holding his stomach and implode. No more. Federer doesn’t have enough to give great tennis for too long it seems. The unforced errors and his inability to deal with Djokovic’s deep returns finished him off.

Djokovic? He seems poised and ready to take on Rafael Nadal and grab the number one spot. He’s never been there, but is making a claim with his return to number 2 in the world. I actually thought that Andy Murray would be the one to knock Federer and join Nadal as the top 2 in the world, but something stopped moving forward for the Brit since the 2010 Australian Open final. Djokovic on the other hand has just improved, mostly in his head and with his consistency during the last six months. Now he’ll face Nadal, who looked perfect during some moments against Juan Martin Del Potro yesterday. Their head to head record is 16-7 in Nadal’s favor, winning the last two meetings between the two, including the 2010 US Open Final. Djokovic was once quoted saying after losing to Nadal – Next time I’m going on the court with two rackets. That’s the only way to beat him. It seems that Djokovic is ready to take on Nadal with just one.

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