This might be the second year that we’ll end declaring it the year of Novak Djokovic, who is leaving everyone on the ATP tour in the dust, be it on the hard surfaces, clay, Masters tournament or a Grand Slam.
Almost four complete months into 2015, and Djokovic is a whopping 30-2 so far. His only two losses? In the two most insignificant tournaments he’s played at this season. The Qatar ExxonMobil Open in January, losing in the quarterfinals to Ivo Karlovic, and five weeks later in the Dubai Tennis Championships to Roger Federer in the final.
But except that? Perfect. Winning the Australian Open for the fifth time and in the last six weeks he has completed a rare achievement, winning the first three Masters tournaments of the year: Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo, which included beating Rafael Nadal on clay (semifinal), sending a huge warning to sign to everyone that he’s planning on winning the French Open, his main goal for 2015.
Like in the previous two Masters final, Djokovic dropped one of the sets to Thomas Berdych. But as usual, the one thing setting him apart from everyone else so far came through. His consistency in shot making, and his superb fitness conditioning at the moment. He seems to find new life and breath late in matches and tournaments, something no one has been able to cope with as of yet.
Is this the year Nadal finally submits at the Roland Garros? Is it the season Roger Federer gives up on trying to add one more Grand Slam title to his bloated trophy cabinet? Is Andy Murray still at the level Novak Djokovic should be worried about? Is there anyone out there with a chance to stop him? So far the answer is yes on the first couple of questions, no on the other two.
Djokovic is pushing himself into the discussion. Not about who the best player in the world is. He’s been that, more or less without a break, for the past four years. But he’s now in the territory of the best players of all-time in Tennis. Completing the career Grand Slam will cement his place among the legends, regardless of the shape his rivals were at while he dominated.