Mark another title for Novak Djokovic in 2015. After winning the Australian Open and the Masters at Indian Wells, the number one player in the ATP rankings beat Andy Murray to claim the title in Miami for a fifth time.
Djokovic ran into trouble against Murray, who he also beat in the final of the Australian Open, but came away with a blow out third set, finishing the match with a 7-6, 6-4, 6-0 scoreline. Djokovic has now won three tournaments, the important tournaments, in 2015, with his only two losses coming in smaller tournaments, one in Dubai (to Ivo Karlovic) and the other in Qatar to Roger Federer.
There’s no rest for Djokovic, who is now going into the critical phase of the season, at least for him. It’s no secret that beyond further establishing his dominance on top of the world rankings and eliminating any doubt as to who is the best player in the world, 2015 is about completing the Career Grand Slam and finally deposing Rafael Nadal as the king of clay.
Only one Grand Slam tournament is missing from Djokovic’s cabinet; the Roland Garros, the French Open, which has been dominated by Nadal since 2005, winning it every year except for 2009, the year Roger Federer took advantage of Robin Soderling beating Nadal and completing the Career Slam himself. Djokovic still hasn’t faced Nadal this season, and who knows, maybe the Spanish king of clay won’t even get to stand in his way this time.
Nadal, basically, has only one chance to keep on notching achievements in what’s left of his Tennis career, and that’s focusing everything he has on clay. He has one title on clay this season (Argentina, a 250 tournament), but in the Australian Open he was ousted in the quarterfinals, at Indian Wells he lost in the quarterfinals as well while he didn’t get past the third round in Miami. Even in a clay tournament in Brazil Nadal lost in the semifinal.
Of course, Djokovic has already seen incredible success against Nadal one year in Masters tournaments only to fail to win when it matters in the French Open, back in 2011, the year Djokovic won three Grand Slam tournaments. This year, maybe because of others declining and the switch of power near the top of the tour, Djokovic has a wonderful opportunity to repeat that achievement, and more than in any other time before, win on the red clay of Paris.