Last year, Novak Djokovic lived up to his sky-high potential...and then some.
Everyone knew Nole had an elite skill-set and pedigree, but in 2011 he put it all together in such a dominant fashion that even his staunchest supporters were amazed.
After a while, there was no denying it—this guy was playing like an all-time great. Better yet, he was handily beating all-time greats.
With Nole, it almost seems like the sum is greater than the whole of his parts. He doesn't control the match with an overwhelming forehand like Rafael Nadal. He's not serving people off the court like Roger Federer. There isn't that one shot he hits for a winner over and over again.
Instead, Djokovic does everything, and he does it all brilliantly. That's part of what makes him so tough to beat: There's nothing to target or avoid in his game. It seems like his wheelhouse spans the entire court.
He's not slowing down, either. He's breezed through the first two rounds of the 2012 Australian Open in frighteningly good form, dominating his opponents so thoroughly point-by-point that you almost expected them to wave a white flag.
And yet you hear a lot of people say there's no way the Djoker can repeat his 2011 success, that the law of averages will catch up to him, that he has too many points to defend. But none of these doubts ever contain any actual tennis or technical analysis.
Just who is going to beat Novak, and just how are they going to beat him?
The predictions of Djokovic's demise seem, frankly, like wishful thinking from his detractors. At this point, there's no reason to think Novak will finish 2012 any differently than he did 2011—at the top of the game.
So instead of wracking the brain to come up with things that could go wrong for Novak, we're here to give you three reasons why Djokovic will stay number one throughout 2012.