Compared to last year, 2012 has been a rather disappointing campaign for Novak Djokovic.
This time last year he was world No. 1, had won eight titles including the Australian Open and Wimbledon and boasted an impressive 50-1 record.
Now he has lost his No. 1 ranking to Roger Federer, has only defended two of his eight titles and has a 41-7 record. Djokovic has lost more matches this year than he did throughout 2011.
What has happened?
Well, many things, but it is important to note that 2011 was an incredible year and it would have been impossible for the Serb to have replicated it.
Rafael Nadal has brought himself into the rivalry with final victories over Nole in Monte Carlo, Rome and most importantly at the French Open. Also, Federer’s attacking game has started to pay off, while the death of Djokovic's grandfather during Monte Carlo had an understandable impact.
However, Djokovic will, as you would expect, be hungry to taste success once again and that is why the London 2012 Olympic Games is where the world No. 2 will re-establish his dominance.
His enthralling five-set victory over Nadal in the Australian Open final has long been forgotten among the midst of the disappointment in losing the French Open final and not defending his Wimbledon crown.
Djokovic has witnessed too much disappointment for a man who has become accustomed to so much success. You can guarantee that he is now hard at work preparing for more grass-court tennis.
What is now in his favour is that he is not the favourite. The pressure is off, all eyes are on Federer, while many will expect Andy Murray to do well after reaching the Wimbledon final.
Djokovic showed in 2011 that he is capable of beating anyone on any surface. The Serb will not go away and now that he has lost his world No. 1 ranking along with his Wimbledon crown, there is only one way to react—win Olympic gold.
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