Novak Djokovic is back on the hard court this September, which bodes well for the Serbian's chances of repeating at the U.S. Open in 2012.
The current world No. 2, Djokovic boasts a plethora of unmatched traits that make him the favorite to win the year's final major at Flushing Meadows.
So far, Nole has cruised through the first two rounds of the men's singles draw, and finds himself just a few wins away from his sixth career Grand Slam championship, and fifth on a hard court surface.
Here we break down the remarkable traits that make The Djoker the hands-down favorite to win the 2012 U.S. Open this summer.
There are few players in the game aside from Roger Federer as mentally tough as Novak Djokovic. The 25-year-old routinely demonstrates the ability to put a bad point, set or match behind him and move on to the next.
Going back to last January's Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal, there were countless times that Djokovic emptied his tank on a long rally that was ultimately won by Nadal. Still, he would charge right back on the very next point to boost his own confidence and break the opponent's will.
That mental toughness has been evidenced a lot over the past two years, and is what helped Nole win three straight Grand Slam tournaments from 2011 to 2012.
Novak Djokovic can be better compared to a machine than a human being. At age 25, he is in his physical prime, but also destined to outlast his opponents in best-of-five set matches considering his stellar conditioning.
Just watching Djokovic throughout a rally, it's not hard to see how much he has transformed his body. He chases down every ball, making flexible lunges and utilizing his lightning-quick reaction time to turn lost points into game-changing, back-breaking winners.
Afterwards, Djokovic rarely looks gassed or in need of a minute to gather himself. His superb conditioning sends a message to his opponent early, and gives him confidence that he can go the distance in any match.
As already mentioned before, Djokovic's relentless pursuit of the ball and unrivaled fight on the tennis court sets him apart from other top players in the sport. It's certainly not rare to see him fight off a barrage from an opponent and come back to win the point.
On the hard court surface in Queens, Djokovic is much more comfortable pursuing far away balls and making extended runs and reaches for them. His flexibility adds to the impact of his relentless style of play.
It's a huge reason why Djokovic has become so popular with the New York crowd at the U.S. Open over the years. His willingness to sacrifice his body and treat every point like his last not only makes him fun to watch, but the hands-down favorite to repeat as men's champion at Flushing Meadows this September.
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