Novak Djokovic's 2013 Highlights as Season Draws to a Close

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2013

BELGRADE, SERBIA - NOVEMBER 15: Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during the match against Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic during the day one of the final Davis Cup match between Serbia and Czech Republic on November 15, 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Although he finishes the calendar ranked as only the world's second, it's been another superstar year for Novak Djokovic, who rivalled Rafael Nadal for the top spot every step of the way.

One 2013 Grand Slam title is all the Serbian could muster, but it could easily have been so much more, as Djokovic came close to matching his heights of 2011.

Nevertheless, the 26-year-old has enjoyed another year producing myriad highlight-reel moments, the best of which are detailed ahead.

 

1. The Magical Land of Oz

Australia has been a pleasant hunting ground for Djokovic in recent years, and January saw the tennis titan defend his Australian Open title for the second time in succession.

The major has now been his for three years, and 2013's final win over Andy Murray was an acute display of his ability to win dirty, coming back from a set down to triumph 3-1.

Getting his year off to the best possible start, Djokovic set the tone for what would be another year of dominance for the most part, only losing on 10 occasions thus far.

 

2. U.S. Open Spectacle vs. Rafael Nadal

A match that became notorious for the ridiculous amount of talent on display, Djokovic would go on to lose his U.S. Open final against Rafael Nadal, his fourth 2013 meeting with the Spaniard.

It was here that the New York crowd were witness to a 54-point rally between the two that evoked a strong reaction from all those watching and became the longest rally in the tournament's history.

BBC Radio 5 Live posted this photo following the play:

Despite succumbing to his longstanding nemesis, Djokovic and Nadal showed on this occasion their superb respect or one another as athletes, and it's thankfully the best in the business that force the biggest results out of their counterparts.

 

3. ATP World Tour Finals Defence

This year saw Djokovic become the eighth player in history to win back-to-back ATP World Tour Finals and only the second to do so in its current incarnation, behind Roger Federer.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia lifts the trophy after his men's singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day eight of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 11, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

London has been another popular stomping ground for the rampant Serbian in recent years, and it was again Nadal whom Djokovic would face at the final hurdle, overcoming his foe in straight sets for the second time in five weeks.

The match was the player's 20th consecutive victory in singles matches and marked the season with aplomb, reminding the world that despite the rankings, there was most certainly another claimant to the title of sheriff in this town.

 

4. French Open Semifinal—Greatest Match of 2013

If Australia is Djokovic's good-luck charm of recent years, then Roland Garros is definitely a favourite of Rafael Nadal's, after the Spaniard won the championship for the fourth time in succession and the eighth time in his career.

However, 2013's edition will always be remembered for the five-set semifinal thriller that emerged between him and Djokovic, oozing class at every turn in what was a clear exhibition between the world's best two at the time.

The crescendo would be a fitting one as Nadal won the last set 9-7 to top his foe, but all the sparkle of the occasion laid any allegiances to waste in what was simply a tremendous victory for the sport as a whole.

Let us know your highlights of Djokovic's 2013 season in the forum below.