Novak Djokovic: Tennis World No. 1 in Waiting?

A.Contributor IMay 11, 2011

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 08:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates at match point after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the final during day nine of the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open Tennis on May 8, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic's run of late has been unbelievable. The man has become the thorn in the side of both Rafeal Nadal and Roger Federer this season. After his dominant display against Nadal in the final of the Madrid open, I now truly believe that he will supplant him as world No. 1 just after the French Open, if not before.

I, for one, did not expect him to beat Nadal as easily as he did. Yes, he had a great chance, but I thought Nadal would come through in three tight sets. He didn't, and Djokovic totally dominated him for the entire match. In fact, he was lucky not to lose the first set to Djokovic with a much worse score line.

The most satisfying part for the Serb is that Nadal was close to his best in that match and Djokovic still managed to completely blow him off the court. Djokovic's backhand was always a great shot, but in that match it turned into an amazing shot that managed to better Nadal's legendary forehand for most of the match.

For me this was the last real test he faced. Could he beat Nadal on clay for the first time? I'll give you that the Madrid clay courts play faster than those anywhere else due to the high altitude, and it's probably where Nadal is at his most vulnerable, but to still come out there and blow him away in the fashion that he did is to be applauded. 

Djokovic is now on a 32-match unbeaten streak for 2011, the best since John McEnroe won 42 consecutive matches in 1984.

The true test for the Serb now rests on the traditional slow clay courts at the Rome Masters. This is where Nadal will be best suited and the toughest test yet for Djokovic. If he can beat Nadal at the Rome Masters on the slow clay it will be truly remarkable and bodes well for his chances at the French Open in a few weeks time.

Roger Federer still talks of being able to get back to No. 1 in the world, but only he knows if he's got what it takes to beat the two guys in front of him. Djokovic has beaten him the last three matches they have played and beaten him in the last two grand slams they have played.

The last time Novak Djokovic actually suffered a defeat was at the hands of Roger Federer at the world tour finals. Djokovic described him as being "unbeatable" when playing like he did; no doubt that match is gone from Djokovic's mind.

Wimbledon is now Roger Federer's best chance to win a slam this year. I still think he can better Nadal and Djokovic on grass and I'd love to see him start winning slams again. He really is a beautiful player to watch and it's no lie I'm a die-hard Federer supporter.

Nadal has already indicated that his time as world No. 1 is over, at least for now, and has stated that he expects Djokovic to overtake him sometime soon.

Nadal will be gunning to tie Borg's record of six titles at the French Open this year and probably is his best chance of convincingly winning a Grand Slam this year, following it with Wimbledon. I expect his days of winning hard court Grand Slams are probably behind him with Djokovic's Favourite surface being hard courts.

I am really impressed by how quickly Djokovic has managed to to turn his fortunes around. He has gone from being a patchy player with occasional brilliance and occasional shockers. He really has matured into a fantastic player and I do see him being No. 1 in the next few month.

No doubt he will get beaten at some point in the next few weeks or months from exhaustion if nothing else, but the run he has been on his truly great—beating both of the best players ever a total of six times this year, with Nadal's defeats all coming in finals.

As the saying goes, the king is dead, long live the king.