Wimbledon 2011 was Novak Djokovic's fifth win in five finals against Rafael Nadal in 2011. The 125th champion of the All-England Lawn Tennis Club has lightning movements, great anticipation and a wonderful game! It was a dream come true for the Serbian, who will now replace Nadal at the summit of men's tennis.
Djokovic's first Wimbledon title, second of this very year and his third major overall tells something to the world of tennis. His dominance at the top will be prolonged and not just a six month streak of luck.
Generally, when a new champion surfaces at a Grand slam, people begin to talk about the end of eras and the beginning of new ones. That should not be the case with Djokovic. He has reached three finals of the last four majors barring the Roland Garros semifinal defeat at the hands of Roger Federer, which is also his only loss of this year.
Taking out the 2008 Australian Open triumph, Djokovic has had two silent years at the top of Tennis. He was obviously overshadowed by Federer and Nadal making semifinal appearances and winning trophies that hardly mattered. He was outplayed at the business end of the majors during these two years.
But a viable chance came in late 2010 when he went through a change of racket and diet. The consequences were visible. The perennial underachiever became a genuine contender. He led his Serbian team to Davis Cup triumph and made the finals of the US Open. This was going to be his year!
The Serb proved worthy of his expectations, defeating Andy Murray to claim his second major at Australia. He was no longer a one-slam wonder. After that, the scenes shifted to the clay.
The rise of Djokovic was a welcome sign to fans who were tired of seeing only two men lifting all trophies. The rise has been inevitable and undeniable. It has also proved that patience, determination and hard work can counter amazing physical strength and God's own skill set.
During the Federer dominant days, the Swiss was confusing and outplaying everyone with his touches and changes of pace until Nadal came and blasted him out with his physical force. Nadal became dominant and that was until Djokovic's big turnaround.
Djokovic's perfect record against Nadal in 2011 posts some questions. Is he playing at a level higher than Nadal? Or is this just a phase of transience when one slips a bit and other takes advantage of that?
When asked about Djokovic's win, Nadal said, "My experience says that his level is not forever." It is in fact true. Federer had his days, Nadal had his own, but the question is, "How long will Djokovic's days last?"
The rise of Djokovic should be off good news to those who lie in the top 10. If he can beat Federer and Nadal, so can others. Andy Murray, who has now been a common man in the last four, will be aiming to win one. Monfils, Berdych and Soderling too will be looking to raise their level. Juan Martin Del Potro, who defeated Nadal and Federer to win the 2009 US Open, will take some months to get back to his form.
The task is huge for Djokovic. In the coming year, he has to win majors and keep defending the points that he gained this year. Doing both will be difficult. Nadal has openly stated that he won't mind losing the No. 1 title as long as he manages to win majors.
Nadal has 10 with half an eye on Federer's 16. Federer, on the other hand, is still good to make the second week of majors and even better. Will he win the unprecedented 17th?
All questions aside, this is Novak Djokovic's time and no one can steal the spotlight from the new Ace of Tennis.
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