Novak Djokovic is enjoying the best year of his career so far. Three major titles won, several ATP Masters 1000 titles in the bag and numerous records broken—Djokovic is the dominant player in the game in 2011.
When we try to find reasons why a certain player is succeeding and another is failing, it's usually the simple things that give us the clearest answers—there's no need for convolution.
What are the reasons why Novak Djokovic is the dominant player in the tennis right now? Same. Watch him and you'll see. Or read this article.
Novak Djokovic can and will hit any shot with unerring depth, accuracy and positioning time after time after time after time, again and again, for as long as it takes.
The key words being can, will and as long as it takes.
No one else in the game this year has been able to produce and reproduce quality tennis as much as Djokovic has, and it has separated the Serbian world No. 1 from the chasing pack.
Titles bring confidence, confidence brings consistency, consistency means you reach the latter stages of tournaments where, with confidence and consistency, you win titles.
Roger Federer spoke to reporters about Djokovic's successes this year:
"He has more confidence; that's clear. Sometimes before when it was windy or he didn't feel good, he was not fighting as much. But [his] winning streak shows that he's playing normally and that he's winning maybe easier than before. But he's the same player.
He had some tight matches that he could have lost. He didn't… I don't believe he's different from my point of view. He was always finishing his matches very well."
Not one to mince words either, current world No. 2 Rafael Nadal also weighed in on the subject:
"Right now, he's probably defending better, but I think it has a lot of things [to do] about confidence."
"I think he's got the right mentality on the court. He's been very solid throughout the whole year. He's starting tournaments very well, and when he's played against the top guys, he's raised his level, which maybe in the past he hadn't done. He's found a way of winning against them, and now obviously he's got a lot of confidence."
Confidence. And you heard it straight from the horse's mouth. Well, three horses' mouths.
Sometimes, pictures speak louder than words.
Sometimes, pictures say a thousand words.
Other times, there's nothing to be said when Rafael Nadal, of all people, is outlasted time and time again in tournament finals, including the last two majors.
Novak Djokovic has got to be the most envied man in tennis at the moment. Why?
Simply put, the mental part of tennis is now the most important aspect of the sport, and Djokovic excels in this area. You could be the most talented player to have graced the planet Earth, but, without the right mentality, your talent counts for nothing.
Djokovic right now possesses the most lethal mind in tennis. He has the "nothing to lose" attitude and the "I will make it" mindset. Lethal!
How mad do you have to be to go for broke on a return when you're two match points in a U.S. Open semifinal. How crazy is that!?!
Forgive my patchiness. I have no words to describe this.
Watching Nadal run rings around the tennis world in 2010 must have left an impression on Djokovic. Losing to Nadal in the final of the U.S. Open the way he did would've hurt—it should have hurt.
It's no surprise that nowadays he has such a visible desire to win. No longer content with just being the "Djoker," he wants to be king. Djokovic doesn't care for friends—he just wants to dethrone Nadal on clay, break every standing record and not allow anything or anyone to stop him.
It's true Djokovic wants the crowds to love him, and it's also true that the crowds don't love him as much as they do the other players. But the unfortunate thing, depending on your point of view, is that the longer things remain this way, the more he'll want to be even better.
That's the advantage to having a chip on one's shoulder: The drive to prove people wrong always trumps the drive to satisfy them.