Novak Djokovic: 10 Reasons He's Better Than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

Chris Siddell@@siddellcCorrespondent IIIOctober 31, 2011

Novak Djokovic: 10 Reasons He's Better Than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

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    Novak Djokovic is a better player than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, and this season has proved it.

    In winning almost 96 percent of his matches, and losing only one from 11 meetings with Nadal and Federer, Novak Djokovic has proved it.

    Yet still fans of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer claim their man to be the better player at the minute, well that just isn't the case.

    But just for those who aren't so sure, here are the reasons why Novak Djokovic is better than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the minute.

10. The Rankings Don't Lie

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    The ATP Rankings don't lie, and a quick look at them will let you know that Novak Djokovic has given himself an almighty lead.  Despite consistently being in the top three, Djokovic has improved so much he has seen his points tally jump to new heights.

    Striding well ahead of both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the rankings are a clear indication that Djokovic is a better player than both of them.

9. Competition

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    Novak Djokovic is not just a big guy bullying the little man, he beats the best of his peers regularly.

    Playing in a period filled with incredible talent, including Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer to name a few, Djokovic can hardly say he's had it easy.

    Add to that list Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and you see just how competitive tennis has become in 2011.  

    Having been part of the top three for a number of years, Djokovic has made the improvements he needed to ensure he is not just part of the crowd, but the best in a very talented crowd.

    Being able to produce a season long performance like Djokovic has this year, with the competition that there is around, just shows Djokovic is currently better than Federer and Nadal.

8. Broken Recods

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    Up until this year, both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have held vastly superior records when they have met Novak Djokovic, but the tables have turned.

    2011 has seen Djokovic assert himself over the pair and come out with incredible win records against both of them, with only one defeat out of 11 matches.

    Djokovic has a 4-1 win record over Federer, and an even more telling 6-0 record against Nadal, with every match being either a final or semi-final.

    Just goes to show that whilst Federer and Nadal have had their time at the top, it is now Djokovic who is the better player.

7. 95 Percent

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    Novak Djokovic has posted an incredible record in 2011, with no other player able to come close to him in terms of performance, not even Roger Federer.

    The Swiss perfectionist has twice put in season long performances like Djokovic has this year, but that was way back in 2005 and 2006, at the minute there is no comparison.

    Having won over 95 percent of his matches so far this season, and winning every single match in which he has held a lead (he's only been behind nine times all season), there can be very little debate about which player is currently the best in tennis—it is Novak Djokovic.

6. Return of Serve

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    There are no tennis fans who could argue, without bias, that there is a better service returner than Novak Djokovic.  

    When trying to justify this, the easiest thing to do would be to look at the statistics for returning serve.  You will find Djokovic to be ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in every category.

    But that's just part of the story.  Whilst his percentages are not all that much higher, it is his style that sets him apart.

    Djokovic is comfortably the most aggressive returner of serve out of the trio, and that is one of the reasons he is currently better than both Nadal and Federer.

5. Surfaces

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    Tennis is played on three different surfaces, grass, clay and hard courts.  The best player in the world is the one who wins on them all.  Right now, that man in Novak Djokovic.

    Roger Federer seems to have faded away this year and the man many were expecting to challenge Djokovic was Rafael Nadal, the king of clay.  But in 2011, Djokovic dominated the king, on clay.

    Beating the Spaniard on clay in two finals really announced the arrival of Djokovic as the best in the world.  Nobody beats Rafa like that on clay, not three times.

    Had Nadal been able to keep winning on clay then he would have had a case, but after suffering defeat to Djokovic three times, Nadal surrendered the crown of best player in the world over to Novak.

4. Backhand

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    Novak Djokovic has a fantastic backhand—one Rafael Nadal can't match despite being naturally right handed, and one Roger Federer is also struggling to match.

    The incredibly aesthetic one handed backhand from Federer is a joy to watch, but has been diminishing somewhat in the past 18 months as the Swiss great falls from grace. Now, it is Djokovic who is taking over as the king of backhand, with his incredibly powerful efforts providing plenty of winners.

    Always a strength in his game, Djokovic has developed from one of the top backhand players into the top backhand player in the game. 

3. Confidence

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    Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have for years held a confidence that no other player could match, and that confidence has brought them through tough situations where maybe they deserved to lose.

    But now, after spending several years suffering the effects of this confidence, it is now Novak Djokovic that has the confidence, and he is using it.

    This extra confidence has seen Djokovic rise to the top and prove himself as a player capable of great things.

2. Serving

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    One of the reasons  Novak Djokovic has been sitting behind his illustrious peers in recent years is his lack of consistency with serving, particularly second serves.

    This year, Djokovic seems to have mastered his game making big improvements in his serve, showing more consistency and a definite improvement in his second serve.

     It is that improvement that has seen him develop into the best player on the circuit.

1.In the Head

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    We've seen it plenty of times in sport, that defeated look when someone has lost all self belief.  In tennis, we have seen it a lot recently. 

    We saw it when Rafael Nadal first started to beat Roger Federer, all of a sudden Federer looked lost when playing the Spaniard, leaving Nadal to take over on the top spot.

    Andy Murray seems to fold when facing a top three opponent in a grand slam, he's a different player to when playing three sets.

    Now, Novak Djokovic has gotten into the heads of Rafa and Roger.  The pair go into matches against the Serbian not expecting to win, but wondering how they can beat him, putting them on the back foot from the start.

    Just one final reason why Djokovic is better than Federer and Nadal.