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Didn't he wilt in the heat in Australia? Didn't he give up and pull out of matches far too easily? Wasn't his family too loud and an unwelcome distraction? Wouldn't he just be a Djoker but never really become a champion?
Besides, wasn't Nadal just too good on clay? Wasn't grass Djokovic's weakest surface anyway? Wasn't he clearly the third best player in the world, with Nadal and Federer simply better than him?
The answer to all of those questions might have been "yes" at one point, but is a resounding "no" now.
This year was supposed to be about Nadal dominating the tour like the Federer of 2004-07, but it's safe to say that hasn't happened. A run of 41-consecutive wins to start the year that included victory Down Under and defeats of Nadal in California and Miami, and much more significantly, on the European clay of Madrid and Rome, only tells half the story. He would go on to win both Wimbledon and the US Open, beating Nadal in yet another two finals.
A new record of five Masters Series shields in a year is only of secondary importance. Maybe the most crucial, yet subtle, achievement for Djokovic is that if "Nadal vs Djokovic" is indeed the rivalry of the future, the Serb well and truly has the upper hand.