It’s a new era in men’s tennis and only one man has fully adjusted.
That man is Novak Djokovic.
He won three out of four Grand Slams in 2011, started the year on a 41-match win-streak and finished with a ridiculous 70-6 record.
He was as dominate as Roger Federer was in his prime.
So what’s changed?
Federer is now 30 and dealing with incredibly insulting remarks from Rafael Nadal. He is coming off his first season without a Grand Slam title since 2002, and isn’t getting any younger. The days of winning major championships appear to be over. He enters the Aussie Open with a back injury that could hamper him as well.
Nadal is dealing with a knee problem after playing with a foot problem for the majority of the season. Aside from his typical dominance at the French Open, Nadal’s ’11 season was a failure.
The only other real competitor for Djokovic is Andy Murray. Yet he has never been able to crack the Djokster puzzle and there is no reason to think things have changed in 2012. The Brit is still searching for his first career Grand Slam title.
Djokovic is in the driver’s seat to win all four majors because of his superior conditioning. When you listen to him speak, he sounds relaxed and rested, the most important factor on the ATP tour these days:
I feel that I'm at the peak of my career. I feel that physically, mentally, game-wise, I'm right up there. I can perform equally well on any surface, as I have proven in 2011. That's my focus. That's something that I'm thinking of. Just taking it slowly, step by step.
Nadal has been whining about the grueling ATP schedule that rarely allows the stars to rest. It’s killing Nadal and severely slowing Federer.
So, what’s Djokovic’s secret?
Or the proper name, a CVAC Pod. This state of the art synthetic egg is extremely effective in helping your muscles recover faster after a match. The CVAC (Cyclic Variations in Adaptive) stimulates rapid changes in altitude, which in turn increases oxygen absorption which aids recovery and boosts lymphatic system.
In other words, this machine helps you get stronger while the competition is dormant. That’s a huge advantage when you have less than 48 hours between matches.
It keeps the body in pristine condition and all you have to do is sit there for 20 minutes. It’s an incredible advantage that seems to be flying under the radar, for whatever reason.
But in the day-and-age of little rest in men’s tennis, it’s the sort of advantage that can allow him to sweep the 2012 Grand Slams.
With a deadly serve, strong return game, lack of competition and the CVAC, don’t be surprised to watch one of the most dominating seasons in tennis ever.
2011 was only a preview of things to come.