Novak Djokovic, the world no.1 started this season with a big win down under as he defeated the Spaniard Nadal in the 2012 Australian Open Final in the longest Grand Slam final ever (5h 53min). Many tennis experts consider it the greatest tennis match ever played and just like in 2011, Djokovic carries on with his superhuman performances.
He has shown us some amazing mental and physical strenght against Nadal and the Serbian knows that he has got the ability to win Wimbledon and the US Open, just like he did last year.
The big question to ask is – can he take the Roland Garros crown from the spanish matador Nadal? Nadal has dominated the French Open over the last 7 years, having lost only a single match against Robin Soderling in the 2009 semifinal.
We now know that Djokovic can beat Nadal on clay when on top form. Last clay court season was the proof. Such was Novak’s dominance, that he defeated Rafa in all of their six encounters (two of them on clay- in Madrid and Rome).
Djokovic went out in last year’s Roland Garros semifinal against the 16 time Grand Slam champion Federer, who became the first player to defeat the Serbian in 2011.
Federer got once more very close to beating Djokovic at the US Open Final, but couldn’t convert any of the 2 match points he had on his own serve. The big difference between now and a couple of years ago is that Novak believes he can beat any of the top players, he seems to have the mental edge over them.
There is hardly any difference between the top players, a lot of matches are decided over a few points. A great example is Djokovic’s semifinal match against British no.1 Murray at this year’s aussie open , where it could have gone either way in the end.
One thing Djokovic will have to be careful with is to manage his tournament calendar. Last year’s heroic wins got the better of him at the end of the season, but that wast just a proof that he is a human.
CAN HE DO IT?