In a veritable slugfest lasting a little over four hours, Novak Djokovic trumped the defending champion Rafael Nadal—6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1—at Flushing Meadows on Monday, Sept. 12, 2011.
The No.1 seed had an answer for everything the Mallorcan threw at him—from his top-spin forehands, ripped backhands, deceptive serves and breaks of service.
If Nadal would break the Djoker’s service, Djokovic would come roaring right back with his incisive return of serve. The Spaniard was outlasted, out-rallied and outplayed by the Serb on his own terms—from the baseline.
The US Open is his fourth major and leaves only the French Open to complete a career Slam.
Djokovic winning of three of four Slams reignites the debate that the Australian,Wimbledon and US Open surfaces are much too similar, that there will be many more players in the future who can and will win three or more Slams in a calendar year. (Or that these are three sublime players—Federer, Nadal, Djokovic—who would have been the best in any generation.)
The deed has been performed five times in the past eight years. Only Nadal’s feat differs in that he won the French, Wimbledon and the US Open (in 2010) unlike Federer and Djokovic, who missed out on the French variant each time.
Djokovic had this to say about chasing a career Slam:
Sure. Why not? There is still a lot of things to prove, you know, to myself, to the tennis world. I still want to win many more events, many more major events. That’s something—as I said, you know, it’s not just habit of standing up every morning and being focused on what you do. It’s just that love for the sport that keeps me going. And winning on the court, that feeling, as along as it stays with me, I will keep fighting for more trophies. Yeah, so it would be unbelievable to be able to complete the Grand Slam, to win the French Open. It’s something that is definitely an ambition, but it’s going to take time.
Djokovic admitted that having Nadal and Federer as contemporaries is possibly an advantage because he can learn from them as against chasing ghosts of the past.
I think everybody is different. I don’t compare myself to Rafa or Roger or anybody else, but I do take a look on their careers, the way they are handling everything, and I learn. I definitely learn from both of them how to represent myself in public, how to carry the responsibility. I’m open for everything.
All in all, a great result and a great year for a great champion.
Novak Djokovic rocks.
|When women go wrong, men go right after them.|
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