Sunday, January 29, 2012

Novak Djokovic Not Greatest Tennis Player Ever....Yet

I wrote an article over on Yahoo about why Roger Federer isn't the greatest player ever.  My two primary reasons for it was that when Federer first burst onto the scene, there really wasn't any peer to challenge him (not like now).  Secondly, he can't beat Rafael Nadal. You can't have a 2-8 record against the same guy in Grand Slams and be considered the greatest.

Can the guy that beats you like that, Nadal, be the greatest? I think, if asked that question a year ago, I would have said he's on his way.  He'd won 10 Grand Slams at age when Federer had only won 9, and he was coming off a year (2010) when he won three Grand Slams. He looked dominating.

Then along comes the rebirth of Novak Djokovic.  Unbelievably THIS guy is now dominating Nadal even more completely than Nadal dominates Federer.  Seven straight wins over Nadal (all in Finals) and three Grand Slam victories over him in the span of one year.

If Djokovic keeps this up, will HE be considered the greatest ever? I would think, yes, but tennis in the past several years has been constantly changing.  Everyone thought Federer would continue to dominate until Nadal was able to break through at Wimbledon and the US Open.  Once Nadal achieved his #1-ranking, everyone thought he'd dominate until, less than a year later, an even more formidable challenger (Djokovic) emerged.

I have no idea how this is going to continue in 2012.  Can Djokovic keep up his mental and physical dominance over some of the greatest players ever, or will he eventually show cracks in the armor? Will Nadal finally figure out how to beat Djokovic? Will Andy Murray, who pushed Djokovic to the bring at the Australian Open semi-final, finally take that next step at a Grand Slam and be the next guy to come along?

I can't wait to find out!

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