Why Novak Djokovic needs to confirm his No.1 status

Copy: The National, December 2012


>> I’ve been loving Novak Djokovic’s imperious performances in the Australian Open thus far… and I think they may well be born of a man with something to prove. That might sound odd after he began and ended 2012 as world No.1, but in between, he lost the French Open final to Nadal. He lost on the grass at Wimbledon in both the All England Championships and at the Olympics. In the US Open final Djokovic lost again, to his great friend Murray, in a tight, five-set match.

And people seemed more interested in the fact that he’d bought the world’s supply of donkey cheese than the fact he’d won a compelling ATP World Tour Finals match over Roger Federer in November.

And that’s a fact. Well, almost.

Anyway, warming up for the Australian Open, he played – and won – a tournament in Abu Dhabi, and I profiled one of the greatest tennis players of all time for The National. An exaggeration? I don’t believe so. The problem Djokovic has is that he happens to play in the same era as at least two more of the true greats. Perhaps that’s to his benefit – there can be no resting on laurels here. That No.1 status can only be carefully cherished by winning.


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