Djokovic on top of the world

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Nov 2018 11:43:33


 

PARIS,

NOVAK Djokovic’s return to the world number one spot, just five months after slumping to his lowest ranking in 12 years, leaves little doubt that he is one of the sport’s greats.
The Serb is back on the top of the pile for the first time in two years, at the end of a roller-coaster season for the 14-time major winner. Djokovic, 31, underwent elbow surgery in January and slipped to 22nd in the world after a depressing quarter-final exit at Roland Garros in June, which left him briefly threatening to skip Wimbledon.


But he regrouped, romped to a fourth Wimbledon title the following month, a 32nd Masters in Cincinnati and then a third triumph at the US Open in September.


Despite his loss in the final of the Paris Masters to Karen Khachanov on Sunday — which ended a 22-match win streak — his record since the start of Wimbledon stands at 31-2.
“Reflecting on what I’ve been through in the last year, it’s quite a phenomenal achievement,” said Djokovic, who has knocked Rafael Nadal from the world top spot. “I’m very, very happy and proud about it. Five months ago, it was highly improbable considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court.”


Djokovic is now just three behind Nadal’s total of 17 Grand Slams and six shy of Roger Federer’s record of 20.
But he has time on his side — Federer has already celebrated his 37th birthday while injury-plagued Nadal is 32.
Furthermore, Djokovic enjoys a lifetime 25-22 record over Federer and 27-25 against Nadal.


“Novak has everything to make records in this sport,” said Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro after losing to Djokovic in the US Open final. Djokovic’s ability to thrive amongst the greats has never been in doubt, but the size of his heart often led to questions in his early days.
At Wimbledon in 2007, he retired with a back injury in the third set of his semi-final against Nadal.