September 13th, 2011
02:24 PM ET

Can anybody break the dominance of Djokovic?

Novak Djokovic has won three Grand Slams in 2011 and lost only two matches. (Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic has won three Grand Slams in 2011 and lost only two matches. (Getty Images)

Five other men have won three major titles in one year in the Open era, but none so emphatically as Novak Djokovic.

The Serb secured his maiden US Open title on Monday with his sixth straight win, all in finals, against the man who was so dominant last year, Rafael Nadal.

This latest victory took Novak's 2011 record to an astonishing 64-2 and only one of those matches did he actually lose - the other was an injury retirement in the Cincinnati final.

John McEnroe lost three matches in a full season back in '84 so that's the Serbs next challenge, oh, and getting his nation through to the Davis Cup final.

Novak confirmed in his post-match press conference that he would be on the team for Friday's semi-final with Argentina in Belgrade, despite the Open's late finish.

As the Champion he has plenty of media requirements to fulfill before leaving the U.S., so it will be a race for him and his team to prepare for the tie, but we all know the passion Novak feels for representing his country.

Sleep deprivation and a back injury won't stop him and that's great news for Serbia as their sporting superstar can almost rack up two rubbers by just stepping out on court!

How do you beat Novak? Don't ask Nadal. The Spaniard tried to mix it up at the start of Monday's final, throwing in several short slice backhands to take Novak out of his comfort zone, and it worked for the first two games.

But then the world number one quickly adapted and from then on was in control, despite a slight blip in the third set when he failed to serve it out at 6-5.

In the fourth, after having treatment on his back and throwing in 90 mph first serves, he went on to power to victory 6-1. It was an awesome display of force and precision. He did everything better than Nadal, with his backhand down the line, a game changer and a thing of real beauty.

All that was left to do was to seal the victory with an inside-out forehand and clutch his head in disbelief, while his team celebrated widely in his box.

It was four-plus hours of remarkable tennis and full credit should go to Rafa as well for his never-say-die attitude. His time will surely come again, but 2011 is Novak's year.

When asked what he had eaten before the final, the Serb said it was too boring to go into, but that it contained no gluten.

He laughingly added the victory dinner would involve lots of gluten and plenty of alcohol too!

Djokovic, the true entertainer and despite a tired body and mind was even willing to join me for a victory dance at the end of our 1-on-1.

You just can't keep this man down!

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. chris lee

    "can anybody break the dominance of Djokovic?" hmm, last I checked Federer beat him at the French Open and was 1 unlucky return away from doing it in this US Open. Tennis players usually hit their prime around 25. But the fact that Federer, at age 30, almost took out Djokovic on Godmode again speaks volumes about his talent. I fully expect Federer to give more trouble next year. He has the talent and hunger to do it still.

    September 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  2. eduardo

    NO THEY CANT!!! Great match. Both for the winner and Nadal gave it their best.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  3. richard


    September 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  4. Ljubomir Ilic

    Roger indeed can for his talent is vast, much like McEnroe's. The problem is that he has started to oscillate in his game giving first Rapha and now Novak chances to beat him. Rapha is all muscle, but he falls short of Novak and Federer's talents. So if Federer becomes more steady he will continue to win; Nadal does not have a chance unless Novak becomes injured.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  5. ummmmm

    this story was terribly written

    September 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  6. Sachiko

    A glimpse of score line says Djokovic dispatched Nadal as expected, but the way over the course of the match was unexpected, what a grueling and intense! The match was symbolic of modern tennis, bulk of points is made by enduring groundstroke battle that imposes players physical strain, it was shame many players were forced to retirement in the tourney.

    Big kudos and props to Djokovic. I love his attitude, effort, execution, and pretty funny personality. Also applause to Nadal, his never-give-up attitude will surely bring him back to the crest, and don't forget to mention G.O.A.T. Roger Federer, king of rude health in tennis who never has had single MTO or retirement in his whole career. Come on Andy Murray!

    September 13, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  7. PY

    What a creepy report. This is a talanted athlete, no doubt. Talk about pandering for an interview, yuk. "...and plenty of alcohol too!". No doubt, but there's an eventual outcome to that supremacy too.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  8. Ysun

    Think yes 🙂 10 years from now, the boy from the tennis-talent .com will do that...or from tennistalentboy (on Youtube).

    Great game for both players.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  9. Mark

    Agree with above, Federer has had a much longer period of time that he dominated the sport. I do wish Nadal would get his head on straight and knock this guy down a few, djokovic is not quite the class act that Nadal and Federer are.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  10. amina

    i feel that Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are equally outstanding, and for years to come, will continue to fully dominate men's tennis. i also believe that betting on who will win between any two of these three in any match is a blind bet, because the winner usually evolves only when luck, timing and risky maneuvering are on his side......

    September 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  11. onno

    Djokovic made the US Open final with a great deal of luck. It was not that I was looking at Djokovic game but more to the beautiful game of the tennismaster Roger Federer. Tennis has become a money game and It's all about winning but regretfully the quality and the beauty of the tennisgame is gone. I didn't even watch the US Open Final since both players with their double handed backhand and misformed strokes doesn't appeal to me to watch. It's therefore that Roger Federer should be the top tennisplayer and his endorsements don't lie about it.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  12. Marko Stepanovic

    Well, of course. When you get used to this winnings in a row, it looks like no one will beat him, but when someone does, it looks like he will never win again. But, losing and winning is the point of every game, it's just a sport, it's not a business.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  13. jel

    lucky this lucky that...almost this almost that. the man won fair and square. and luck had nothing to do with it. in this day and age – many tennis players are great at their sport, but to be dominant – you have to be able to reinvent yourself. that, i am sorry, federer was never able to do. he became fascinatingly good in the sport, but never did he adapt or play like djokovic last night. stellar job djokovic – enjoy every minute! you deserved it! all other – train harder – it makes for GREAT tennis!

    September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  14. Nostromo45

    I go along with the article. Well, yes – anyone can beat Novak Djokovic, but this means it has to be a very "off" day for the Serbian. Even great champions have off-days now and then. But "Djoko" is certainly in great form and dominating the circuits.
    The Flushing Meadows final was a superb exhibition of not only his great playing, but also of Rafa Nadal's nitty gritty determination, even knowing he was outclassed.
    The third set was just one of the best I have ever watched; beautiful rallies and superb shots. Just magical. Sublime.
    Bueno, Rafa: a ver si puedes sacar algo para vencer al intratable "Djoko". Y saludos a tu Tio Toni! Abrazos!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  15. lol

    u mad bro?

    September 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  16. Boris

    yes, you're right .. Novak is a wonderful combination of mental strength and physical fitness...surrounded by people he loves, good and hardworking professionals, coming from a small country with a strong Serbian people ... these are all elements which are missing Nadal and Federer at the moment

    September 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  17. Borke

    @Chris lee can u be more patetic? LOL
    Great game Novak 🙂

    September 13, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  18. todd saed

    Thanks ,Chris, don't write off the slam record holder, who brings class, excitement, and elegance to the history of the game,he will win a slam again, and was clearly the greatest of his era , not yet over, nothing to prove,he just loves the game, as we can for health and life

    September 14, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
  19. Serbian fan of Novak Djokovic

    Oh please! He lose twice in one year, so what?! Go Novak!!! We love you! – Srbija –

    September 14, 2011 at 1:33 am | Reply
  20. kaldhari

    Lucky Joker.....

    September 14, 2011 at 5:31 am | Reply
  21. Sladja


    September 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  22. Alehandro

    Over the last few years you could have written the headline to this article about both Federer and Nadal. Both were seen as almost invincible while they were going through a purple patch and playing unbelievable tennis. Djokovic is in the zone right now, but it won't last. It never does in any sport. Fed, Rafa, maybe even Murray,Tsonga or Del Potro will hit a rich vein of form and suddenly it'll be "What's the matter with Novak?" Djokovic is having the season of his life and well deserves the applause, but he needs more long-term success to warrant all this invincible, greatest of all-time knee-jerk nonsense inflicted on us by journalists and commentators. It's so boring, sycophantic and self-serving, as if by pointing out the blindingly obvious and laying on the hype with a trowel the perpetrators of this tripe can enjoy some reflected glory. How about some deep analysis of why he's had such a great year, some perspective about his achievements (e.g given the fact some are saying this is the best era of men's tennis ever, does that make Novak's 3 slams the greatest tennis hatrick of all time?), or maybe some discussion about how he can maintain his dominance or how the others might end it? That would be worth reading. As it is, this article comes across as a note from an adoring fan, which the writer may be, but from a journalist we need more objectivity.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  23. Alehandro

    chris lee, you are pathetic, just like the sore looser that you support.

    September 15, 2011 at 5:11 am | Reply
  24. Alehandro

    Just to clarify.. the Alehandro who called Chris Lee "pathetic" (9/15 at 5.11am ET) is not me, who posted 9/14 at 2.34pm ET....It's a coincidence. I like to think my criticism is more constructive than my namesake's. I enjoy this blog site as a forum for discussion not for name calling.

    September 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  25. Alehandro

    Just to clarify..the 9/15 @ 4:44 posting is not me.. That was another Alehandro, an imposter!
    There can be only one.

    September 18, 2011 at 5:11 am | Reply
  26. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Novak is on the rise. He is playing his best tennis right now. He is young and has less to defend. He will keep on accumulating titles as has been done by so many of his illustrious predecessors down memory lane. Good going for the young Serb.

    September 25, 2011 at 8:54 am | Reply

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