BEST OF 2011
Top Achievements Of The Year - Nos. 1-2
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com reveals the Top 2 achievements of the 2011 season.
2. Djokovic’s Three Grand Slam Crowns
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had accounted for 21 of the past 23 Grand Slam titles coming into the 2011 season; in fact, Nadal was aiming to win his fourth straight major in Melbourne. Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, had captured his lone Grand Slam title three years earlier at the Australian Open. Only one player, Marat Safin, had endured a longer wait between his first and second Grand Slam titles, going 14 tournaments in between his pair.
In 2011, Djokovic escaped the company of the 24 men in the ‘One-Slam Wonder’ club and joined the elite ranks of Rod Laver (1969), Mats Wilander (1974), Roger Federer (2004, 2006, 2007) and Rafael Nadal (2010) as winners of three Grand Slam titles in a season.
He began his campaign in impressive form, dropping one set en route to the Australian Open title, including straight-sets wins over Andy Murray in the final and Federer in the semi-finals. He celebrated “the best day of my life” at the All England Club, winning the Wimbledon title with victory over defending champion Nadal and ascending to No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. He clinched the US Open title in dramatic fashion, saving two match points against Federer in the semi-finals and prevailing against Nadal in an exceptional final.
“I always have a huge desire to win every Grand Slam that I’m playing in. I played equally well for each Grand Slam throughout the year,” Djokovic said after the US Open, reflecting on the possibility of winning all four majors. “It’s a task that I don’t want to say that’s not possible. It’s possible. Everything is possible.”
1. Djokovic’s 41-0 Start
The tennis world may have thought they’d seen it all in an era defined by the record-shattering dominance of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, only to witness Novak Djokovic emerge as an invincible force to start 2011. Through the first five-plus months of the season, the Serbian proved to be unbeatable, building a 41-0 start unparalleled since John McEnroe’s effort back in 1984.
Though Djokovic finished one match win shy of the American’s record, defeated by Roger Federer in the Roland Garros quarter-finals on 3 June, McEnroe held his accomplishment in the highest regard. “Given that there’s more competition, more athleticism and deeper fields now, I’d say his record is even more impressive than mine,” he said.
Consider these incredible statistics from Djokovic’s streak: His seven titles included the Australian Open and four ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments. In all four of those Masters 1000 tournaments, he defeated a No. 1-ranked Nadal in the final. He had 11 wins over Top 10 opponents, including three against Federer and one against Andy Murray.
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