Former world number three Djokovic has not lost a set in six matches since the US Open, where he defeated David Noh. He will hope to end his slump against seeded opponent Kim Clijsters in the French Open final. While no one doubts his ability, many are watching out for Clijsters’ match with eventual Wimbledon finalist Boris Becker. In the first round, Clijsters beat Becker and advanced one step closer to beating Djokovic in the semis.
After the US Open, some expected Djokovic to bounce back with another major upset, but what happened instead was slightly different. Djokovic looked sluggish in the first set before bursting to lead 4-1 heading into the second set. From there, however, it was no match at all as Becker capitalized and won eight straight games to seal the set and take the match on full tilt. For anyone who watched the match, it can be easy to see why. For some, though, it seems like Djokovic let his foot off the gas after securing a Grand slam.
For those of you who haven’t seen Djokovic in person, it’s impossible to appreciate how dominating the Croatian player has been during the past year. From winning the Australian Open to winning the Wimbledon title, almost every major competition he’s faced has been a struggle. The US Open was his first tour win and while a defeat to Fabio Puccini was a disappointment, winning the French open was something he had been hoping for.
Now, he will hope to add another major title to his impressive resume and do it against one of the favorites in Wimbledon, Andre Agassi. There are a lot of positives coming out of the two matches, most notably how Federer has been rusty and how quickly Djokovic has recovered from his injuries. Both men are at an age where they need every major trophy they can get their hands on. Federer has already proven he can beat anyone, while Djokovic has beaten world number three Novak Djokovic twice. Only 21 years old, Federer is playing at a much higher level than his younger counterpart and it looks as though he may not be slowed down by the age of the threat surrounding him.
When Andy Murray upset Andre Agassi in the Wimbledon final, there were many people calling for Andy Murray to fight for the US Open final. Many were not surprised that Murray went ahead and fought like a maniac in the post-final, winning the whole thing. But what is a surprise now is how quickly Djokovic is healing up from his Wimbledon loss. Many people say that this is the surest way to beat Djokovic in a three or four-way match at a major tournament such as the US Open.
Djokovic was magnificent in the Wimbledon final, winning the whole thing by beating top seed Stanislas Konecny in straight sets. But after his open final victory over Konecny, it seemed as though the Serb was not really tired at all. Most people say that it was a case of nerves, but Novak Djokovic showed that he was back in form in the spring by winning the Australian Open, his first major title in five years. In the Indian Wells semi-final, Djokovic again had to overcome Peter Wright to reach the quarter-finals. He narrowly missed out on the grand slam final, losing to Roger Federer in the process.
Although Murray outscored Djokovic 2-1 in the open final, the Scot made sure that he put in an incredible performance against Andre Agassi in the semis. Djokovic looked like a man possessed as he won the first two sets at four and forced Murray to take the deciding set in the last set. The world number three had little chance of recovering from the shock of losing the set away but fought back in the last four sets to force a gripping final set. The match was very evenly contested, with Djokovic retaining the lead in the best two out of four matches, but Murray moving on to become the first man to defeat Federer in a grand slam.
Djokovic will be the favorite to win the US Open final, having gone close in the past. However, it is still very hard to call it a no-contest. There are so many good players in this tournament, and there are just too many great players to count them as underdogs. The key for Djokovic will be to not get too emotional when he is up against players like Federer and open-finalist Djokovic in the first round. Let go of the pastels and let go of trying to force a result against these players, for the most part, they have done exactly that this year.