With his US Open victory over Spaniard Rafael Nadal, Serbian tennis sensation Novak Djokovic has not only ensured his place in the history books, but also as one of the game's legends. His victory also means that this era in men's tennis is possibly the greatest ever. When else were the top three players in any era holders of an unbelievable 30 Grand Slam titles?
This year, Djokovic has beaten Nadal six times in a row in finals, including Wimbledon and the US Open. His record this year against Roger Federer, arguably the greatest player of all time, is 4-1, including the epic five-setter at the US Open semi-final.
His win-loss record this year is an incredible 64-2. Only Federer has been able to beat Djokovic this year. The only other "loss" was when he had to retire against Andy Murray at the Cincinnati Open finals at the end of August.
Djokovic's tennis, to state a truism, has been sublime; and if he continues in this form to win the Australian Open in 2012, he will be the first male player since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the Grand Slam. An example of how he has dominated tennis in 2011 can be judged from a quote that Nadal gave an American magazine before the start of the US Open. "Novak Djokovic is in my head.
I know it, you know it, he knows it," Nadal told a New York magazine. Federer may not speak much, but after a four-set loss in the French Open and the five-set defeat on Saturday, Djokovic could well be in his head, too. The superiority of Djokovic's game may haunt the World's No 2 and No 3 players, but it's great news for tennis fans. For, it's been a long time since they have seen the game being taken to such exalted heights.