With his latest victory at the Shanghai Masters 1000, Novak Djokovic continues his remarkable turnaround in 2018. Djokovic’s journey is much like the paths that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have also taken recently to come back from down but not out to the top of the tennis world.
Why Djokovic was so impressive
Not to take away anything from Nadal and Federer’s own struggles to bounce back, Djokovic’s resurgence is impressive in how quickly it has occurred. In less than 6 months, Djokovic has won Wimbledon, the U.S Open and two Masters 1000’s (Cincinnati and Shanghai). This is a long way from how the year started for the Serbian.
At the Australian Open, Djokovic crashed out in the 4th round “Next Gen” champ Hyeon Chung. Indian Wells and Miami were even worse as he lost in consecutive first-round losses to Taro Daniel and Benoit Pare. Djokovic was losing too easy and his play did not look promising.
The clay court season was a little better with a third-round defeat to Dominic Thiem at Monte Carlo, but then there was a step back at the Barcelona Open when Djokovic exited in the first round thanks to Martin Klizan.
The turning point
The turning point for Djokovic was the Rome Masters where he got all the way to the semi-finals before losing to Nadel. Djokovic was picking up steam which continued into the French Open before he bowed out to Marco Cecchinato in the quarterfinals.
Grass was the cure as Djokovic took the Wimbledon trophy which started the current streak. Djokovic has now overtaken Federer to hold the number two ranking and is only 215 points behind number one Nadal. The Serb looks to be on track to take the top spot before the 2018 season ends.
For how long?
While Djokovic is on the upswing, Nadal is facing another injury timeout and Federer can’t recapture the magic from his victory at the Australian Open earlier in January. The streak in on for Djokovic and the only question now is how long will this last?
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