Now, this choice may come as no surprise to many of you, but that does not mean that the world number one’s outstanding start to 2016 is not worth writing about. The Serb has held the number one spot since July 2014 and has never looked like losing his grip at the top of the sport.
Strong Finish In 2015
Since suffering the heartbreak of losing a third French Open final in 2015, Novak Djokovic’s response has resulted in a display of sheer desire and consistency, only suffering three defeats since that memorable final at Roland Garros. Two of those defeats came back-to-back in the Rogers Cup final (Andy Murray) and in the final of Cincinnati (Roger Federer).
His only other defeat came during the group stages in London at the ATP World Tour Finals, where he fell to Federer in straight sets. That result proved to be no more than a blip as he responded with victory over the Swiss in the final to end the year as the undisputed number one.
Looking at the Masters 1000 events, no active player on the ATP Tour younger than Djokovic has captured a Masters crown, he is now 28. That stat is quite remarkable and it demonstrates how far the younger players are away from breaking through to win major titles and highlights his utter dominance at these events. He will be the strong favorite to defend his titles in Indian Wells and Miami in March.
Djokovic Dominant In Doha
Moving into the opening month of 2016, it has been a case of as you were for the Serb. Djokovic took to the deserts of Doha to take on the always entertaining Dustin Brown, an encounter which he won 6-2, 6-2. The world number one backed up that performance with straight set wins over two top 50 opponents Fernando Verdasco and Leonardo Mayer. The expected tough tests on paper followed in the form of Tomas Berdych and Rafael Nadal. Once again the Czech could not trouble the world number one, losing 6-3, 7-6(3) in the semifinals, yet 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal was simply outclassed by the man of the moment, Djokovic triumphant, winning the final for the loss of just three games.
Sweet Sixcess at Melbourne Park
It was another highly successful campaign down under for the Serb and the main reason as to why he has earned the accolade of player of the month. Initially he was not at as his best, producing one of his worst performances since 2010 in his fourth round match against Gilles Simon. The world number one made a staggering 100 unforced errors as he struggled to adjust to the Frenchman soft balling him consistently. Djokovic went on to take that match 6-3, 6-7(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and that acted as the perfect wake up call to elevate his level. Kei Nishikori could not compete with Djokovic in their quarterfinal match-up, falling in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
Djokovic’s semifinal against Federer, their 45th meeting was hotly anticipated, with the Rod Laver Arena crowd believing that they could witness a surprise victory for their favorite Swiss. All hopes were swiftly quashed as the Serb raced into a two sets to love lead after under an hour. It was a quite staggering performance and with a break point opportunity at 2-2 in the third it looked to be all over. The third seed performed admirably, dealing with the adversity to go onto hold serve and take the set. Federer’s moment in the sun on Rod Laver Arena that day ended soon after, with Djokovic securing a 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory to reach yet another Australian Open final.
For the fourth time in the final, he would take on Murray and for the fourth time it was the same outcome, this time securing the title with a straight sets victory. The world number one was too consistent, proving that when it comes to finals down under he is near impossible to beat. The Serb’s one defeat here since 2011 came in the 2014 semifinal where he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in five sets. His 2016 victory saw him equal Roy Emerson’s record of a sixth Australian Open crown, moving him to 11 Grand Slam titles in total, tied with Rod Laver. The form he is in, taking into account that he has already beaten five of the other top ten players after just one month, that figure could easily rise to 14 come the end of the 2016 season.