2019 ended on a bit of a slump for Novak Djokovic. Following Wimbledon he won in Japan and Paris but had some issues in Cincinnati & Shanghai sandwiched between a retirement to Wawrinka in the fourth round at the US Open.
His season ended surprisingly going out in the round robin of the World Tour Finals in London for the first time since 2011 but that has soon been forgotten about.
The question was, how does Djokovic turn up to 2020?
It’s a joy to watch this guy play tennis. He is a mental genius on a tennis court and what makes for me him the greatest male tennis player is his undoubted belief and ability to dig deep in situations where the crowd may favour the opponent. Situations like these stir him on where a majority would crumble.
The standard he has set is unimaginable. I can’t see a way his level so far this year gets matched. Who is going to reach him?
Novak is back where he belongs as world number one and his path this year has been simply incredible.
He was an integral part of Team Serbia who won the inaugural ATP Cup in Sydney winning all of his matches before winning his 8th Australian Open title leaving January with an umblemished record of 13 matches, 13 wins and 2 titles!
On his route to this incredible run he saw off:
The standards he has set are simply flawless.
You look through that list of players he has beaten so far this year. Obviously the likes of Medvedev, Nadal, Thiem and Federer stand out but he has also shown that high level of intensity in his wins against Monfils, Shapovalov, Raonic and Schwartzman. It has been fantastic.
He continues to go from strength to strength and won’t slow down there.
Planning will already be in place for the next chapter in his season. The next chapter is going to Dubai at the end of February as he plans a slight schedule change.
This was something I looked at in December and felt that Dubai would be an familiar addition despite a recent absence.
Djokovic has won Dubai four times and last time in 2013 but hasn’t been there since 2016. Following Indian Wells and Miami last year he said there would be a re-think on his preparations for the sunshine double.
Novak’s recent run over the last three years at Indian Wells and Miami has been poor having not made it past the fourth round since 2016. Novak has won the sunshine double four times including three years on the bounce in 2014-2016 and will be hoping to be back in the winners circle this year.
Dubai begins on the 24th of February and as world number one will be the top seed there. Other seeded plays as of 3rd of February include:
Roberto Bautista Agut
It has been a season so far of incredible standards and there is no standing still and admiring as his next challenge is always on the mind.