Novak everywhere, suspense nowhere : the 2016 season on the ATP circuit has started off in the same fashion as the previous one. There is Djoko and the rest. And the others, well, they’re going to have a hard time picking up the balls…

Novak everywhere, suspense nowhere : the 2016 season on the ATP circuit has started off in the same fashion as the previous one, with an imperial world number one, at the top of his game. There is Djoko and the rest. And the others, well, they’re going to have a hard time picking up the balls…

 

…after his defeat in the semi-final in Melbourne, Federer said of Djokovic : « He can get one or two sets all of a sudden. Before you can really sometimes do something, you know, 45 minutes, a lot of tennis is being played and it's tough to get back into it… »

 

…indeed, Federer lost the two first sets in only 54 minutes of playing time.

 

…Heinz Günthardt, Steffi Graff’s ex coach, said of him : « Djokovic was too good, he placed every ball only a few centimeters away from the lines, he found every passing shot. And when  Roger tried to play baseline rallies, he was facing a wall. »

 

...take another stat, at random : Djokovic has only lost three sets since January 1st, 2016. In 12 matches.

 

…compare it with 2015 : at the same period, Djokovic had a harder time starting his season with an early defeat against Karlovic in Doha. And the rest is history…

 

…in fact, almost all of his statistics from this season’s start are better than in 2015. A higher percentage of points won on his first serve (77% against 74%), more break points saved (71% against 68%), and more break points won (45% against 34%).

 

…Rafael Nadal, defeated by the Serb in two little sets (6/1 6/2) at the Doha tournament earlier in January said of him : « You don’t expect play against a player who plays at this level. »

 

…Martina Hingis, who watched the world number one’s stretching routine in the dressing room in Melbourne, said of him : « If I stretch like Djokovic, I break a leg. »

 

…Goran Ivanisevic says of him : « I don’t see anybody beating Novak Djokovic, nobody. Only if you make a robot that looks like Novak Djokovic and then Novak plays Novak. Otherwise, it’s no competition. »

 

…still on the quotes, you like this one taken from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

 

 

…you take a look at the three other members of the Big Four’s records against Djokovic in this start of the season : 8 sets won by Djoko against 1 conceded (against Federer).

 

…the record of 17 Grand Slam titles held by the Swiss doesn’t seem so unbreakable anymore. Novak has already won 11 with this new victory in Melbourne.

 

…if everything goes well for him, the Serb could equal Nadal’s Grand Slam record at the next US Open and overtake Federer the year after that at the US Open as well, in 2017.

 

…his opponents only use superlatives.

 

..you felt bad for Andy Murray, who battled admirably in the final in Melbourne to…not even win a set.

 

…Djoko said of himself at the end of last season : « I still feel there is room for improvement. There's always something I feel I can do better. » In fact, it wasn’t flamboyance, just lucidity.

 

By Régis Delanoë