Monday, May 16, 2011
Eleven moments of Djokovic's '11 season
By Keith Hawkins
Proving that last week in Madrid was no fluke, Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal on clay for the second time in eight days on Sunday.
And Djokovic did it, again, in straight sets.
Djokovic will take this week off before the start of the French Open on May 22 (which also happens to be Djokovic's 24th birthday). His win streak now stands at 39 matches -- including 37-0 in 2011. The last player to beat Djokovic? Roger Federer, in the semifinal round at last season's World Tour Finals.
Here are 11 notable moments to Djokovic's 2011 season:
0 - Wins (in nine matches) Djokovic had against Nadal on clay entering 2011.
1 - The number of players to beat Nadal twice on clay in the same season following Djokovic's wins vs Nadal in Madrid and Rome.
2 - Times in Djokovic's career that he's beaten both Federer and Nadal in back-to-back matches. He beat Federer and Nadal in the semis and final, respectively, earlier this season at Indian Wells. In 2007 at Montreal, Djokovic beat the world's top-three players in consecutive matches: No. 3 Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, No. 2 Nadal in the semis and No. 1 Federer in the final.
3 - Number of clay-court titles, in as many weeks, that Djokovic now has won following Sunday's victory in Rome.
4 - Number of clay-court titles Djokovic had won (since turning pro) from 2003-10.
5 - Times a men's or women's player in the Open era (since 1968) has started a season at least 37-0. Djokovic is the first to do it since Martina Hingis started 37-0 in 1997. The only other men's player with a longer win streak to start a season is John McEnroe, who ran off 42 straight victories at the start of the 1984 season.
6 - If he wins his first-round match at the French Open, Djokovic will be the sixth men's player in the Open Era with a win streak of at least 40 matches. The last player with a streak that long was Federer, who won 41 straight over the course of the 2006-07 seasons.
7 - Combined wins this season over Nadal (4) and Federer (3).
8 - If Djokovic wins his next eight matches (which would mean winning the French Open and then his first match at Queen's Club in June), then he would break Guillermo Vilas' men's Open era record for consecutive victories of 46, set in 1977.
9 - Number of sets he has LOST this season, as well as the number of sets he's won at love (meaning he won the set, 6-0) .
10 - Number of his 37 wins this season that have come against players who, at the time, were ranked in the top five.