One of the best achievements in sports - Pete Sampras
The 2011 Djokovic season was no doubt one of the greatest seasons in the history of mens' tennis. His defining achievements in this season are: the piled up of a 41-match long winning streak from the start of the season, winning ten tournaments (three of them Grand Slam events), winning a then record five Masters Series 1000 titles (Indian Wells, Miami, Canada, Madrid and Rome), having a 10-1 record against both Federer and Nadal, and a 70-6 win-loss record! We write here what we the Rovo team thinks are the best matches in this spectacular story.
Djokovic v Nadal (US Open Final)
The Nadal-Djokovic clash in the 2011 US Open final, although lacking a score storyline that accompanies most of the so-called greatest matches of all time (it has rather disappointingly, only have 4 sets), it was as brutal as tennis can get. Pit the best defender of the year and the best attacker of the year of the year and you get a brutal battle of attrition with a combination of both fireworks and grit, that will probably never ever be surpassed by any other in its intensity. It is for such brutality that we believe it is a better fought out one than the supposedly greater Nadal-Djokovic encounters - with the epic clashes at the 2013 Rolland Garros semi-final and the 2012 Australian Open final in mind. Just look at the point in the video below, which could serve as a sum-up of out point!
Djokovic v Federer (French Open Semi Final)
When you pit Federer in one of his best forms (the Rovo team collectively agreed that Federer's quality of play in the 2011 Rolland Garros championship could rank as one of his best ever) and Djokovic in his best, you get nothing but sizzling fireworks! The flashiness of the match aside, the Rovo team believes one main reason which made the match special was Federer's departure from what was then his playing style. Throughout much of 2010 and in the early months of 2011, for some reason Federer adopted a very reactive baseline play which we believe was a tragic waste of his creative potential. In the Rolland Garros match with Djokovic, you could see a much more versatile Federer mixing things up - particularly shots that draw Djokovic in. Although a complete departure from my previous point, below is a defining gem from the match
Djokovic v Murray (Rome Semi Final)
No one (within the Rovo team) would have expected Murray of all players to give Djokovic trouble during such a peak moment of his, but Murray did. In a three-set thriller that could have easily gone Murray's way, Djokovic pulled off one of the most impressive counter-punching offensive plays against he who is conventionally held to be the best counter-puncher in the game! This game may not be flashy, but the level of grit involved - given the grilling long rallies - makes this a must-watch.
Djokovic v Federer (US Open Semi Final)
This was the best semi-final match that I have ever watched in my life so far - Roger So (Rovo Intern)
I don't know about you or your tennis-watching experiences(assuming that you watched the match), but I am willing to bet my money on the fact that you, like all of us at Rovo, were blown away and caught almost literally breathless by the ferociousness of the 2011 US Open semi-final match between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. If the 2011 US Open final was the most epically played-out of all grit matches, this one was the king of all flashy matches. Especially in the first two sets, the short intense rallies where both players were what-you-would-call 'whacking' as opposed to playing, the balls seemed to have lost their fuzzy weighted quality and appeared more like thunderbolts. Zeus (Djokovic) and Poseidon (Federer) was how one of our interns put it. Such flashiness took a less mutual turn in the third and fourth sets when Federer, in what could be deem a fashion characteristic of him, went on the defensive for no other reason but the onset of a choking bout. It is also known for what is probably the most infamous tennis shot in history, played when Federer was two match points up at 5-3 (40-15) in the fifth set (shown in the video below)..
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