Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Admiring Novak Djokovic's Last 40 Match Points

Novak Djokovic has won 38 straight tennis matches in the 2011 season, and he hasn't lost in 40 outings, dating back to November's Davis Cup. His dominance has been nearly absolute; in seven months, he's dropped just eight sets, and that includes seven wins against either Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. But even with about 70 hours of playing time to look back on, Djokovic's ability is best viewed on each match point, which is always the most simply satisfying moment of tennis.


Djokovic's suspense has swelled as the wins have piled up (you'll notice how that, late in the streak, the announcers begin to declare his win number as if they're the first to have thought of it, and as if this is the last chance to say it), and at Roland Garros the commentators will surely do their best to remind us, every few points, What Exactly Is At Stake Here. As some lopsided matches ended Djokovic looked merely reassured that he is still untouchable, maybe slightly piqued that he had to sit through the whole charade; in others (see, at about 3:40 in the video, his brilliant cross-court forehand winner to Nadal's right to take the Sony Ericsson Open) he appears utterly disbelieving, like he just then realized what he's in the process of doing.

With Djokovic, to answer the question posed at the end of the video here, we have no idea what it will take to beat him in 2011, and that's probably because we only know what it looks like when he wins.