Novak Djokovic bagged a sixth Australian Open title in Melbourne on Sunday after defeating Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6. The victory pushes the world number one up to 11 Major titles and considering the way the Serb is steamrolling his way through the ATP Tour, it would not be far-fetched to imagine Roger Federer’s record of 17 Majors being under threat, even at this early stage. At 28 he is at the peak of his powers and what counts in his favour is that there is no chief rival to halt his progress.
The Serb first vaulted to the number one ranking in 2011, an outstanding year for him where he closed with a record of 70-6 and three Major titles; Aussie Open, Wimbledon and US Open. After remaining consistent for the following few years, 2015 was nothing short of phenomenal by setting the record for a single season with six Masters 1000 titles, not to mention winning three of the four Majors and losing in the final at Roland Garros.
That last bit of information is critical. Stanislas Wawrinka played arguably the match of his life and was able to best Nole. It currently feels like that is the only way to stop the Serbian superstar. He has to have an off day and you have to be at your absolute best, and even then you may well still be second-best. Murray gave it everything he had in the second and third sets at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday and the top seed still found a way to win.
Djokovic has every shot in the book. His speed around the court is … may I use that word again, please? … phenomenal. He is possibly the greatest defensive player of all time and his return of serve rivals, if not betters the legendary Andre Agassi.
2016 is an opportunity for Djokovic like no other. As previously mentioned the Serb is at the peak of his powers and a Golden Slam is up for grabs. In order to achieve this rarest of feats, he will need to repeat his three Major wins as already done in 2011 and 2015 but he will have to capture Roland Garros and the Olympic gold medal in Rio De Janeiro too. Do not discount this scenario from being realised.
In his career to date, Djokovic has won the ATP World Tour Finals five times (four of which he won consecutively, which is an Open era record). He has won 26 Masters 1000 series titles to boot. Djokovic’s records include winning 31 consecutive Masters 1000 series matches, playing in the finals at all nine Masters 1000 tournaments (shared with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal), and being the only player to win eight of the nine events at least once.
The world number one is the best player on the planet right now and it is hard to see his dominance being challenged by anyone else out there right now. 2016 could be the most golden of golden years for Djoker.