It’s starting to heat up in Miami, and that’s not just with the weather – world number 1 Novak Djokovic is on fire!
He’s through to the fourth round to face Tommy Haas after a 6-2 6-4 win over Somdev Devvarman. In his third round win, the Serb produced some fine tennis – stating exactly why he’s in the rankings position he’s in.
Firstly, I have to talk up his amazing and very effective serve – which is a huge point winner. The 6 time grand slam champion hits his serve tightly close to the line with a pinch of slice, also hitting it incredibly short – making it a diffuclt for anybody to get a decent return. Those that do manage to return the world class serve are then drawn so far out of the court that their return presents Novak for an easy opportunity to hit the ball into the available space on the court, that the opponent simply can’t get to in time due to being drawn out of the court from the serve.
The 25 year old’s return of serve is also very good. He returns the ball into the very deep areas of court to immeadiatly shift pressure on his competitor to aid his instinct of gaining control of the rally, putting them in the defence of the rally. He does all the basics every knows a lot better and inputs his intelligence of the game to make it a whole lot better.
The way Novak dictates rallies is something that certainly hasn’t gone unoticed. The defending champion in Miami has all the attributes to control a rally, even when he starts off on the back foot as the defending player. To do it you have to be immensly quick and have a ‘never say die’ attitude, even on the points you’re odds-on likely to be outwitted. During intense rallies, the Serb’s ability to change direction helps, along with posessing the precision and awareness to find and take advantage of the small openings some players can’t even dream of winning through. One thing that must be pointed out about Djokovic is his felxibility, which means he can get down low, move his body sharply and rise high with his movement – when needed. One important part of the rally is taking the ball early, allowing the player on the opposing side of the net little time to admire their shot before an attempt to return is recquired. Often his shots are perfectly placed down the line, often disguised but usually with the power that can beat anyone.
Djokovic is certainly the man that nobody wants to face at the moment. Despite his shock exit in Indian Wells to Juan Martin del Potro, who fantastically matched Novak on all the points I’ve just made, the quick pace setter for 2013 is back on the hunt for more ranking points. Based on what we’ve seen of Djokovic recently we believe it’ll take something very special to knock him off his perch during the year.