Djokovic in his prime and threatening record books

Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:49pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - With Novak Djokovic's 10th grand slam title secured and the year-end number one ranking already in the bag, his stranglehold on men's tennis looks unshakeable and records beckon.

The 28-year-old Serb's initial slow accumulation of major silverware after his breakthrough at the 2008 Australian Open has accelerated to such an extent that talk of him surpassing the likes of Bjorn Borg, Rafa Nadal and even Roger Federer is no longer fanciful.

Djokovic's four-set defeat of 17-times major champion Federer in a spellbinding U.S. Open final on Sunday was achieved despite a relentless Federer onslaught and with virtually the whole New York crowd roaring every winner from the Swiss maestro.

At times, Djokovic appeared the loneliest man in the world but he soaked up the pressure, sucked in the night air, and showed why beating him on the biggest of stages is almost mission impossible.

Rarely in his career can the 34-year-old Federer have hit the ball with more ferocity, yet delivering the knockout blow to a player whose ability to turn tendon-stretching defense into clinical attack proved tantalizingly out of reach.

ATP Tour chief Chris Kermode, blessed with a golden men's era that just keeps giving, described Djokovic's season as "awe inspiring" and few would argue.

But for a stupendous display by Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in this year's French Open final, the Serb would now be celebrating a calendar year grand slam that has proved beyond the greatest players of the modern era.

The way he bounced back from heartbreak in Paris, first at Wimbledon and then in New York, suggests he could complete the fabled 'slam' next year.   Continued...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the champion's trophy in Central Park a day after winning the U.S. Open Championships men's tennis tournament in New York, September 14, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri