The beauty of tennis lies in its rivalries. Since time immemorial, we have seen great Tennis players forming epic clashes at the top of the food chain. However, it has been Novak Djokovic who has been dominating the ATP World Tour of late.
The scary part, at least for the rest of the players in the sport, is there seems to be no one who can rise up to the Serbian.
The greatest eras in tennis history is marked by rivalries which were epic. One can consider an example of Bjon Borg vs. John McEnroe during the 80’s. Then came Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi for the major part of 90’s.
The recent epic rivalry that comes to one’s mind is that of between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Since Nadal and Federer gave us some amazing matches, no new tennis superstar has risen who can actually be called a natural rival to Djokovic. Tennis has had its greatest moments when two superstars hit their peak at the same time.
It calls for greater tension during tournaments, more involvement from the supporters and also more heat on the players themselves.
If we look at the current era of tennis players, we can pick only a handful who can cause a little ripple in the ocean of talent Djokovic possess. From Federer himself to Andy Murray, none has shown the resolve and ruthlessness of the Serbian giant which can make them a fierce rival.
Federer has shown regularly that he is on the decline and rarely has the stamina to last the distance in a match. Nadal has passed his time as a major contender, as many critics believe.
Meanwhile, if we look at Murray, the man from Scotland has only looked good when Djokovic’s game has dropped. Murray may win a couple of grand slams down the road against the Serbian, but toppling the current World No. 1 from his position would take a lot more effort.
It has to be noted that only a week differentiates the age of Murray and Djokovic with the latter having more talent and aggressive attitude.
Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland has shown some signs of competing with Djokovic on slow surfaces, but the Swiss is pretty inconsistent in his gameplay. Moreover, the 30-year-old has bloomed pretty late in his career and will fade away before Djokovic does, hence unable to create one epic rivalry.
Djokovic is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players of modern times. But, will his dynasty be built around a “weak-era” as many suggest?
Photo courtesy: Edwin Martinez1/Wikipedia.org