McEnroe applauds Novak’s historic year


Originally published on: 12/12/11 17:23

The Serb’s 64-2 record post US Open had many declaring his year the greatest ever but when McEnroe, who finished the 1984 season with an 84-3 record, echoed these views, no one argued.  

But since the end of the hard-court season in the US, Djokovic has suffered injuries to his back and shoulder, retiring from his match with Del Potro in Davis Cup before losing to Kei Nishikori in Basel, and David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic at the World Tour Finals in London.

“He cooled off,” McEnroe told tennishead. “He sort of tapped out, I don’t know whether it was mentally or physically. There is no question about the year he had, but it does sort of, I suppose, bring a little bit of doubt at the end.”

Djokovic, who kick started the year on a 41-match winning streak (43 if you include last year’s Davis Cup), became the first person since Ivan Lendl in 1985 to have 20-plus wins over top 10 opponents in a season, a big jump from 2010 when he managed just four wins against top 10 foes.

The numbers are extraordinary and Djokovic dominated all the major statistics during an incredible season that saw him win three Grand Slam titles. He finished world No.1, over 4,000 points clear of his closest rival, Rafael Nadal, and he pocketed a cool $12,619,803.

“If you lose three of your last four matches after having won 64 of your first 66, or whatever it was, no one is going to take away the majors that he won,” McEnroe added.

“I ended the year losing a match in Davis Cup in December but I didn’t lose at the Masters, but it’s certainly a different time and it is more difficult to dominate the way he did.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.