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End-of-season reports 2011: Novak Djokovic

End-of-season reports 2011: Novak Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic produced one of the most sensational tennis seasons in recent memory in 2011. Sports Mole takes a look at the remarkable run from the world number one.

Quite simply, Novak Djokovic's 2011 was one of the most remarkable tennis seasons in recent memory.

Overall, the 24-year-old Serbian lost only six times on the way to winning ten tournaments, three of which were Grand Slam titles.

Beginning the year as world number two, Djokovic's staggering record in 2011 secured his place at the top of the ATP world rankings come the end of the season.

After disappointment in the Hopman Cup due to the withdrawal of partner Ana Ivanovic, Djokovic powered his way through to the Australian Open final in January with wins against Nicolas Almagro, Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer, amongst others.

Andy Murray was the first of a long line of opponents who would be swept away by the Serbian in tournament finals across the world, as Djokovic won in straight sets 6-4 6-2 6-3.

His hard court season went from strength to strength as he dispatched of Roger Federer in the Dubai Tennis Championships final, Rafael Nadal in the Indian Wells final and Nadal again for the Sony Ericsson Open title. Throughout these three tournaments Djokovic dropped a meagre three sets.

The clay court campaign got off to a dream start as he defeated the dogged David Ferrer to claim the Serbian Open title before he silenced the Spanish crowd by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the Madrid Open.

Another straight-sets victory against Nadal in the final of the Rome Masters proved yet again that he had the measure of the seemingly impenetrable Spaniard.

Djokovic's staggering winning run finally came to an end in the semi-finals of the French Open when he was defeated by Roger Federer in four sets. The loss came as a shock to many, and it was clear just how much it meant to Federer to beat a player six years his junior when roared wildly after match point.

The Serbian withdrew from Queen's in June due to a knee injury, but he returned for Wimbledon in fine form, dropping only four sets on the way to a final triumph against Rafael Nadal, his first SW19 title.

A ninth triumph of the season came in the Rogers Cup with a three-sets win against Mardy Fish.

Injury problems struck again in Cincinatti when Djokovic had to retire in the final against Andy Murray.

A gruelling US Open schedule due to severe weather delays saw the world number one come from two sets down and save match point to beat Roger Federer in the semi-finals before another four-set win against Nadal to claim the Flushing Meadows championship.

Similar to other players in the top 10, Djokovic began to feel fatigued at the end of such a demanding season as a defeat in the semis of the Swiss Indoors by Kei Nishikori was followed by a withdrawal through injury during his last-four encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Paris Open.

Much was expected of Djokovic going into the final event of the season, the ATP World Tour Finals in London. However, a win against Tomas Berdych was soon snuffed out by two defeats against David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic to send the Serb out.

It was something of an anti-climax for a player who produced such superhuman performances in the previous 10 months. However, looking back at Novak Djokovic's 2011, fans can count themselves lucky that they witnessed such a world-beating talent.

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