Why Djokovic Is Struggling?
Sports Plus|April 2017

A lot has been written about the split-up between Djokovic and his most successful coach Boris Becker. The duo split towards the end of the last season. There was not bitter blood between them...

Nui Ng

While the tennis world is witnessing the blooms of Roger Federer’s late spring, it is also viewing the barren spell of Novak Djokovic’s title drought. While the fans of the Swiss maestro are over the moon, the Serb maverick’s fans are down to earth and almost out. Djokovic had been doing well till the French Open last year. He won the French Open and in the process achieved the rare honor of holding all the four grand slam titles at that moment. The honor lasted just one month. He lost the Wimbledon final to Andy Murray. It turned out that he lost just more than a grand slam title.

From that point onwards, Djokovic’s fortunes took a free fall. He has lost all the grand slam tournaments he participated since then. This year’s Australian Open was perhaps the nadir – he lost in the second round to Denis Istomin, an obscure Uzbekistani player who was ranked 117th at that time. Overall, he has won just two of the 11 tournaments he played in since his French triumph last year. That does not befit a player of his stature.

What are the reasons for this eclipse? Does he have any psychological or physical problems? Read on. This article tries to shed light on the various reasons that led to a spectacular collapse of a mighty tennis player.

STORY OF A COLLAPSE

Djokovic lost to Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final last year. At that time, it was seen as a welcome change from the sheer dominance of the Serb in the tennis world. In fact, he showed no signs of any weakness in the next tournament he participated, the Canadian Open, couple of weeks after the Wimbledon loss. He won the Canadian Open by outclassing the likes of Tomáš Berdych, Gaël Monfils and Kei Nishikori. It was yet another typical flawless performance.

The first visible signs of the decay, in hindsight, were observed in the Summer Olympics in Brazil. Juan Martin del Potro, coming off from long injury-forced break, ousted him in the first round itself. It was seen at that time as a one-off bad day in the office. Moreover, del Potro in his prime is a mean opponent. Bad luck, more than anything, was the presumed reason for the defeat.

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