Will Novak Djokovic Start Another Dominant Streak at the Paris Masters?

By Jeremy Eckstein
at Internationaled.org

Published: November 2, 2016

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Novak Djokovic comes into the Paris Masters as if he’s slipping into the house after curfew, while Andy Murray has become the ATP's favorite son. Fortunes change like autumn leaves, and bandwagons are filling up behind the streaking Scotsman.

Meanwhile, Djokovic, with the most dominant reign since Kublai Khan, has watched his empire shrink with Murray’s summer conquest that has come to a standoff at Paris. Will this be the Serb’s Waterloo, or will it be the road back to dominance?

"I feel good right now," Djokovic said, per ATP World Tour. "The last couple of months were not easy. Mentally I’ve had to redefine my goals and things that are happening on and off the court and just make sure that I'm in a good place and that I can perform as well as I expect from myself. Everything is clearer, and I’m going in the right direction. I'm just focused right now on Paris.”

Why shouldn’t Djokovic feel confident? Despite a summer swoon, injuries, mental exhaustion and other personal battles, he’s still the king and perhaps the greatest, most well-rounded player who has ever lived. If anyone can turn on the championship switch, it’s the mighty Djokovic, who has proved himself a winner through nearly every conceivable triumph and setback over the past decade.

Five months ago, Djokovic reached his career peak in becoming the first male player to hold the Grand Slam on four different surfaces. (Note: Wimbledon grass and French Open clay are still traditional venues, but the U.S. Open’s faster hard courts and the Australian Open’s Plexicushion—slower hard courts—certainly qualify as separate and distinct playing fields.) King Novak is back in Paris, and perhaps he has come full circle to launch another epic streak.

   

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