rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » The fall of great Novak Djokovic

The fall of great Novak Djokovic

Last updated on: July 26, 2017 20:25 IST

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia talks during a press conference. Photograph: Joe Toth - AELTC Pool/Getty Images.

When Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray to win last year's French Open, the Serb's stranglehold on men's tennis was complete.

He was the first man since Rod Laver to hold all four grand slams simultaneoulsy and was halfway to the calendar-year slam that Australian great Laver achieved in 1969.

Since then, however, it has all gone wrong for the 30-year-old, and on Wednesday he announced that he would not play again this year due to an elbow injury.

Here is a timeline of Djokovic's decline since the last of his 12 Grand Slam titles.

Early Wimbledon exit 2016

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after losing his match against USA's Sam Querrey at Wimbledon in 2016. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters.

Djokovic arrived at Wimbledon fielding questions about the possible calendar-year slam but suffered a third-round exit to American Sam Querrey -- his first loss before the quarter-final of a grand slam since 2009.

Rio Olympics disappointment

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after losing his match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters.

Top seed Djokovic was reduced to tears after suffering a shock first-round loss to Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro -- describing it as one of the toughest losses of his life.

Beaten by Wawrinka in 2016 US Open final

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic reacts after losing a point during the men’s singles final against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka at the US Open. Photograph: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Defending champion Djokovic had enjoyed a lucky run to the final with one walkover and two opponents retiring hurt, but he suffered physically as the burly Swiss beat him in four sets.

Number one ranking under threat from Murray

Djokovic's more than two-year hold on the number one ranking is under threat from Andy Murray. Djokovic loses to Roberto Bautista Agut in the Shanghai semi-finals and then falls to Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals in Paris. Murray goes on an incredible winning run and on Nov.5 is guaranteed taking over as the new world number one.

Year ends with a drubbing

Djokovic could still have wrestled back the year-end number one ranking from Murray at the ATP World Tour Finals but was well-beaten by the British player in the final.

Split with Becker

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic of Serbia with former coach Boris Becker during training. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images .

Djokovic splits with coach, multiple grand slam champion Boris Becker, after three years together in which he won six of his 12 major titles.

Shock early defeat at Australian Open

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Second seed, Serbia's Novak Djokovic was stopped in his attempt to win a record-breaking 7th consecutive Australian Open title in his second round match against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images .

Uzbek journeyman Denis Istomin beat reigning champion Djokovic in the second round of the grand slam he had all but dominated for the past seven years. It was Djokovic's earliest grand slam exit since 2008.

Splits with entire coaching team

Djokovic ditched his entire coaching team, including long-term mentor Marian Vajda, saying he needs to rediscover the spark. Says will work alone.

Lame exit at French Open

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic reacts during his quarter final match against Austria's Dominic Thiem. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters .

Despite having announced he was working with Andre Agassi, Djokovic was crushed by Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals -- losing the third set 6-0 -- sparking outrage from some Serbian fans who accused him of disintegrating.

More Wimbledon woes

Djokovic won the Eastbourne grasscourt title -- only his second of the year -- but retired in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon against Tomas Berdych, citing an elbow injury.

Ranking slide

Djokovic is currently ranked fourth in the world -- his lowest mark since 2009 -- and he is set to slide further.

Cuts season short

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Novak Djokovic forced to retire during Wimbledon. Photograph: Wimbledon/Twitter .

A couple of weeks after his Wimbledon exit, Djokovic announces on Facebook Live that he will not play again in 2017.

Source:
© Copyright 2017 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.