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The only way to beat Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic, Feliciano Lopez, Marcos Baghdatis, Stan Wawrinka
Djokovic had won 73 of his 78 matches this season with nine titles and almost $16 million in prize money.

The winner of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships – a tournament featuring Novak Djokovic – was Stan Wawrinka. Shocked? Well fear not, Djokovic was not defeated. He had to retire in his quarterfinal against Lopez with an eye infection, ending his run of reaching 17-straight tournament finals.

On current form only an infection or an allergy was capable of grounding the Serb. He came to Dubai with infected eye, which quickly spread to both, but braved through the first few rounds with contact lenses. However the condition aggravated to such a degree that he could not go on in Dubai, the first time he didn’t reach a tournament final since the 2015 Australian Open.

Out of those 17 finals he has reached, Djokovic has won 13 of them, and is on a current streak of seven-in-a-row since his US Open victory. He was on course to match and then break Ivan Lendl’s record of 18 straight final appearances in 1981-82. In the form that Djokovic is in, he will have more chances of breaking Lendl’s record.

Djokovic is a machine. Since implementing his gluten-free diet, his stamina is beyond-par and his has extraordinary abilities (or shoes) to slide on clay! The last time Djokovic retired from a match was against Juan Martin del Potro in 2011. He has played an astonishing 350 matches since, losing only 38 of them.

What once began as The Big Four is now the Big 1, with Djokovic leaps and bounds ahead of his closest competitors. With the Olympics in Rio this year, the 28-year-old (he’s only 28!) could conceivably win the Calendar Golden Slam. His fellow professionals are unlikely to stop him. Only a virus or Mother Nature might. Well, at least we know he’s human.

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