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Can Djokovic Master the 1000 clean sweep?

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April 21, 2015


The week can't start without a nod towards Novak Djokovic, who created history on the weekend by winning his third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event on the bounce in 2015. Throw in the Australian Open grand slam title to his haul this year and it would appear that the Serbian has moved on to another level, that or the rest of the challenging pack isn't up to scratch. Sadly for the game, it is the latter, because neither Nadal, Federer or even Murray look capable of beating him at the moment, so the rest of the ATP Tour combatants, like Sunday's losing Monte Carlo finalist Tomas Berdych, have little hope.

So let's look at this and the rest of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events left for the season and ponder and pontificate over whether or not he could go on to do something even more remarkable and make a clean sweep of the lot in a single season. Indian Wells is in the bag, beating Murray and Federer in the tournament. Miami was won against Andy Murray in the final and Monte Carlo saw Djokovic breeze past the master of clay himself Rafael Nadal. Just who, is going to stop him?

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid

The next ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event is the Madrid Open at the beginning of may. It goes straight into a double header with the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, but that doesn't sound like a tough task considering that Djokovic won Indian Wells and Miami back to back. However, his track record in Miami isn't brilliant and this is going to be a test for him. He has won the title just once (2011 v Nadal) and hasn't been past the quarter finals in his last two appearances. He hasn't played there for the last two season’s though.

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome

Better track record for Djokovic in Rome. He will head back to the Italian capital as defending champion this season after muscling his way past Rafael Nadal in last season's final, coming back from losing the opening set. He has won the title three times before, twice against Nadal, once against Stan Wawrinka. If Madrid is the bag, this should follow.

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada

Later in the year the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 action picks up against in Canada, as they switch back to Montreal this season. Two of his three titles in this event has come in Montreal. Hasn’t gotten going at the last two events though with a semi final loss against Nadal in 2013 and a round of sixteen exit against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year. The way he is going now, tough to see any such slip ups.

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati

It's another double header in the Masters 1000 events and like Canada, Djokovic has bombed a little in his last two outings in Ohio. This is the one that he is missing to complete a career slam of the Masters 1000 events. He has been to the final of the event four times before losing twice each against Federer and Murray. The thing about the season is that the longer it goes on, the more tests of endurance players will face. Federer's likely to be less of a threat the longer the season goes on, and you wouldn’t back against Djokovic in terms of fitness and stamina over anyone else. Usually at this stage of the season, his biggest challenger is Murray.

ATP World Tour Masters 10000 Shanghai

Two Shanghai titles for Djokovic it has been down the line, his most recent in 2013 when he squeezed out Juan Martin Del Potro for the title. That followed a win over Murray the year before, be he lost out, somewhat surprisingly to Roger Federer in last season's semi finals. His last two defeats in Shanghai have been at the hands of the Fed Express.

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris

The final Masters 1000 event of the year and Djokovic heads to the City of Lights as defending champion after making light work of Milos Raonic in last season's final, and beating Murray in the quarter finals. That two Paris titles in a row for him now and should have this one in his pocket so late into the season.

Remarkable to think that Djokovic could surpass Rafael Nadal's record of 27 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles this season. But what is the chance of it really happening? What chance of Djokovic winning the remaining six Masters 1000 titles this season?

As great as Djokovic is, as head and shoulders above the competition he is, it is still so unlikely that you wouldn't throw money at him pulling it off. It's not even about form, you have to think about luck factor in games (it only takes on off day) as well as injuries, fatigue and natural peaks and troughs in form itself.

The rate that Djokovic is going, he will pass Nadal at some point. Will it be this year? No. You could realistically pencil him for another couple, maybe even taking a split of the remaining half dozen this year, but not a clean sweep.

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