Novak Djokovic made himself the leading player on the ATP Tour in 2011, overpowering Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and leaving all the opponents far behind. Novak claimed ten ATP titles in 2011 and conquered three Majors and five Masters 1000 events to enter the history books and become a proud owner of one of the Open era best seasons.
Djokovic lost only two matches by the US Open, and he slowed down a bit in the rest of the year due to a back injury. Making a strong return in 2012, Novak secured the third Australian Open title following that epic victory over Rafael Nadal in five hours and 53 minutes.
Novak Djokovic made a winning start in Dubai 2012.
Returning to the court four weeks later in Dubai, the Serb earned the 16th straight victory at this event with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Cedric-Marcel Stebe in an hour and 29 minutes.
Djokovic defended all three break chances and grabbed 44% of the return points to deliver three breaks from nine opportunities and control the scoreboard. Novak secured the opening set with an early break and clinched five straight games from 2-1 down in the second to advance into the last 16.
After the match, Novak spoke about his results in the past 13 months and felt proud about everything he had achieved during that period. "Cedric-Marcel played well; I was impressed with his game, especially in the opening set.
He was hanging in there, and I served well and saved those break points when I needed to. It could have gone a different way because he was returning well and played aggressive tennis from the baseline. He stepped on the court wanting to beat me, and that's the right attitude.
I did not make too many unforced errors, and my serve was there to help me. After not playing for four weeks, I'm happy with my level. I'm enjoying my new position as world no. 1 and everything I have achieved, especially in the last year end a half.
I'm proud of my results, and they came for a reason, as I have been working hard. It's nice stepping out on the court and seeing a packed stadium with much support. I'm very flattered," Novak Djokovic said.