World no. 1 Novak Djokovic has been the player to beat so far in 2020, gathering energy after a tight battle with Rafael Nadal for the year-end no. 1 spot last fall and producing his best tennis in the new season to leave all the rivals behind.
Djokovic led Serbia towards the title at the inaugural ATP Cup, beating Rafael Nadal in the final and gathering momentum ahead of the Australian Open where he survived stern test from Dominic Thiem in the title match to lift the eighth trophy in Melbourne and become world no.
1 again. Already earning more than 2500 points after just two events, Novak took a well-deserved resat and returned to action in Dubai last week, seeking the first title in the desert since 2013. With no Roger Federer in the draw, Gael Monfils and Stefanos Tsitsipas were the main rivals of the Serb who saved three match points in the second set tie break against the Frenchman to set the final clash against the last year's finalist Tsitsipas.
The Greek youngster lost to Roger Federer in 2019 and couldn't beat another legend on Saturday, with Djokovic forging a 6-3, 6-4 victory for the fifth title at the prestigious ATP 500 event and the 79th ATP title overall.
Feeling great both on and off the court, the Serb will now turn the attention to the first Masters 1000 events of the season in Indian Wells and Miami, winning 11 titles there overall and six in a row between 2014-16. The results were not there in the last three seasons, though, with Djokovic failing to reach the quarter-final in the desert or Florida from five attempts, seeking much deeper runs in the upcoming weeks with many points up for grabs in the battle for the ATP throne against Rafael Nadal.
"I'm trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am; this has been one of the best starts of all the seasons I had in my career and I feel great on the court," said Djokovic. "I've been playing great tennis on the hard court, my most successful and preferred surface.
I'm just grateful that I'm playing and feeling well, winning many matches in a row. I'll try to keep that run going but it's just way too early to speak about how long that run might go and make the calculations.
I try not to think about predictions but focus on what I need to do with myself and my team to thrive every day and play as best as I can in every single match. That's the main focus, with goals coming after that. I've set what my goals are; they're very clear to me and I'm working towards them.
I will try to stay healthy and fit and have possibly great Indian Wells, Miami, something that hasn't happened for the last three years. I'm motivated to do well, with so many points up for grabs there. Historically I've won both tournaments quite a lot of times; I have a couple of weeks now till my first match in Indian Wells, which allows me to recover, rest and get in top shape."