Djokovic and Kerber turn back the clock
It looks like it’s 2016 all over again. That was the year both Kerber and Djokovic took home two Grand Slams and were both at the top of the tennis world. In 2016, Djokovic won both the Australian Open and the French Open, while Kerber won both the Australian and the US Open. Kerber finished the year number one, while Djokovic finished number two. Andy Murray would finish the year strong and take the number one ranking.
Nevertheless, 2016 seemed to be a year where both Kerber and Djokovic were solidifying their status as great Champions. On the men’s side, it seemed as though Federer and Nadal were in obvious decline. On the women’s side, an aging Serena and an absent Sharapova allowed for Kerber to take hold. It was not to be. Djokovic fizzled by the end of 2016, and Kerber followed shortly thereafter.
Kerber seemed to have struggled with the pressure of being the number one player in the world. She finished a dismal 21 in the world in 2017 and failed to break the quarters in any Grand Slam, routinely losing in early rounds. That’s all behind her now. She stormed into the Australian Open, losing to a tough Halep in the semis in what has to be the best match I’ve seen all year. She followed that up with a quarterfinal showing at the French Open, and finally a win at Wimbledon. You have to bet on Kerber now, and look for her to possibly finish number one in the world again this year. Who stands in her way? A resurgent Serena Williams and a pesky Simona Halep. We shall see how she absorbs the pressure this time around.
Djokovic had a similar story from a results perspective – all dismal for a good six to ten months. The excuse for doing so bad was that he was playing with a bum elbow. He subsequently had surgery on said elbow and recovery was a sad state of affairs. Djokovic was routinely losing to journeymen and no names for the first half of the year. He had a couple of decent results during the clay court season, but nothing Djokovic of old.
That is of course until he stepped onto the green grass of Wimbledon and routinely breezed through most of his matches, then faced a tough five setter against Nadal, and finally pick pocketed Anderson for his fourth Wimbledon title.
Conclusion: Djokovic and Kerber are back!