Novak Djokovic is Good at Doubles
I’ve been following Novak Djokovic as he teams up with Kevin Anderson in doubles. I first learned of their partnership through Novak’s Instagram. It’s pretty cool that these two players are partnering up to play doubles given the fact that they were the main actors in the Wimbledon final about a month ago. At the Rogers Cup, a master’s level event, they made it to the quarterfinals, falling to Peya/Metkic. However, on their way to the quarters, they beat third best doubles team in the world, Mahut/Herbert.
Another player who we see playing some doubles as of late is Alexander Zverev, who along with his brother Mischa have some decent results as a pair. I’d love to see more top players making the doubles rounds. Unfortunately, given how competitive it is nowadays, and the fact that the tour is packed with so many tournaments, it’s more of an anomaly to see the top singles players out there competing in doubles.
Some time ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see top players play doubles consistently. The one player that comes to mind is John McEnroe. He was not just the number one singles player in the early 80s, but also the number one doubles player alongside Peter Fleming. With Fleming, McEnroe won seven doubles grand slam titles, four Wimbledon’s and three US Opens. Towards the end of his career he won one more US Open with Mark Woodforde and one more Wimbledon with Michael Stich. In addition, he won the 1977 Mixed Doubles Wimbledon Championship with Mary Carillo! This is the same Mary Carillo we all have known to love as a great commentator on Tennis Channel.
So, in reality, McEnroe has won 17 total Grand Slams. What a career! What a player! I recall many commentators throughout the years talk about how doubles helped the pros be aggressive and take to the net more effectively. Unfortunately, the all-around game, which is focused on the ground game, has taken over the modern game. That being said, you still see some great serving and volleying from players like Roger Federer and Feliciano Lopez. Maybe more pros will start serving and volleying again. That would be pretty exciting. One can only hope!