What would have happened if Novak Djokovic and Serbia lost in the Davis Cup final?
Novak Djokovic can thank Victor Troicki. The career of the world number one, winner of 17 Grand Slam tournaments, would indeed probably not have been the same if his compatriot had not dominated (even exploded) Michael Llodra in the fifth game of the Davis Cup final between Serbia and France, December 5, 2010. A 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 victory that would transform the career of the native of Belgrade.
“It all probably started during this final in Belgrade. This title was the most incredible and strongest feeling I have ever felt on a tennis court. Individually, I had won two Grand Slams. They can be considered to be my greatest results. But we cannot compare them to the title acquired in the Davis Cup, he explained a few months later when he had successively won the Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Belgrade, Madrid, Rome. It’s just huge. It gave me a lot of positive energy, a real boost. I was even hungrier after this title. The offseason was really short, but I managed to perform very quickly. It shows how crucial this victory is in my career. It’s a turning point, a crossing point, after this crazy weekend, I started an incredible series by playing the best tennis of my life. “
The question therefore deserves to be asked: what would have been if Michael Llodra had beaten Victor Troicki and deprived Novak Djokovic of the Silver Bowl?
Andy Murray, the big winner
Andy Murray would undoubtedly have been the main beneficiary of a less overwhelming domination of the Serbian for 10 years. First of all because no player has lost more often in the final of a Grand Slam tournament than the Scotsman. The native of Glasgow has indeed five losses against the Serbian on a Sunday of Major. And some other defeats like the one conceded in the semi-finals of Roland Garros in 2015 can leave the Briton with regret and may be explained by the stainless mind of the current world number one forged thanks to the Davis Cup.
Federer and Nadal also varnished
If Roger Federer has become the most successful player in Grand Slam history with no less than 20 Major victories since 2003, the Swiss have only four victories since the end of 2010. Novak Djokovic is obviously not for nothing, he who notably beat Roger Federer three times in the Wimbledon final (2014, 2015, 2019). There is also a US Open final and no less than six semi-finals. No doubt the Swiss would have well over 20 Grand Slam trophies if Novak Djokovic hadn’t been so domineering. And it would obviously be the same for Rafael Nadal, who also has four defeats in the final of a major against the Serbian, but also a loss in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros, the native of Belgrade being one of the two only players to have beaten the Spaniard Porte d’Auteuil.
The French are doubly happy
This victory for the Blues in the Davis Cup final would not have been a blessing for French tennis in 2010. The consequences would have been felt throughout the past ten years. Ten years during which the Serbian has 80 victories for two defeats. And there are particularly painful setbacks for French players. As recently as last March, Gaël Monfils lost again to the Serbian after having had three match points, conceding his 17th defeat in 17 matches against the native of Belgrade. An example of the relentless supremacy of Novak Djokovic against the French.
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