Monday, April 4, 2011

The Two Impostors

Here is a thought. What is going to happen to Novak Djokovic once his streak is broken?

The streak is on at the most is incredible. It's one of the best streaks I have ever, ever seen, and there is no mistaking it. But one day, it is going to end. Someone - it might be a Rafa or a Roger, or it might be some random ranked #82 who gets lucky - is going to beat Djokovic one day. (Unless they don't, in which case, hot damn, but somehow I think that's a little unlikely). And what will happen then?

Amazing as this current streak is, I think it might actually be what happens to Djokovic post-streak that will really test his mettle. Rafa and Roger have both had amazing streaks which have eventually been broken - Rafa and his 80-odd wins on clay, Roger and his Slam semis and the Djokovic-esque 25-odd wins strung together - and they have come out the other side no different, willing to start from win #1 again and keep going. They are big damn champions, and no mistake.

...and yet it would be so easy to lose that once, see your streak ended, and then slip into a total funk.

I suspect that Djokovic will probably be just fine after his streak ends. I don't know if he'll ever put together another streak as good - because hell, that would be really, really hard - but even if he takes a couple of losses in post-streak hangover, I'm sure he'll be okay. But it's food for thought. We can only really appreciate streaks when they're broken. And the measure of the man is only really taken when he struggles back from adversity. If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same...

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