Novak Djokovic Admits His Current 2015 Season Is Better Than 2011

by Tom Gainey | October 5th, 2015, 10:21 am

Novak Djokovic has ended the debate, at least in his mind. This weekend in Beijing, the World No. 1 admitted he thinks he’s had a better season this year than 2011 when he went on an incredible 2011.

“For many reasons,” Djokovic said. “I just feel like as a more complete person and a player. I’m a father and a husband. Just different circumstances that happen in my life in last couple of years that have helped me to enjoy all the success that I have on the tennis court even more.

“So 2011 was absolutely an incredible year. But I feel this year I’m enjoying it even more because I’m more, I would say, fulfilled, more complete, more mature as a person and a player.”

This year, Djokovic is 63-5 (21-4 v Top 10) with 7 titles (in 11 finals) including three Grand Slams.

In 2011, Djokovic finished 70-6 (21-4 v Top 10) with 10 titles (in 11 finals) also with three Slams.

Djokovic continues his 2015 season this week in Beijing where he has won five times and is undefeated at the event at 24-0.

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12 Comments for Novak Djokovic Admits His Current 2015 Season Is Better Than 2011

SG1 Says:

I guess Novak looks at the big picture when making this statement. He probably feels happier and more settled into his life right now and this makes the year feel better for him. From a purely tennis perspective, I happen to believe that the Novak of 2011 was quite a bit better than the Novak of today. It’s pretty scary to think that a guy is so good that he can actually not play quite as well and still come away with 3 slams (and a final in the other). I don’t know if Novak catches Roger but he’s definitely played in a period that was tougher than Roger’s and I think this has to count for something. And like Roger, he’s made tweaks and added wrinkles to his game. He’s an all-time great (top 6 or 7). There’s still time for him to get into GOAT debate. Rafa & Pete’s 14 slams are definitely within reach for him.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Its all speculation at this point,and i said it some weeks ago,its rather disrespectful to the rest of the all time greats,and whos to say Rafa and Roger wont add to their numbers yet?….

Giles Says:

Ahhh, if only the competition was tuffer!! He’s really milking the present situation.

jalep Says:

Novak isn’t saying that he is “better”, he is explaining that he’s able to “enjoy” 2015 more than 2011 — he’s older, more settled, in a better place for perspective and using his experience. I don’t see him as physically better than 2011 but he’s able to appreciate and enjoy the success of 2015 more than 2011. Both years, 2011 and 2015 are incredible. At 28, another 2 or 3 years like 2011 and 2015 isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

Ben Pronin Says:

If Djokovic wins his next 4 events, then results-wise this year will be better than 2011.

Game-wise, it’s hard to say. In 2011 he looked, and for a long time was, unbeatable. He was ridiculous from the ground. But he’s way better at net today and I think his serve is better, too. I think he’s a little more cautious as compared to 2011. In 2011 he was hitting the lines at an alarming rate. He plays a bit safer which is why I think he looks worse.

All in all, it’s hard to complain about Djokovic’s career when we’re comparing which 3-slam season was better. If only everyone had such problems.

Humble Rafa Says:

Good memories..At one point, I was also going for 17…

chris ford1 Says:

Pronin notes that Djokovic doesn’t try to paint the lines anymore, or perhaps can’t. To me, the scary thought is he CAN paint the lines but has opted for a higher percentage approach he can still win with, with lower risk.
Maybe the next thing will be to realize that if Stan is killing him by taking those 2011 style risks, or Roger is after him and not letting him hit 3-5 angle shots to get in dominant court position on fast hardcourts.
For everyone else it seems, the lower risk tennis means he wins.
Novak is a self-improvement machine. He was a top student way back when, and coaches have depicted him as eager to learn, a fine student with them as well. Very bright. Not that most of his rivals are dumb, many are pretty smart, but Djokovic seems driven on top of that.

peter Says:

2015 is already a better year results wise, given he got a slam final at RG instead of a semi final. Also he is injury free, unlike the end of 2011. It is very unlikely that he will lose in WTF group stage (2011) again.

Tennis wise 2011 is better, no doubt. 2015 competition is just not the same as 2011. While Djokovic maintained a high level of tennis throughout 2011~2015, the same could not be said of the other big 4.

Nole is winner more not because he improved, but his major competitors are declining. He is outlasting everybody in big 4.

Wog Boy Says:

Nole is definitely more complete player in 2015 than 2011. He worked hard on his game and he keeps improving his game and it is irrelevant whether competion is weaker or not, what matters is that Nole is improving his game constantly and I will agree with jalep that he is “joy” he’s older, more settled, in a better place for perspective and using his experience”, and as a man, husband and father his life is more fulfilled, he can’t be at the better place atm.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ I don’t have a clue where that “joy” word came from, probably didn’t do copy/paste properly.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Bens right im sure every other player on tour would kill to have such problems….

jane Says:

definitely some aspects of nole’s tennis are better in 2015: his second serve and his net play, for example. he looks to end points more quickly, whereas in 2011 he was extending points more often (“one more ball”). i think this is becker’s influence.

the competition factor is debatable.

you could argue 2013 was good for rafa, too, because fed had a back injury the entire year, murray had a back issue and didn’t even play the french open because of that, putting all of his resources into winning wimbledon (he basically went away for the rest of the year after losing “early” at the USO), and novak was lacking confidence and thus did not have an attacking perspective, which he got back only towards the end of 2013 when he hired becker. in addition, stan was not “STAN”.

this year, murray was back to his near-best again after struggling in 2013-2014; he reached a slam final and 2 semis, won a masters, etc. fed was also back to his “competitive” best, reaching 2 consecutive slam finals and even coming up with new plays (sabr, etc), and stan also played very well this year, to win his second slam and go deep at all the slams. only rafa was struggling throughout this season of the “top” guys/slam winners.

in 2011, both fed and rafa were playing extremely well! they were ranked #1 and 2 at the beginning of the year, so novak had to climb over both of those titans. andy was great too, but it was in 2012, with lendl, that he really came into his own. perhaps you could argue the field was a little deeper in 2011, with tsonga playing well, soderling still there, and delpo playing (or wait, was he?? might’ve been 2012).

the point is, you can make a lot of cases for competition or lack thereof and spin them how you want.

what matters is novak’s own game, which i think has improved overall and continues to evolve.

there are two areas that suffered a bit at times this season: down-the-line backhands haven’t been as consistent as 2011, and break point conversion wasn’t always as it should’ve been at times this season.

but generally-speaking i think his game is stronger and more well-rounded.

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