"Against Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, that is the only explanation".
Alexander Zverev of Germany celebrates a point against Alex De Minaur of Australia during they third round of the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters on Day 5 at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 11, 2018 in Shanghai, China.
"Reflecting on what I've been through in the past year, it's quite a phenomenal achievement", said Djokovic, who has knocked Rafael Nadal from the world top spot. I could very well be the underdog in every single match I play; that could be a good thing for me.
Rafael Nadal is now set for a period of recovery until he begins preparations for the 2019 season.
Its once again the time of the year where the creamiest of the cream tennis players defend against each other. He retired halfway through the semifinal against Juan Martin del Petro at the US Open due to pain in his right knee.
The beaten finalist at Melbourne Park in 2017, Nadal saw his Australian Open campaign end in painful fashion this January.
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Djokovic captured the first of his majors in Melbourne in 2008, but it was three years before he added his second.
There are more grand slams and titles in Nadal.
John Isner has had the best season of his career, winning his first Masters title in Miami, making the Wimbledon semi-finals and qualifying for the first time here in London.
Any year in which you win an 11th title at Roland Garros, Barcelona and Monte Carlo is hardly a wasted one, and yet this has been a deeply frustrating year for Nadal.
He should be feeling pretty good about his game right now and would be looking forward to reversing the results of his last year's showing in London where he was unable to win a match.
Despite his successes, Nadal's season was marred by health woes.
However, despite his achievements, Djokovic appears doomed never to be held in the same warm esteem as Federer and Nadal.