Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Djokovic and Williams Are a Cut above the Rest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Djokovic and Williams Are a Cut above the Rest

Article excerpt

LONDON * It's more obvious than ever that Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have really distanced themselves from the rest of the elite in tennis.

Not just because they were the ones who got to dress up and attend the Wimbledon champions' dinner Sunday night.

And not just because their leads at No. 1 in the rankings remained large Monday.

Both Djokovic, who won his third trophy at the All England Club by beating Roger Federer 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3 in the final, and Williams, who won her sixth, are demonstrating that they're capable of taking home the title each and every time they enter a Grand Slam tournament.

Barring an injury or some other unforeseeable event, each will go to the U.S. Open in late August as a big favorite.

Williams, of course, heads to Flushing Meadows seeking to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam, having added a championship on the grass of Wimbledon to those on the hard courts of the Australian Open in January and the red clay of the French Open in June. Only three women and two men in the century-plus of major tennis tournaments have won all four majors in a single season; the last was Steffi Graf in 1988.

Djokovic came oh-so-close to joining her in pursuit of that rare feat. He, too, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, but in between, he made it to the final at the French Open before losing in four sets to Stan Wawrinka, a setback that left the 28-year-old Serb "heartbroken."

"But if there is one thing that I learned in the sport," Djokovic said, "(it) is to recover fast and to leave things behind me and move on."

He is up to nine major titles, one more than such greats of the game as Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl. And he's more than halfway to Federer's 17.

Over the past 20 Grand Slam tournaments, Djokovic has reached 15 finals, winning eight. …

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