Serbian pride fuels Novak Djokovic's unstoppable ascent to world summit[*][*] [*][CENTER] It's no coincidence that Novak Djokovic's 34-match winning streak started with Serbia's victory in the Davis Cup final[*][*] [*]
[*]What is remarkable about Novak Djokovic's 34-match winning streak is that nobody is prepared to say when it may end. Certainly he is the player to beat in the Rome Masters this week (on Andy Murray's side of the draw) but, after his landmark win over Rafael Nadal in the Madrid final, Roland Garros and even Wimbledon are not beyond his reach – nor is Nadal's No1 world ranking.
[*]Djokovic will rule the world if he wins the Internazionali BNL d'Italia here and the defending champion, Nadal, does not reach the semis, an unlikely but not outlandish scenario. Since February 2004, no one has unseated Nadal or Roger Federer at the top of the rankings, but both have looked increasingly vulnerable against the Serb. He is on some roll.
[*]It is a journey that started in a special place and on a memorable day three weeks before Christmas. The Belgrade Arena, only seven years old but 20 years in the making, is the grand theatre of Serbia's troubled modern history. Part-finished, it was the scene of Slobodan Milosevic's last public speech before a national uprising led to his expulsion as president of the old Yugoslavia in 2000, but more happily it is where the young nation of Serbia won its first Davis Cup in December.
[*]Djokovic, shaven headed like his team-mates, was at the heart of that 3-2 victory over France and his voice cracked as he told 16,000 fans: "It's historic. This is our biggest success as individuals, as a team, as a country. We are not even aware of what we have done. This is the best moment of my career and probably of my nation. This is like winning the World Cup for us."