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Simon Reed

Djokovic proves he's the best

Novak DjokovicFrom what we've seen in the last few weeks at Indian Wells, Novak Djokovic is absolutely the best player in the world.

He produced a couple of really fantastic performances to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal back to back and maintain his unbeaten start to 2011.

It's interesting; he was being completely outclassed by Nadal at the start of the finaland I think that, in times gone by, he might have realised that and given up.

However, what's happened now is that he's got so many wins under his belt that his skin's got a lot thicker - his self-belief has grown stronger.

He gathered himself together to come through that match in a very impressive fashion, bullying the world number one at times in the second and third sets.

Strangely, he didn't play quite as well as he has done at times this year, but his results at Indian Wells speak for themselves - beating Federer and Nadal back to back is a quite tremendous achievement.

Djokovic is a strange individual. It's been a circuitous route for him to get where he is right now, but he looks so much more mature.

If this is not a smoke screen, then I think he's here for the duration, and I can easily see him threatening Nadal at number one.

After his triumph over Nadal in the final, it was interesting to hear Djokovic describe the Spaniard as 'the best [player] ever'.

I know Djokovic has an extraordinary regard for Nadal - enough of a regard to say something like that with real certainty - but I think it's still a bit early to describe him as the greatest ever.

Federer's record speaks for itself, and not only has he got that record - but he's done it in a sublime fashion.

You have to say that, at this moment in time, he's still the best player of all time.

That said, he may not be for much longer if Rafa's got any say in the matter!

I certainly don't think that what Djokovic said was a sleight against Federer, it just shows how much admiration he has for Nadal.

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