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Getting over the hump

  Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2011. Will 2014 be another big year for Nole? Photograph by Christopher Johnson.

Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2011. Will 2014 be another big year for Nole? Photograph by Christopher Johnson.

Lots of people work over the holidays – me, everyone in the retail, food and hospitality industries, emergency workers in any number of fields and tennis players. Tennis players never seem to stop, with locales like Abu Dhabi presumably taking the sting out of what must sometimes be a grind.

On Saturday, Dec. 28, Novak Djokovic won his third straight Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, once again defeating David Ferrer. Rafael Nadal settled for third place. That’s a 24-match win streak for Nole and while you can say all you want about Abu Dhabi being a mere exhibition tune-up for the Australian Open, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, the fact remains that Nole is looking good. Will it portend another Open title? Will the momentum swing back to Rafa? Will Andy, back from surgery, pull a Rafa and go on a tear? And what of Nole’s new coach, Boris Becker, who was a great rival of Andy’s coach, Ivan Lendl? Will one of the other guys like Ferrer finally break through in a major?

It’s all up in the air. But what I really want to know is did the guys take part in Abu Dhabi’s camel beauty contest? Some of those camels looked like they could give them a run for their money.