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With 6 titles, Novak Djokovic sets hot 2011 pace

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic Photo Credit: Getty Images

Without regard to playing surface or opponent, No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic is laying down a title-winning pace that heralds a return to the days of Roger Federer’s annual double-digit totals in the mid-2000s.

Djokovic is 32-0 this season, good for six titles (the last two on clay). If the 23-year-old Serbian follows up Sunday’s Madrid win over top-ranked Rafael Nadal with a victory at the Rome Masters this week (and Nadal exits in the quarterfinals or earlier), Djokovic will have not only seventh title, but also the No. 1 ranking.

Djokovic’s current haul is the biggest before the French Open since Federer had six titles in 2005, according to the ATP. Theoretically, Djokovic is within range of the single-year record of 16 titles by Guillermo Vilas in 1977.

“It is my goal to try to go all the way at Roland Garros, and I am definitely setting my form up for that tournament,” Djokovic told reporters.

For some perspective, here's a look at the most prolific title winners on the men’s tour for each season since 2000:

Leading ATP title winners by year

Year        Player(s) (year-end rank)         Titles

2000       Marat Safin (No. 2)                   7
2001       Gustavo Kuerten (No. 2)          6
2002       Lleyton Hewitt (No. 1)/
               Andre Agassi (No. 2)                5 (tie)
2003       Roger Federer (No. 2)              7
2004       Federer (No. 1)                        11
2005       Federer (No. 1)/
               Rafael Nadal (No. 2)               11 (tie)
2006       Federer (No. 1)                       12
2007       Federer (No. 1)                        7
2008       Nadal (No. 1)                           8
2009       Nadal (No. 2)                           5
2010       Nadal (No. 1)                           7
2011*      Novak Djokovic (now No. 2)    6

*Season not complete

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