Everyone expected Rafael Nadal to be favored in the 2011 French Open.

Everyone was wrong.

Novak Djokovic has emerged as the best player in the world as he has gone on a 37-match winning streak, and has looked about as dominate as a tennis player can be.

To punctuate the impressive run, Djokovic defeated Nadal in Rome in straight sets, on clay, 6-4, 6-4.

Nadal hadn't been beaten on clay in nearly two years, and the fact that Djokovic was able to do it when they met in Madrid, in Nadal's home country, speaks volumes about Djokovic's ability to rise to the challenge during this streak.

Djokovic had Nadal trying to hold on to 11 break points in the straight-set victory in Rome. Andy Murray was the only player to take a set off of Djokovic in the tournament, and it was the first time that he conceded one in four matches.

If there was one fact that has perhaps weakened this fantastic run by Djokovic it is his tournament victory in Belgrade. As the hometown favorite, he picked up four relatively easy victories over non-Top 25 talent.

But what makes the Serbian star's streak so impressive is that he's beaten Nadal in four finals. In two of them, he beat the Spaniard in straight sets.

A possible showdown with Nadal on clay at Roland Garros is what many are hoping for.

The French Open is right around the corner, and it would take a fantastic effort from someone on the Tour to knock off Djokovic, and Nadal might be the only one to have a chance. Djokovic has been using a devasting forehand to get him this far, and his focus has been excellent. Nadal would need to dig deep to give Djokovic a scare.

The way Djokovic has been playing, a Nadal-Djokovic final might be another one-sided affair.