Cut to 2010 and Novak Djokovic was a frustrated figure in spite of being the world number 3 in the ATP rankings. Djoker even admitted that he was contemplating retirement due to his inability to break through the Federer-Nadal duopoly in the game. He repeatedly lost to both the champions.
That would change in the year 2011, when Novak had one of the greatest seasons in men’s tennis. His win-loss ratio that year was an astonishing 70-6. Even more staggering was his record 10 wins to 1 loss against Federer and Nadal.
Since then Djokovic has been the most successful tennis player on the ATP circuit. He has won 14 Grand Slam tournaments since 2011. Djokovic’s 2 great rivals, Federer and Nadal have won 12 slams combined since then.
CHASING THE NOLE SLAM 2.0?
After winning the 2019 Madrid Open title, Novak equaled Rafa Nadal’s Masters 1000 record of 33. He is also the only player to have won all 9 Masters Series events at least once, known as the Golden Masters.
In 2016 after winning Roland Garros and completing the Career Grand Slam, Djokovic also held all 4 majors at the same time. This is a record that none of his two great rivals Federer and Nadal has managed to achieve.
Djokovic now has a chance to repeat this great achievement again. Should he meet and defeat Nadal in Paris, Novak will achieve 3 records at the same time. He would become the 1st player to defeat Rafael Nadal in a Roland Garrros final. This has not been done 11 times when Rafa reached the final.
Novak could also become the 1st male player in the Open Era to win all 4 Grand Slams at least twice. Nadal tried that 4 times in the Australian Open finals but could not succeed. And then the tumultuous record of winning all 4 slams consecutively also awaits the great Serb.
BECOMING THE GOAT of Male Tennis?
The word GOAT of Male tennis in the last decade has been primarily associated with either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has a hard time being a chaser, but now the Serbian superstar is closing in on his two great rivals.
The stats seem to be turning towards him. Novak has a positive win loss record against both Federer and Nadal. He has won 25 and lost 22 matches to Federer. With Nadal his record is 28 wins and 25 losses.
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Djokovic is also closing in on Federer’s weeks at world number 1 record. He has already completed 250 weeks at the top of ATP rankings and is likely to continue the run for many months now.
What happens in Paris a month from now will determine a lot about tennis history and records. Novak has a chance to rewrite the history books but as he admitted after winning Madrid Open that defeating Rafa at Roland Garros on Court Philippe Chatrier is going to be a task of another proportions. Whether he’ll become GOAT of Male Tennis or not is to be seen.