Happy Birthday Novak! 10 Extraordinary Facts You Need To Know About Djokovic’s Career - UBITENNIS
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Happy Birthday Novak! 10 Extraordinary Facts You Need To Know About Djokovic’s Career

UbiTennis celebrates the birthday of the world No.1 with a look at some of his greatest achievements in the sport.

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Exactly a week after Andy Murray reached the milestone it is Novak Djokovic’s turn to celebrate his 33rd birthday.

The world No.1 has managed to establish himself as one of the sports all-time greats with 79 ATP titles to his name, including 17 grand slams. He has held the top spot on the ATP rankings for 282 weeks and is also a former Davis Cup champion. To mark Djokovic’s birthday, here are 10 facts you may not know about his record-breaking career.

  1. Djokovic is the only man in the Open Era to have won grand slam titles over three different decades. Between 2000-2009 he won his maiden grand slam at the 2008 Australian Open, a further 15 during 2010-2019 and one so far in the 2020s. Historically the only other man to ever achieve this milestone was Ken Rosewall between 1953-1972.
  2.  The most successful grand slam for the Serbian has been the Australian Open which he has won a record eight times. He is only the third man to win the same grand slam eight or more times. The other two are Rafael Nadal with 12 French Open titles and Roger Federer with eight at Wimbledon.
  3. In 2018 Djokovic won the Cincinnati Masters for the first time in his career. By doing so the Serbian became the first and so far only man to have won each of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments at least once since the series was introduced back in 1990. Overall, he has 34 Masters titles to his name to place him second on the all-time list behind Nadal (35). He is also one of only three players to have earned more than 300 wins in those events with his win-loss record currently standing at 355-79.

    Djokovic’s Masters titles
    Indian Wells – 5
    Miami – 6
    Monte Carlo – 2
    Madrid – 3
    Rome – 4
    Rogers Cup – 4
    Cincinnati – 1
    Shanghai – 4
    Paris 5

  4. No other player – male or female – has won more prize money than Djokovic in the history of the sport. His current earnings stand at $143,631,560. $13M more than second place Federer and 50M more than women’s record holder Serena Williams. During 2015 alone, he made a season record earnings of $21,646,145.
  5. He is only the sixth player to record 900 wins on the ATP Tour in history. Djokovic achieved the milestone earlier this year at the Australian Open. Coincidentally, his win-loss record on his 900th victory was identical to rival Nadal with 900-187 (.829 winning rate). That figure is higher than Federer who posted a winning rate of 900-204 on his 900th victory (815 winning rate). So far in his career, Djokovic has won 911 matches.

    The 900 wins club
    1) Jimmy Connors (USA)
    2) Roger Federer (SUI)
    3) Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA)
    4) Rafael Nadal (ESP)
    5) Guillermo Vilas (ARG)
    6) Novak Djokovic (SRB)

  6. Renowned for being a member of the prestigious Big Three there have been numerous arguments for and against which player should be called the Greatest Of All Time. Although Djokovic is the only member of the trio to currently have a winning record against the other two. He leads Nadal 29-26 and Federer 27-23. In grand slam finals alone, he boasts a winning 8-5 record against his two rivals.

    The Big Three head-to-head

    Djokovic Nadal Federer
    Djokovic N/A 29-26 27-23
    Nadal 26-29 N/A 24-16
    Federer 23-27 16-26 N/A
  7. Whilst he doesn’t have the record for most titles won at the end-of-season ATP Finals, he is still the first and only person to have ever won the tournament four years in a row between 2012-2015. During that period he won 19 out of 20 matches played with his only loss being to Federer in 2015 during the round-robin stages. Overall Djokovic has won the ATP Finals five times (also champion in 2008), which is second behind Federer’s record of six trophies.
  8. A three-time Olympian, Djokovic remains the first and only Serbian player to have won an Olympic medal. He achieved the accolade at the 2008 Beijing Games where he defeated James Blake in the bronze medal play-off. Four years later he finished in fourth place after falling in straight sets to Juan Martin del Potro. The same player who knocked him out in the first round of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Djokovic’s 2008 triumph makes him one of the first three Serbian athletes to win an Olympic medal since the country declared independence during the early 1990s.
  9. Against top-10 opposition, the world No.1 has impressively won 212 out of 309 meetings. Working out at a winning rate of 0.686 on the Career Fedex Index. This is a higher rate than both Federer (224-123/0.646) and Nadal (171-92/0.650). Out of those 212 wins, 14 of them were against players ranked No.1 in the world at the time.
  10. In 2016 Djokovic finally won his maiden French Open title in Paris. The triumph rewarded him with the unique honour of being the title holder of all four grand slam tournaments at the same time. Something that has only ever been achieved three times before on the men’s tour by Rod Laver (1962, 1969) and Ron Budge (1937 Wimbledon-1938 US Champs).

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Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

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Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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