The Figures Of Novak Djokovic’s Dominance Since 2011 - UBITENNIS
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The Figures Of Novak Djokovic’s Dominance Since 2011

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Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023 (poto: twitter @AustralianOpen)

By Ferruccio Roberti

62- The percentage of weeks Djokovic has occupied the top spot of the ATP rankings since July 4th 2011 – the day after his first Wimbledon triumph, when he rocketed to number 1 for the first time in his career – to today. 

Such a figure could have been even more impressive if a shoulder injury hadn’t hindered the second part of 2017 and if he hadn’t missed 2 Majors and 4 Masters 1000 events in 2023 due to his Covid vaccination stance, (and if Wimbledon points hadn’t been stripped).

Other striking figures outline what he has accomplished since July 2011: he has won 19 of the 42 Majors he played (45.2%) and 29 Masters 1000 events out of 75 (38.6%). In this period he has also won 190 of the 245 matches against players ranked in the top 10, which means a stunning 77.6%. If we look at the total amount of matches this percentage rises to 87.2%, 670 wins of 768 played. Of the players who were in the top 20 when Djokovic became No.1, Nadal, Murray, Monfils, Gasquet and Wawrinka are still on the tour, whereas if we consider the current top 20 only Nadal and Carreno Busta were already pro when Djokovic began his reign.    

Each of the three greats, namely Djokovic, Federer and Nadal, has traced their own fantastic astral orbit and making comparisons is quite trivial. Just focusing on the period since Djokovic became No. 1, we can notice that only Nadal, who is one year older than Djokovic, can boast similar, yet less impressive, numbers. Over these twelve years, Rafa has reaped 12 Majors (of the 39 he played, which means 30.77%), 17 Masters 1000s and has occupied the top spot of the rankings for 107 weeks. However, he lost 18 of 31 matches he played against the Serbian and defeated him only twice when not playing on his favourite surface, clay. 

Federer was born almost six years before Djokovic and was about to turn 30 one month after Nole became No. 1. The age gap inevitably has affected the balance of their rivalry. In the period we are analysing, the immense Swiss champion added 4 majors and 11 Masters 1000 to his trophy cabinet, was No. 1 for 25 weeks and won 9 of the 27 matches he played against Djokovic.  

 Djokovic was 35 years, 8 months and 6 days old on January 29th,2023 the day he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final of the Australian Open. But the Serbian has yet to beat the record of the oldest Grand Slam Champion and overtake six players. The record holder is Ken Rosewall, who won the 1972 Australian Open aged 37 years, 1 month and 24 days. He is also still to smash the record as the oldest number 1, held by Roger Federer at 36 years 10 months and 10 days.

What is most impressive about Djokovic is the level of his performances: not only he can rise to stunningly high peaks, which is not uncustomary for champions aged 36, but he is able to maintain consistency. He has won 38 of his last 40 matches and all of his 11 matches against a top 10 player.  

 Part.TitlesFinals.Tot. matches Won Lost % Won  % Sets won% Games won% Tie Breaks
Australian Open18109789891.882.962.363.8
Roland Garros182 4101851684.277.160.255.9
Wimbledon17 7 196861089.678.758.667.2
US Open16 394811386.276.060.061.4
Indian Wells145950984.776.359.769.6
Miami135144786.382.161.683.3
Monte Carlo15 2 48351372.967.058.080.0
Madrid 12 3 0 3930976.969.656.050.0
Roma16  6 74641086.576.059.663.2
Montreal/ Toronto11 44 37784.179.458.073.3
Cincinnati14  52401276.971.156.361.1
Shanghai 4 0 3934587.281.461.471.4
Parigi Bercy 16 6 3 5445983.374.258.370
O2 Arena (ATP Finals)11  46341273.968.356.570.6
Dubai12  150 43786.078.459.869.2

There is not one centre court which hasn’t seen Djokovic lift the trophy. He is the only player in tennis history who has won all the Majors, all the Masters 1000’s and the ATP finals at least twice. His ten Australian Opens, the tournament where he has reaped more titles than any other player, suggest that the Rod Laver Arena is likely the court where he would elect to play the match of his life. The table above shows Djokovic’s stats in the most important tournaments of the tour as well as those where he has played a significant amount of matches, such as Dubai. 

The chart confirms that Djokovic has achieved his best performance record at the Australian Open. Not only is it the tournament he has most often participated in (18 times, just like in Roland Garros), but it’s where he has achieved the highest percentage of matches (91.8%) and sets (82.9) won. His thriving figures on the Church Road courts come as no surprise too, since he is a seven-time Wimbledon winner. Indeed, his excellent stats in Rome, at the Italian Open are slightly more unexpected: it’s his most successful tournament on clay and his fourth best (preceded only by AO, Wimbledon and Shanghai). Anyway, his figures are outstanding all over. Only in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Cincinnati and the ATP Finals he hasn’t won at least 80% of his matches. Not too bad…    

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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World No.32 Davidovich Fokina Replaces Long-Time Coach With Verdasco

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Fernando Verdasco was spotted earlier this week briefly watching Ons Jabeur play at the French Open but his focus this year is on another player.

The former top 10 player has landed a new coaching job after being hired by compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Somebody who he once played a Tour-level doubles match alongside back in 2020. Fokina has opted to stop working with Jorge Aguirre, who has been his mentor since he was a child.

The change comes after what has been a mixed start to the season for Fokina who has only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of 11 tournaments played before the start of Roland Garros. His sole win over a top 20 player occurred at the start of 2024 when he beat Hubert Hurkacz at the United Cup.  

“I will be very brief. I have left it with Jorge (Aguirre) and I start with Verdasco, with whom I have had a good relationship for years. He has not officially retired, but I knew that he was training other players and it was time,” Fokina told reporters after beating Valentin Vacherot in the first round of the French Open.
“It was time to close a stage and start a new one. With his experience, Verdasco can help me a lot to face the games, to assume that pressure and tension of the competition.”

Verdasco has won seven ATP titles during his career and reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Australian Open. At this year’s Madrid Open, he briefly helped Jabeur whose main coach Issam Jellali was unable to attend the tournament. 

Fokina will next play Casper Ruud in Roland Garros.

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Roland Garros 2024: Casper Ruud Explains Geneva Decision, Martin Etcheverry Talks Roland Garros And Djokovic Influence

Two-time finalist Casper Ruud is into the second round with a straight sets win over Felipe Meligeni Alves.

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Casper Ruud has explained the decision behind playing in Geneva last week after he defeated Felipe Meligeni Alves 6-3 6-4 6-3.

The world number seven is into the second round after a straight sets win over the Brazilian qualifier.

Ruud has reached the final the past two occasions here having lost to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in those respective finals.

Now the Norwegian is targeting more success in Paris this year and spoke about his opening round performance after the match, “Yeah, I was honestly very happy. I think it was a good start,” Ruud stated in his press conference.

“I think Felipe is a dangerous player, and obviously I didn’t know him so well. So not easy to know what’s going to come out of his racquet. I think he was firing pretty good serves and forehands.

“Overall, I think it was a pretty high-quality match and happy to be through in straight sets. That’s just what I was kind of hoping and looking for. Yeah, I’m very happy to be through.”

Given Ruud’s history at Roland Garros, there would be no reason to suggest that the Norwegian would need to play his way into form.

However that’s exactly what he did in Geneva the week before Roland Garros as he won the title in Switzerland.

After his opening round match Ruud was asked about why he always plays in Geneva instead of practicing on-site in Paris, “No, I decide based on the fact that I enter the tournament, and with the purpose of going. But of course, if you do super well in Madrid and Rome and you play, let’s say, 10 matches or more within those two weeks or the two tournaments, maybe, depending on how your body feels, it’s kind of easier to skip it,” Ruud explained.

“But that wasn’t the case for me in Madrid and Rome. I played only four matches there. I lost early in Rome. If I didn’t play Geneva I would have had 17 or 18 days since I lost in Rome until starting in Roland Garros, which in my eyes, my feeling, is just a bit too much. For some players, they don’t think it’s too much. They don’t have a problem with it.

“But for me I like going into tournament kind of mode and feeling in the zone when you’re playing an official match. That’s why I like playing. It gives me kind of confidence and match feeling going into a Grand Slam, which is the Grand Slam that I personally feel like I have the most chances to do well in.”

Ruud will aim to continue his good run of form when he takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round.

Martin Etcheverry Speaks On Roland Garros And Djokovic Influence

Finally Tomas Martin Etcheverry defeated Arthur Cazaux in four sets to seal his place in the second round.

The Argentinian is a big Novak Djokovic fan and after the match spoke about his love for Roland Garros and has tipped Djokovic to win this year’s tournament, “I think it’s my favorite tournament since I was a child, and I always want to play here,” Martin Etcheverry explained.

“This is a moment of the year that I want to be here and try to play my best tennis because I want to get a good result here.

“Yeah, is he my idol, and he is the No. 1 of the world. I don’t know, like six years right now. Yeah, I always try to watch him, trying to improve the game. I always trying to saw him. Yeah, I think he’s going to be No. 1 a lot of time. I don’t know if they have a good year this year, but I think it’s Novak Djokovic. Maybe he can win this tournament.”

Martin Etcheverry will play another Frenchman in the form of Arthur Rinderknech in the second round with Ruud being the potential third round opponent.

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Grand Slam Quarter-Finalist Van De Zandschulp Pondering Retirement After French Open Exit

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image via https://x.com/Boticvdz/

Botic van de Zandschulp has revealed he is losing his passion for tennis and is considering retiring from the sport following his exit from the French Open on Monday.

The 29-year-old was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by Fabio Fognini, who eased his way to a 6-1, 6-1, 7-5, victory. It is the second Grand Slam in a row where he has fallen at the first hurdle with the 2022 Wimbledon championships being the last major event where he won back-to-back matches.   

“I don’t look forward to competitions at all anymore,” Zandschulp told Dutch media.
“I have been asking myself more and more lately whether I want to continue.
“You have to do work that you enjoy. Everyone has a bad day every now and then. But if there are too many, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to continue.” 

Zandschulp has been the top-ranked player in his country with his most notable achievement being a run to the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open. The former world No.22 is a two-time runner-up at the Munich Open but is yet to win an ATP Tour title. He has registered a total of six wins over top 10 players, including Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. 

However, recent difficulties on the Tour have left the Dutchman questioning if he wants to continue playing.  

“I like the training. Those are great days. But when I get up in the morning, I no longer look forward to the matches at all.” He commented.

Zandschulp’s remarks could be a reaction to his frustrating loss to Fognini. However, he confirmed that he has been considering retiring for a long time. 

“It was the worst match I have played in my life,” he said. 
“Of course, it is now fresh after the match. That plays a role in my mind, but the thoughts of quitting have been there for a long time. It is not an easy life as a tennis player. You really live your life, play thirty weeks a year and travel from pillar to post.
“If you don’t play, someone else will pass you by (in the rankings). That’s why I now play extra tournaments instead of charging myself at home.”

Zandschulp is currently ranked 102nd in the world and is scheduled to play in the French Open doubles event on Tuesday.

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