Roger Federer is the greatest male tennis player of all time (20 titles). He is followed closely by his nemesis Rafael Nadal (17 titles). In comparison Novak Djokovic has just 13 titles. But he is just 31 years old and could catch up.
However here is a list of things where Djoko has already outdone Fed-Rafa…
Federer has never beaten Nadal in any French Open match. The two never met in a US Open. But what of Djokovic? He has beaten Federer in at least one match in the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Djoko beat Nadal in three straight final line-ups: 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open. Then later he beat Nadal in the quarters of the 2015 French Open. That’s 4/4 Grand Slams for 2/2 players!
2. Dominates the trivalry in terms of one-on-ones.
Federer’s nemesis is Nadal. The two have met 38 times and Nadal leads a whopping 23-18. However it is only Djoko who has the better of every rival he has played with. Djoko and Nadal have met 52 times, which is an Open era record and Djoko leads 27-25. With the other great, Djoko leads Federer 23-22, Murray 25-11, Stan Wawrinka 29-5 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 16-6.
Rod Laver was a legend who did a calendar Grand Slam first as an amateur in 1962, then as a professional in 1969. However after that for decades, nobody managed to win all four at a stretch. Andre Agassi became the first to do a career Grand Slam in 1999. He was emulated by Federer in 2009 and Nadal a year later.
Djoko won the following titles back to back: 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 US Open, 2016 Australian Open and 2016 Wimbledon. In the process he became the first person since 1969 Laver to hold all four Grand Slam titles. That’s after a good 47 years!
4. Highest ATP ranking points ever.
While Nadal owns the French Open and Federer has dominated tennis for the longest time, Djoko has these short bursts where he looks near invincible like the time he won four straight Grand Slams. The same is with the ATP ranking points. He is the only person in history to have crossed ATP ranking points of 16000 (if you win each and every tournament you play in a year, then you can go to 21000).
To put things in perspective, when Djoko had 16785, Andy Murray had 8750, Federer had 8430 and Nadal 4330. One can’t think of such a short-term dominance in the history of the trivalry and very few other times in men’s tennis.
There was a race between the three to get $100 million in professional tennis earnings and you never knew who would get there first. Finally it was a race between Federer and Djoko and the latter prevailed in that. Since then Federer has gone ahead, but with age on his side, it’s highly probably that Djoko will have the most among the three when they finally retire. In 2015 he became the only man to cross $20 million prize money in a year. Nadal’s highest is $15+ million and Federer’s $13+ million.