Where Djoko scored over Federer-Nadal (and he could still go further)

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…

Djokovic1. Djoko has beaten both Federer and Nadal in all 4 Grand Slams.

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.

Tennis balljpg3. Held all four Grand Slams simultaneously.

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.

Dollars5. Became the first to get $100 million prize money.

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.

Djokovic and the world’s greatest trivalry

There is no doubt that Roger Federer is currently the greatest male tennis player of all time. You simply can’t argue with 17 Grand Slam titles.

But then Rafael Nadal has 14 titles and had it not been for his injuries, he could well have gone past Federer. More importantly, when it comes to the Nadal-Federer rivalry, Nadal leatennis-2086224_640ds a whopping 23–11. That’s embarrassing for Federer.

Then there’s World Number 1 Novak Djokovic. He currently holds all four singles Grand Slams simultaneously. The last time such a thing happened was way back in 1969, a feat achieved by Rod Laver. Imagine doing that after a whopping 47 years!

More importantly, head to head Djoko leads Fed 23–22. Djoko totally dominates Fed winning 6/8 of their last encounters including the Wimbledon and US Open 2015 finals. The ageless Fed can answer every question except the Djoko one.

Then with Rafa, Djoko leads 26–23 and he currently ruthlessly dominates winning 11/12 of their last encounters. So he is the present leader of the greatest trivalry of all time!

Djoko also became the first person in the history of tennis to bag $100 million in prize money with his French Open 2016 victory.

Djokovic owned 2015 by winning 3/4 Grand Slams (a repeat of 2011). He ended the year on a real high winning an unprecedented fourth straight ATP World Tour Final by thrashing all-time Federer 6–3, 6–4. French Open 2016 was Djokovic’s 12th Grand Slam. Djoko can finally go past Rafa’s tally and touch Fed.

In the world of men’s singles Grand Slam tennis played in the Open Era (from 1968 onwards), Federer has the most Wimbledon (7) and US Open (5) titles ever. Nadal has the most French Opens (9). Djokovic has the most Australian Opens (6).

(While Nadal and Djokovic are outright leaders, Federer shares his records with Americans Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.)

Once Agassi said that if the “freak” Nadal hadn’t been there, then Federer would have won many more titles; but that applies to all three and not just Federer. Anyone without the other two would have steamrolled his opponents in the current era.

Federer burst into the scene by winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2004. From that tournament onwards, the three greats have won a whopping 43 of the 52 odd men’s Grand Slams played or about 80%. What’s more, from the French Open 2005 to Wimbledon 2014, at least one of them has featured in a Grand Slam final.

When it comes to the World Number 1 rankings, while Federer dominated in the initial stages of his career, in the last 3 odd years it has been by and large Djokovic.

Apart from the French Open, another thing Djokovic is behind is winning an Olympic Gold medal (both Federer and Nadal have it). He has a bronze and Rio 2016 may be his last chance.

All three are from Europe and ended the dominance of USA (think Sampras and Agassi) and together they have won in the region of 2300 matches for about 200 tournament titles.

From 2013–14 Djokovic had lost in three Grand Slam finals and had started doubting himself. But after getting the German great Boris Becker (who has 6 Grand Slam titles along with an Olympic Gold medal), his fortunes seem to have turned.

When Croatian Marin Čilić beat Japanese Kei Nishikori in the final of the US Open of 2014, a lot of commentators predicted a new era without the Big 3.

Čilić and Nishikori failed to do anything great after that. Even Andy Murray has been lacklustre. Nadal has simply nosedived and Fed has been stellar, but he has fumbled against Djoko.

Djoko is currently the last man standing.

2016 will be an interesting year for Djoko.

What if Djoko wins the Wimbledon and US Open this year? He would get a calendar Grand Slam too!

What if he wins his first Olympic Gold?

There is an outside chance that by the end of 2016, Djoko could be the greatest male tennis player of all time!

Who could have predicted that at the end of 2014!

Overheard 8…

Federer: If only Nadal wasn’t there, I would have had 3-4 more titles.
Nadal: If only Federer wasn’t there, I would have been the greatest.
Djokovic: Despite both of you I’ve won 3 Grand Slams this year, been No.1 for 3 months and lost just one completed match in 2011!
The greatest challenger to the greats?

Somewhere in FedEx Land…
Bhagwan ke naam pe sirf ek aur Grand Slam de de re baba!

Rafa…
Caught between a Novak and a FedEx.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Some Federerisms…

The Fedex has been running on full steam from 2003 to Jan 2010.
Since then it’s unfortunately being Rogered.

The champ’s perspective…
One’s Lonely. (Federer)
Two’s Company. (Federer-Nadal)
Three’s a Crowd. (Federer-Nadal-Novak)

Will the Swiss Federer Reserve last through 2012?

If Nadal won’t get you, Novak will.
If Novak won’t get you, age will.
Aus Open 2012: Federer’s best chance.
Wimbledon 2012: Last chance?

2003: Roger in.
2012: Roger out?

These versions by Sunil Rajguru