Record-Breaking January For Djokovic, Federer, Bryans & More
by Greg Sharko|
Just four weeks into the 2013 ATP World Tour season, records have been broken, history has been made and new players have stepped into the spotlight. From Novak Djokovic’s third successive Australian Open crown to David Ferrer’s 500th tour-level victory, Greg Sharko examines the January highlights.
• Top Four Lead Way – The top four seeds reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open for the second year in a row and the fourth time in the Open Era in Melbourne. It also marked the 31st time in the past 32 Grand Slam tournaments (since ’05 Roland Garros where Rafael Nadal won his first Slam crown) that a member of the Big 4 won a Grand Slam title.
• Unbreakable Djokovic - Djokovic was not broken in the semi-finals or final en route to his third straight title and fourth overall at Melbourne Park. He is the first player in the Open Era to win three consecutive Australian Open titles and the third player in tournament history with at least three in a row, joining former Aussie greats Roy Emerson (1963-67) and Jack Crawford (1931-33). It was Djokovic’s sixth Grand Slam crown; he has won five of the past nine Slams he has played. Djokovic became the first player to close the season with a title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and open the New Year with an Australian Open crown since Roger Federer in 2006-07.
Read: Djokovic Targetting Career Grand Slam
• Bryan Brothers – Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan became the all-time Grand Slam doubles titles leaders with 13 trophies, defeating the Dutch duo Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling in straight sets. The Bryans surpassed Aussie Hall of Famers John Newcombe and Tony Roche, who won 12 Slam titles. The Bryans won their sixth Australian Open crown; they have won at least one Slam title for nine consecutive years.
Read: Lucky 13 For Bryans
• First-time winner – Bernard Tomic, the youngest player (20) in the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, broke through to win his first ATP World Tour title at the Apia International Sydney; there was only one first-time winner in 2012. Tomic became only the second player born in the 1990s (Milos Raonic) to win an ATP World Tour singles title. Tomic followed up with a third-round showing at the Australian Open (l. to Federer).
Read: First-Time Winner Spotlight - Tomic
• Other breakthroughs - Grigor Dimitrov reached his first ATP World Tour final in Brisbane (l. to Murray), Nikolay Davydenko had a resurgence with a final in Doha (l. to Gasquet); Kevin Anderson became the first South African to reach the fourth round or better at the Australian Open since Wayne Ferreira (SF) in 2003; Jeremy Chardy reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
• Milestones – Ferrer 500th win (view tribute photo gallery), Mikhail Youzhny 400th win, Richard Gasquet 300th win; Federer 250th Grand Slam win.
• Rankings Update – Ferrer went from World No. 5 to No. 4 (ties career-high) , his highest Emirates ATP Ranking since the week of Sept. 1, 2008 (Nadal slipped to No. 5 for first time since May 30, 2005 – the second week of Roland Garros, where he went on to win his first of 11 Slam titles); Andreas Seppi broke the Top 20 at No. 18 from No 23 after reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open (first Italian in Top 20 since Renzo Furlan on Apr. 22, 1996); Jeremy Chardy jumped from No. 36 to a career-high No. 25 after reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open; Sam Querrey improved from No. 22 to No. 20 after a third-round showing in Melbourne, his first Top 20 ranking since May 2, 2011 (at 18).