Djokovic Races To 700 Match Wins
ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to Novak Djokovic on his match wins milestone
It has become a familiar sight around the tennis world: arms aloft, a smile on his face, Novak Djokovic, winner.
In the 479 days since the World No. 1 claimed his 600th match win on 2 November 2014, he has compiled an astonishing 100-6 record. Today, in victory over Malek Jaziri at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, he became only the 12th player in the Open Era (since 1968) to hit the 700 singles victories.
At 28 years, nine months, he is the third active player to pass the milestone, following in the footsteps of his celebrated rivals, Roger Federer (1,067) and Rafael Nadal (775). By comparison, in the era of Djokovic, since November 2014, Federer has gone 76-15 and Nadal 69-24.
"Every milestone is special and it gives you an extra incentive and motivation to play well," Djokovic told ATPWorldTour.com. "Being a part of the history books is a huge honour and is something that is always present, even though you try not to focus all your attention on the record-breaking opportunities. You use it for motivation and to push yourself to give your best."
Members Of 700 Match Wins Club
|1) Jimmy Connors||1,254
|2) Ivan Lendl||1,071
|3) Roger Federer||1,067
|4) Guillermo Vilas||929
|5) John McEnroe||875
|6) Andre Agassi||870
|7) Stefan Edberg||801
|8) Ilie Nastase||779
|9) Rafael Nadal
|10) Pete Sampras
|11) Boris Becker
|12) Novak Djokovic
The changes in training and technology have meant the sport is unrecognisable from 10 years ago, but one of the great joys has been to witness Federer and Andy Murray, particularly, successfully evolve and adapt their game styles to challenge Djokovic's brand of tennis. Federer, in his prime, was able to transition in a matter of seconds, this too is the hallmark of Djokovic: flexible and athletic, with the ability to combine aggression with a defence-orientated game, he is also a great mover on every surface.
Djokovic's current dominance on the ATP World Tour is bordering on the historic. He has reached 19 finals from his past 20 tournaments, including 17 straight that currently ties him with Federer's mark in 2005-06. Ivan Lendl's record of 18 consecutive title matches in 1981-82 is in danger, particularly with Djokovic competing this week as a five-time Dubai finalist (4-1 record).
"I have tried to use the confidence that I have had, especially in the past couple of years, to see where I can reach," Djokovic told ATPWorldTour.com. "I've set a very high standard for myself. Being 28 and at the peak of my abilities, I have all the reasons to believe I can stay at the top as long as I can. I know I won't stay there forever, but I am working hard and am very committed to maintain my lifestyle and sacrifice."
Djokovic Match Win Milestones
|1st||2004 Davis Cup vs Latvia*||d. Janis Skroderis
|100th||2007 Umag, 1R||d. Pablo Andujar
|200th||2009 Indian Wells, 2R||d. Martin Vassallo Arguello
|300th||2010 Cincinnati, 2R||d. Viktor Troicki
|400th||2012 Australian Open, SF||d. Andy Murray|
|500th||2013 Roland Garros, 3R||d. Grigor Dimitrov
|600th||2014 Paris, F
||d. Milos Raonic
|700th||2016 Dubai, 2R
||d. Malek Jaziri
*First ATP World Tour win came over Arnaud Clement in Bucharest 2004
Djokovic has spent a total of 187 weeks at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, over three spells - 53 weeks from 4 July 2011, 48 weeks from 4 November 2012 and his current streak of 86 weeks since 7 July 2014. He leads fellow 28-year-old Murray by 7,935 points and is at No. 5 in the all-time list for most weeks spent at No. 1, behind Jimmy Connors (268), Lendl (270), Pete Sampras (286) and Federer (302).
"It is a privilege having pressure, being a part of this beautiful sport," Djokovic added. "I am very grateful to have played tennis since I was four years old, when I began to dream of being World No. 1 and a multiple Grand Slam champion."
His coach, Boris Becker, who won 713 singles matches during his career, told ATPWorldTour.com, "His dedication to training, to figuring out ways to improve is exceptional. His life is dedicated to tennis and being the best."
Over the past 12 months, Djokovic has gone 33-5 against his Top 10 rivals according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, while only Federer scoring multiple (3) victories. Earlier this month, InfoSys Beyond The Numbers also revealed how the Serbian is still improving. It all spells trouble for his rivals, as Djokovic was already challenging and forcing them to adapt.