Thursday, January 20, 2022

Has Djokovic surpassed Federer and Nadal in the Tennis GOAT Race?

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A year younger than Rafael Nadal and 6 years younger than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic is now the youngest player to win 20 Grand Slams. For the time being, there is no doubt about who is tennis’ greatest ever player. Winning his 6th Wimbledon over the weekend, Djokovic leveled both Nadal and Federer’s record for the most Grand Slam wins. Beast!

In the words of John McEnroe, “he easily has 3 to 4 more Grand Slam titles in him.” We do not know about the future but for now, Djokovic is the most decorated player on the planet. Let’s have a look at some of his stats in comparison with other GOAT race leaders.

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Has Djokovic surpassed Federer & Nadal in the GOAT Race? (Image courtesy: ATP Tour)
Most Grand Slam Titles List
  • Novak Djokovic – 20
  • Roger Federer – 20
  • Rafael Nadal – 20
Most Grand Slam Titles (since turning 30)
  • Novak Djokovic – 8
  • Rafael Nadal – 6
  • Roger Federer/Rod Laver/Ken Roswell – 4
Nearing a Calendar Grand Slam

If Djokovic wins at the Olympics in 3 weeks, he could line up a calendar-year Golden Slam. This feat has only ever been achieved by Steffi Graff in 1988. Neither Nadal nor Federer has managed to achieve this although making it very close several times. This would mean Djokovic will become the first player since Steffi Graff (1988) and the first in Men’s Tennis since Rod Laver (1969) to achieve the herculean milestone.

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Has Djokovic surpassed Federer & Nadal in the GOAT Race?
Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: A Direct Comparison

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

  • World ranking: 1st
  • Age: 34
  • Career titles: 84
  • Grand Slam titles: 20 (9 x Australian Open; 2 x French Open; 5 x Wimbledon; 3 x US Open)
  • Other big titles: 61 (20 grand slams; 5 ATP finals; 36 ATP Masters 1000 titles)

Rafael Nadal (Spain)

  • World ranking: 3rd
  • Age: 35
  • Career titles: 88
  • Grand Slam titles: 20 (1 x Australian Open; 13 x French Open; 2 x Wimbledon; 4 x US Open)
  • Other big titles: 57 (20 grand slams; 36 ATP Masters 1000 titles; 1 Olympics)

Roger Federer (Switzerland)

  • World ranking: 8th
  • Age: 39
  • Career titles: 103
  • Grand Slam titles: 20 (6 x Australian Open; 1 x French Open; 8 x Wimbledon; 5 x US Open)
  • Other big titles: 54 (20 grand slams; 6 ATP Finals; 28 ATP Masters 1000 titles)
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Has Djokovic surpassed Federer & Nadal in the GOAT Race?

If you had a look at these stats, you might already understand just how awe-inspiring Djokovic’s career has been. At his age there much more tennis is left in him. All these years of showcasing scintillating performances have also earned him many records. Let’s have a look at some of those as well.

  • A (running/active) record 324 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings.
  • Djokovic accumulated a record 16,785 points by winning 11 titles back in 2015.
  • Joint first place in the Masters 1,000 with Nadal.
  • Only ever player to have won all 9 Masters 1,000s. Won 6 in 2015 alone!
  • Djokovic is the 1st player to win all Grand Slams twice.
  • Has won a record 8 majors after crossing the age of 30. Phenomenal!

These are phenomenal records are some of them will take a long time to even be levelled. Looking at the financial side of the game, here are some interesting stats about the greatest three players.

Prize Money recieved in Career
  1. Novak Djokovic ~ $150 Million
  2. Roger Federer ~ $130 Million
  3. Rafael Nadal ~ $125 Million
Total Earnings including Endorsements and Prize Money
  1. Rafael Nadal ~ $1 Billion
  2. Rafael Nadal ~ $480 Million
  3. Novak Djokovic ~ $430 Million
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Now you understand why we said that the GOAT debate is settled for the time being. Novak Djokovic is the man of the hour and will probably become the greatest of all time.

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