Read & Watch: Djokovic Hits 900 Wins Milestone
Novak Djokovic has created yet another milestone moment in his legendary career during the Australian Open. The Serbian, who turned pro in 2003, defeated German Jan-Lennard Struff on Monday night for his 900th singles match win.
"Milestones are definitely a motivation. They make me proud of what I have achieved in my career. They give even more significance to why I'm competing in professional tennis still," Djokovic said on Sunday. "But at the same time, there are some other higher goals that I have as a driving force."
By picking up his 69th victory in 77 matches at the first Grand Slam of the year, Djokovic joined Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl, Rafael Nadal and Guillermo Vilas as the only players to reach 900 wins.
OPEN ERA MATCH WINS LEADERS (SINCE APRIL 1968)
|Player||Career Match Wins (Winning %)|
|1) Jimmy Connors (USA)||1,274-283 (.818)|
|2) Roger Federer (SUI)||1,237-270 (.821)|
|3) Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA)||1,068-242 (.815)|
|4) Rafael Nadal (ESP)||981-199 (.831)|
|5) Guillermo Vilas (ARG)||949-291 (.766)|
|6) Novak Djokovic (SRB)||900-187 (.828)|
MATCH WINS RECORD ON 900TH VICTORY
|Player||Career Match Wins (Winning %)|
|Jimmy Connors (USA)||900-144 (.862)|
|Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA)||900-156 (.852)|
|Novak Djokovic (SRB)||900-187 (.829)|
|Rafael Nadal (ESP)||900-187 (.829)|
|Roger Federer (SUI)||900-204 (.815)|
|Guillermo Vilas (ARG)||900-243 (.787)|
Djokovic’s rapid trajectory in his early years on Tour indicated that he was on track for a storied career. He picked up his first tour-level win as a precocious 17-year-old in 2004 and quickly added more notable victories. By age 19, he had lifted four tour-level crowns that included his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami. A maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne and Nitto ATP Finals trophy in Shanghai soon followed in 2008, cementing his status as a sports icon in Serbia.
DJOKOVIC’S FIRST-TIME MOMENTS
|First tour-level win||Janis Skroderis||2004 Davis Cup v. Latvia|
|First ATP Tour win||Arnaud Clement||2004 Bucharest|
|First Top 10 win||Mariano Puerta||2005 Paris|
|First ATP Tour title||Nicolas Massu||2006 Amersfoot|
|First ATP Masters 1000 title||Guillermo Canas||2007 Miami|
|First Grand Slam title||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||2008 Australian Open|
|First Nitto ATP Finals title||Nikolay Davydenko||2008 Shanghai|
His prolific match-wins tally comes from years of unwavering consistency. Djokovic picked up at least 60 tour-level victories for 10 consecutive years (2007-2016). The height of his dominance came in 2015, when he produced a staggering 82-6 record and reached the final in 15 consecutive tournaments. For context, Daniil Medvedev led the Tour in match wins last year with 59.
Although 64 per cent of his career wins (580) have come on hard courts, Djokovic has excelled on every surface. He’s reached at least one final on three different surfaces during nine seasons (2008-09, 2011, 2013-15, 2017-19) and is one of eight men to complete the Career Grand Slam, making him a global sports icon.
DJOKOVIC'S CAREER MATCH RECORD BY SURFACE
|Surface||Career Match Wins (Winning %)|
His continued success has defied the critics who wrote him off just two years ago. Djokovic struggled with an elbow injury that forced him to miss the second half of 2017 and required surgery in February 2018. He failed to reach a final in his first eight tournaments of 2018, marking his longest streak without a trophy in 12 years.
But the Serbian continued to put his head down and was rewarded with a remarkable turnaround In the second half of that year. He went on a 39-5 run that included two Grand Slam titles (Wimbledon, US Open) and a pair of Masters 1000 crowns (Cincinnati, Shanghai). Djokovic also reached 800 match wins that June at Queen’s Club.
DJOKOVIC'S MILESTONE MATCH WINS
|1||Janis Skroderis||2004 Davis Cup v. Latvia|
|100||Pablo Andujar||2007 Umag - 1R|
|200||Martin Vassallo Arguello||2009 Indian Wells - 2R|
|300||Viktor Troicki||2010 Cincinnati - 2R|
|400||Andy Murray||2012 Australian Open - SF|
|500||Grigor Dimitrov||2013 Roland Garros - 3R|
|600||Milos Raonic||2014 Paris - Final|
|700||Malek Jaziri||2016 Dubai - 2R|
|800||Adrian Mannarino||2018 Queen’s Club - QF|
|900||Jan-Lennard Struff||2020 Australian Open - 1R|
He arrives this year in Melbourne looking to add to his jaw-dropping collection of hardware. He's tied with John McEnroe in fifth place for most titles in the Open Era (77), including 34 Masters 1000 trophies and 16 Grand Slam crowns. He's picked up at least one Grand Slam or Masters 1000 title in 11 of the past 13 seasons (2007-09, 2011-16, 2018-19).
At age 32, Djokovic still has several more years to add to his match wins tally. He will almost surely move into fifth place in the Open Era match wins leaders and continue his countdown towards 1,000 match wins. If he can stay healthy and continue producing the elite level that fans have grown accustomed to for nearly 15 years, he’ll give himself a chance to end his career at the top of the list.
Special statistical assistance courtesy of Greg Sharko.