Novak Djokovic Now Has The Same Number Of ATP Titles As Pete Sampras And Bjorn Borg [Chart]
by Tom Gainey | May 10th, 2016, 2:15 pm
  • 47 Comments

By winning his second Madrid Open on Sunday, Novak Djokovic equaled tennis greats Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg in terms of career ATP titles at 64. That ranks the Serb tied for 7th on the Open Era titles leaderboard, just five away from matching Rafael Nadal and 10 from Rod Laver’s 5th place.

Given Djokovic is about to turn just 29 in a few days, passing both would seem to be a sure bet. Reaching Roger Federer who is 24 ahead is a bigger ask.

“It’s obviously very flattering to be alongside such legends of the sport,” Djokovic said on Sunday. “Tennis players that I was looking up to, especially Pete Sampras. When I was growing up he was ruling the tennis world.

“To win as many titles as he did in his career, it’s quite amazing. It’s an achievement that I’m very proud of,” he added. “It’s a motivation more. When you get to this particular I would say phase of your career, you need to constantly look for more ways of inspiring and motivating yourself to keep going and aspire to new goals. That will definitely help my motivation.”

Most ATP Titles In Open Era (60 or more)
1 Jimmy Connors 109
2 Ivan Lendl 94
3 Roger Federer 88
4 John McEnroe 77
5 Rod Laver 74
6 Rafael Nadal 69
7 Bjorn Borg 64
7 Pete Sampras 64
7 Novak Djokovic 64
10 Guillermo Vilas 62
11 Andre Agassi 60

Djokovic is in Rome this where he’ll begin tomorrow against French qualifier Stephane Robert.


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47 Comments for Novak Djokovic Now Has The Same Number Of ATP Titles As Pete Sampras And Bjorn Borg [Chart]

RZ Says:

Only 5 behind Rafa, so he could pass him this year.
He will probably pass Laver and McEnroe next year (if not this year for Laver).


Tennis Vagabond Says:

There’s no question he has emerged as one of the best of all time, and fits right in with Sampras and Borg and the others on the list.

I suspect Federer is out of reach- that would mean increasing his current count by a third, assuming Fed doesn’t win any more titles- but I think he’ll pass JMac and land 4th.

Rafa has a pretty good chance of surpassing Laver too, but we’ll really have to see how he does off clay.

Last year, it seemed a good bet that Federer would surpass Lendl’s count, but now I wonder.


John Says:

Federer tops djokovic with 6 slams and Nadal 3 slams. On the other hand Djokovic tops Federer with 5 masters and 1 Nadal. So the gap is very small because the rest small titles. If djokovic spend one year playing small tournaments, then possibly he will pass the number of Federer.


chrisford1 Says:

No disputing that Connors and Lendl were beasts, and their number of titles is significant. But tennis changed a lot. Very different before their time and after, in terms of how much time and effort went into playing for and getting those titles. Laver actually holds the record for singles titles with 213 or 204 or some other number because some of it wasn’t tracked that well back in the amateur days. But a lot of that was the guys on tour playing fellow amateurs in a 1, 2 day tournament, many amateurs who were just weekend warriors. Connors and Lendl had Open Era events as well, with a 16, 32 person draws and only a few top 20 participating.

With Rafa, Novak, and Roger and add Andy too, the numbers get close when you look at just the important singles titles. Roger has 24 Masters titles, 0 Olympic singles, 6 YECs, and 17 Slams for 47 total ‘big titles”. Rafa has 28, 1, 0, 14 for 43 total. Andy has 11, 1, 0, and 2 for a total of 14. Novak is 29,0,5, and 11 for a total of 45.

Djokovic should eclipse Federer in number of big titles this year.
(I know, I know, Slam-counters say nothing matters but Slams….but I think even if titles are weighted by importance, given 1000, 1500(because Oly points have varied) 1500 for YEC even if not all round robins are won, and 2000 for Slams…the weighted titles significance drops sharply for Connors especially, helps Fed’s case, and seems to show Djokovic is on track to have a huge weighted title number by the time his career finishes.)


skeezer Says:

Lendl accumulated 94 ATP titles(Second all time). Where did that put him among the GOAT contenders?


mat4 Says:

You have here a great comparison of Novak and Rafa’s game, starting at 20mn of the podcast, JJ Vallejo speaking.

http://www.mindtheracket.com/


Dave Says:

I actually don’t see how Djokovic won’t pass Federer in career titles. Again, people seem to be expecting Djokovic to fall off of a cliff when he hits 30 years old. Let’s say he is at 74 or 75 titles by his 30th birthday. Which is what he has been averaging lately, Federer is almost 35 now. So Djokovic is only going to get less than 13 titles in 5 years? So he is only going to get 2.5 titles a season from 30 to 35? I will never agree with that prediction. He will have to get a career ending injury for that to happen.


RZ Says:

@Dave – I think it’s very possible that Djokovic would catch Federer, but keep in mind that Federer’s number of titles is (potentially) a moving target, so while it’s 88 today, it could be, say, 93 by this time next year.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Dave, very few players have played to 35. Very, very few #1s. That’s just not an an obvious assumption to make.


Wog Biy Says:

That is the problem with stats and numbers, you look at the numbers and say, wow he’s got 88 titles, then you have closer look and you 24 titles 250 category and 17 tutles 500 category.

If you look at Nole’s numbers you see 7 titles 250 category and 12 titles 500 category. He just doesn’t bother playing 250 or even 500 just for the sake of adding another title. The percentage of major titles compare to minor in Nole’s case is much better than Roger’s, some of us prefer to look at it that way ;)

Margaret Court has 192 titles ( 92 in open era) WOW, where that puts her, just saying.


Wog Boy Says:

That is the problem with stats and numbers, you look at the numbers and say, wow he’s got 88 titles, then you have closer look and you 24 titles 250 category and 17 tutles 500 category.

If you look at Nole’s numbers you see 7 titles 250 category and 12 titles 500 category. He just doesn’t bother playing 250 or even 500 just for the sake of adding another title. The percentage of major titles compare to minor in Nole’s case is much better than Roger’s, some of us prefer to look at it that way ;)

Margaret Court has 192 titles ( 92 in open era) WOW, where that puts her, just saying.

PS
RZ, you are very optimistic about Roger, he missed his chance for the first title this year when he skipped Istanbul..


Okiegal Says:

Here is another record….1,254 career wins held by Connors……I believe this is the reason Roger is still playing on….he wants that record really bad, me thinks!!


Dave Says:

Tennis Vegabond,

Djokovic is peaking later than Federer did. Meaning, he will likely add around 20 more titles in the next 2 years. 84 would be his total. If Agassi can play until 36 or 37, Djokovic can play until then as well. His diet is good. He stretches a lot. Doesn’t have any major injuries. I know some don’t agree with me, but Federer is not the gold standard of defying age and winning titles in his 30′s. This is going to become more common, as there has obviously been a shift in how long a tennis player can play and continue to win titles, with much less efficient games than Djokovic. Nadal, who has by far the most aggressive style on a human body that you can have, just won 2 titles. I remember so many people predicting that Nadal wouldn’t even be playing tennis at 30, and he just came off winning 2 titles. I think when people doubt players like Nadal and Djokovic, even as they get older, this only gives them more and more motivation to achieve more in tennis. I would never put anything past what these guys will do when their career is all said and done. I agree Okiegal, Federer will try and get the all-time wins record of Connors. I have no doubts about that.


RZ Says:

@Wog Boy – there’s always Halle and Basel! :-) Frankly, I’m not expecting Fed to win 7 titles within the next year (maybe 2 this year if his knee and back heal up?). Just making a point that the #s are likely to change on both ends.


kjb Says:

@Dave

Fed is the gold standard of staying on top in his later years. He is the oldest ranked #2 ever.


kjb Says:

@Dave

And Agassi only played 250ish more matches in his whole career than Djokovic has played up to this point. Agassi had some long lay offs and had a lots less wear and tear.


Vami Says:

@mat4
Thanks. What an excellent analysis, I agree with every word he said but most people on this blog wouldn’t.


Yolita Says:

Roger Federer had 63 tities when turned 29… Novak has already one more, he may even have 65 on his 29th birthday. I don’t understand why people are so sure that Novak won’t pass Roger. Novak is a health freak, who’s to say he cannot age as gracefully as Roger has? Only time will tell.


Yolita Says:

*titles!


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Who in the world is “so sure” he won’t pass Federer? All I said is, you can’t assume a tennis players winning percentage 7 years down the line. Dave, it is not just a matter of health. Players lose their motivation at some point.

And I really believe that none of them give a s* whether we nameless tennis blog fans doubt them or not. That is not where they will get the motivation to carry on from.

Novak certainly could pass Roger. But its far from done.

(BTW, some of you might remember a golfer named Tiger Woods who seemed, pretty obviously and for some years, to be on the road to breaking Jack Nicklaus’ records.)


Okiegal Says:

@Dave…..I am gonna faint….someone actually agrees with me!Thanks for the input!


Vami Says:

“Tities” may work too, who knows.


anki Says:

Very difficult for Novak to pass Roger in the total number of titles won and also in GS titles won. What if he never wins any GS title or it is possible that he wins three or four more only. Too much expectations I would say. At some point everyone was so sure that Rafa will cross Roger in GS titles won and look now. Things can change very quickly. All said and done, I hope Novak gets to atleast 14 GS titles won before he retires.


Wog Boy Says:

Dave and for that matter Okie, agree, Roger loves records, I’ll stop short of saying, he is obsessed with records. Last year he played Istanbul just to have that record too, most titles in different tournaments, I know he still plays for the love of tennis and to promote tennis (like in Istanbul).. but he loves records more..;)


Okiegal Says:

^^^^^^Wog….I agree with you 100%!!


Wog Boy Says:

Okie..have one on me…🍹


AndyMira Says:

Very sensible reason from anki @ 9:11pm..couldn’t agree more!


Okiegal Says:

Wog…..back at cha! 🍻


FedExpress Says:

now i know that wog boy also talks shiit


Daniel Says:

But that is a tricky argument, for example, lately the players are only focusing on Master, Slamans and WTF and hardly they have the other 4 ATP 500 and 2 250. In Early 2000 they used to play a lot of 250 and in Sampras age was even higher.

A question could be made, would Fed, Djoko and Nadal be so successful if they played more 250 and 500, as it was the case in the 90′ and early 2000?

This doesn’t take the metro of what they did and Djoko specially is doing now, he has a small schedule but focus on the bigger prizes. If he played 4 500 and 2 250 all year without skipping it would affect his Masters and potentially hampering Slams.

So, this only shows how the game evolves, and top players manage their schedule best.

For example, Nadal wasn’t playing SA clay swing in his prime, but last 3 years he played 3 than 2 additional events, in 2014 he even added Hamburg if I am not mistaken.

It’s a paradox, if Djoko plays more smaller tournaments, with less top dogs in it, he has a high chance of winning more of these tournaments but that could affect his results in the top tournaments? So which is the right way to do it? I say what Djoko is doing, concentrate on bigger winery, among schedule properly and play less than 20 tuners a year (4 Slams, 1 WTF, 8-9 Masters, 2 500, 2 250 and that is inning), Maybe even skipping a few. 16-18 tourneys a year if he wins half of those will set him apart.


Daniel Says:

Djoko can easily get to 70 titles this year, another season with 10+ titles. We have to see how Fed will end the year, I think he will cross 90. There is Halle, he will add Stuttgart on grass and Basel. 2 of these 3 he is the safe bet to win, not disregarding Cincy which is his best Masters as well.

But if Fed keeps adding 2-4 a year it will be hard for Djoko to catch. But a possibility, reaching 80+ is almost a given for him now bar injury, which would place him 4th behind Lendl (assuming Fed passes Lendl for second).

If Djoko next year have a similar year to 2015-2016, than Fed’s number is reachable.


Daniel Says:

TV, spot on Tiger.

I used to cheer for him a lot and could bet my @ss at one point he would reach Nicklaus, glad I didn’t;-)


Dave Says:

The Tiger Woods theory comes down to attitude for me. His pride got in the way big time, and not his desire to win. His personality is nothing like Nole or Nadal. Now we are really talking apples and oranges.


Dave Says:

I have followed gold just as much as tennis back in the Tiger day especially. So I’m not ignorant to Tigers attitude issues.


Wog Boy Says:

Hi FedExpress,

How did you go in Blue Oyster “Salad” Bar with your friend Giles the other night? Did you have a good time? I bet you did, you little naughty boy..kisses and hugs for you;)🍩


Dave Says:

He thought he could change his swing that many times and not suffer the consequences. He thought he could work out as hard as he did in the gym and get away with it. It all came back to haunt him. And it had nothing to do with the loss of desire. And yes, Federer is more about the records than anything else. I agree 100% with Wog Boy. Not that it even matters. As long as a player has motivation, it really doesn’t matter where he gets it from.


Dave Says:

I meant to say Gold not gold. haha. I just noticed that mistake


Dave Says:

I meant to say golf not gold. haha. I just messed it twice. This is really not my night.


Margot Says:

Dave, it’s usually a good idea to comment on these blogs when you are sober. Just saying….;)
And just teasing….;)


Dave Says:

Haha. Thanks Margot. The sad part about is that I don’t even drink alcohol, at it’s only 10:00 at night here, and I’m not even that tired. Got typing to quickly I guess. haha


Margot Says:

It wasn’t a major gaff Dave, just funny you did it twice, twice.


Dave Says:

exactly. twice. To funny. I did it the second time talking about how I did it the first time. That is hilarious.


Green Lady Says:

Whos to say that Federer and Nadal wont add to their title tally, been as though they are still playing they can, its only the none active players that obviously cant ? ….

My two cents, but IMO with his career wins and titles, im putting Jimmy (Jimbo) Conners out there as my personal GOAT ….


Wog Boy Says:

“The sad part about is that I don’t even drink alcohol, ”

That’s your problem Dave, you should star;)


Wog Boy Says:

^^ “should start”

You see, and my problem is that I didn’t have a drink today (driving all day until midnight), otherwise I would make that mistake;)


Wog Boy Says:

GL,
I love Jimmy Connors, but who is Jimmy Conners, how many ciders did you have;)


Giles Says:

May 10th 11.15 pm
He’s never stopped talking sh!!t. That’s all he knows. He comes from down under, what else do you expect.
😷😵💩

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