A List Of Novak Djokovic’s 2015 Achievements

by Tom Gainey | December 2nd, 2015, 10:21 am

Novak Djokovic finished one of the greatest seasons ever in tennis winning the ATP Finals 10 days ago. Courtesy of his website, here’s a list of what Djokovic accomplished in 2015:

– First man to win five Australian Open titles
– Third man alongside Rod Laver and Roger Federer (in the Open Era) to reach all four Grand Slam finals in one year
– Second man alongside Federer (in the Open Era) to win three Grand Slams in a single season multiple times
– First man since Federer (2007) to defend Wimbledon title
– First man to defeat Federer twice at Wimbledon
– First man to defeat Federer three times at the US Open
– Second man alongside Soderling to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros
– First man to defeat Nadal in straight sets at Roland Garros
– First man to defeat both Federer and Nadal at all four Grand Slams
– First man to hold tied/positive H2H record against Federer at all four Grand Slams
– First man to eliminate all other defending Slam champions in a calendar year
– Sixth man with double digit Grand Slam titles
– First man to win six Masters events in one year
– First man to win six Masters tournaments at least three times (IW, Miami, Rome, Rogers Cup, Shanghai, Paris)
– First man to win four Masters 1000 events at least four times (IW, Miami, Rome, Paris)
– First man to win Indian Wells-Miami double three times
– First man to win the Australian Open-Indian Wells-Miami triple two times
– First man to win the first three Masters events of the year (IW, Miami, Monte Carlo)
– The only player to win four titles in Indian Wells
– The only player to win Shanghai Rolex Masters 3 times
– The only player to win Paris Masters four times
– First man to win three BNP Paribas Masters titles in a row
– First man to reach final of eight Masters tournaments in a year
– First man to win five or more Masters events in one year on two occasions
– First man to win five consecutive Masters tournaments in which he participated (done twice)
– Recorded most Masters wins in a season – 39
– Won most hard court Masters titles – 19
– Had second longest Masters winning streak (30, only bettered by his other streak – 31)
– Highest amount of points (16,785)
– Largest points lead over no.2 (8,535)
– First no.1 not to drop any ATP points for 12 months, from Shanghai 2014 semi-finals to 2015 World Tour Finals Round Robin stage
– First man to beat Nadal at every big clay-court tournament
– First man to beat Federer five times in one season
– First man to beat Nadal, Federer and Murray at least 21 times each
– First man since Federer (2007) to hold no.1 ranking for an entire calendar year
– Longest run of final tournament appearances in one season – 15 finals in a row
– Tied with Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe in third place with 4 year-end no.1 finishes (Sampras 6, Federer and Connors 5)
– Fifth player in the all-time list with number of weeks spent at no.1 (174 weeks of reign)
– Record number of top 10 wins in a season – 31
– First man to have 20+ wins over top 10 players in four seasons
– First man to beat all top 10 players in a calendar year
– Longest winning streak at ATP World Tour Finals – 15 victories in a row
– First man to win four ATP World Tour Finals titles in a row

You Might Like:
Roger Federer Leads List Of Highest Paid Tennis Players, Novak Djokovic Ahead Of Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray’s 2016 Achievements
Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Hopes Still In Limbo
Boris Becker: Roger Federer’s 2006 Season Was Better Than Novak Djokovic’s 2015!
Watch All Of Novak Djokovic’s Grand Slam Championship Points [Video]

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

92 Comments for A List Of Novak Djokovic’s 2015 Achievements

RZ Says:

That’s all? Slacker!

RZ Says:

The point about beating all top 10 players in a calendar year – is that the year-end top 10? Or anyone who has been in the top 10 throughout the year?

jane Says:

such an amazing season. just wow.

kris Says:

he played federer at french besides 2011?

ng ndeb Says:

Wow that is really impressive, well done Novak you deserve the rest, so you are fresh for nest season, and start winning those grand slams again

Chrisford1 Says:

Sometimes all the separate individual achievements become so much that you can’t see the forest for the trees.
That being that Djokovic is an all-court player of sustained excellence since 2007. Stopped only by 2 all-time greats until 2011. One regarded as the best clay player ever who stopped Fed and Nole on clay. The other who was Djokovic’s better on grass and hardcourt.
Until 2011. When those 2, still at their peaks, were confronted by what turned out to be the 3rd all-time great.
And then though both Fed and Rafa had their days, their time returning to #1, and consternated Fedal fans and writers deny it still…2011 marks the beginning of 5 years of Novak Djokovic being the best player in the sport.
And in progress month by month, Djokovic has made or has risen further in most ATP record categories of lists of “Top 10 pros at this or that….”
Even now, only Federer’s name is more frequent, or higher placed in all those ATP record categories, in sum.
That is the forest. Open that ATP record book 10 years from now and the two names you will see over and over, in almost every category and criteria for success – will be the names Federer and Djokovic. And for sure the names Sampras, Connors, Lendl, NADAL, Borg, Laver, perhaps Murray and Mac will be popping up in all sorts of lists of the best at this or that….but not as frequently as Djokovic and Federer.
Djokovic has years and years more of top level tennis in him, I think. A love of the sport and a hunger to excel for as long as he can – though like Rafa, it just seems Nole is not obsessed with being seen as The GOAT. His ambition is not focused on a lone informal title.
We are at a time when the “forest” of achievements of both Federer and Djokovic is getting bigger each year. We fans are watching this unfold.

Gypsy Gal Says:

I dont think Nadal is obsessed with been GOAT at all,i think he just wanted to be an all time great,and be the best he can be,but then again im not a mind reader….

Daniel Says:

Agree CF1. Also Djoko is mimicking Fed’s consistent and consecutive records as well, Slams Quarters, Semis and now maybe even further finals (currently at 4, his former best from Wimby 11′ to RG 12′). Curious to see how far will he go.

For number 1 recorda he is secure to go 100+ weeks straight, something only a handfull could do and almost assured 200 weeks minimum bar injury. One more YE#1 and WTF and he ties Federer and could ve record holdee in both in 2017 (chasing Sampra’s 6 YE#1 as co-leader) and 7 WTF as lone record holder). Also that would have him close to 280 weeks moivng further in the list.

If he dominates next 2 years it ia possible, but he needs to take hos chances. Ant Slam lost now could be costly as he will have to win Slams after thirty if he wants to surpass Sampras/Nadal and go afer Fed’s. And of course, Fed not win any more. One bad loss in Wimbledon for him and suddenly an oppening for Fed. There are only 3 players who can win Wimbledon now: Djoko, Murray and Fed. The rest is not even close to them, because this is the Slam the three wants the most at least for Fed and Murray. Djoko as soon as he takes RG of his back he will target Wimbledon (because ir is the one with most prestige). The other Slams are more open and an upser can happen. But I don’t see anyone ofther than theses 3 winning Wimbledon next year. And RG also is between Novak, Nadal and Stan. Fed os done there and don’t know of Murray fully believes he could win there. Who knows, maybe Murray wins AO 16′ and suddenly RG will be way more interesting with him and Djoko going for Career Slam.

RZ Says:

Boris Becker deserves a lot of credit for getting Novak back to his 2011 self and then surpassing it. Many (myself included) scoffed at the idea of Boris coaching Novak but it has clearly worked extremely well for him.

SG1 Says:

David Price will make $10M more than Novak did last year, when he pitches for Bosox next year and he’s generally been a disappointment when it’s mattered most. Kind of sickening.

Anyways, this is shout out to Novak, his team and his fans. Congratz on a generational 2015 campaign! A great ambassador for the sport and a class guy.

jalep Says:

I’m not sure what I posted on the subject of Boris hooking up with Nole, RZ.

It could have been pessimistic. But agree BB deserves credit for his influence.

Ben Pronin Says:

Most shocking (for me):
– First man since Federer (2007) to defend Wimbledon title

Most holy-wow-that’s-cool (for me):
– First man to beat all top 10 players in a calendar year

SG1 Says:

I’m guessing there are even some things missing from the list! Scary.

15 wins in row at the ATP on a surface that’s not his best against the very best…unbelievable!

SG1 Says:

When you beat Federer 5 times in one year, you’re doing something right.

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t know how much longer Djokovic will play at this high level but as a fan I’m more than satisfied. Seeing all of those “First man” is just awesome. He spent so many years as a third fiddle to Fedal, it’s just great to see how he’s carved out his own (pretty large) chunk of history.

SG1 Says:

Well said Ben. Well said.

No1e Says:

Umm..is it just me or did I not already share this list in a previous post? :)

jane Says:

good point ben about being 3rd fiddle. it’s nice for him to have carved out his own records, and i don’t think there’s anything wrong with novak fans expressing happiness for him in that regard. we suffered through 2009-2010 with him too so it’s kind of thrilling, is all.

another aspect i liked about this season is that people kept saying 2011 was a “one-off” and novak would “never” repeat it, etc. instead, he bettered it.

Wog Boy Says:


I enjoyed reading Sean’s link from 2012 that TB posted few threads ago, about Nole’s 2011 being fluke, mostly the comments, but you have to give props to some posters who are still posting today, like skeezer who said something like “no way it was fluke, Nole is bloody good player”.

jane Says:

^ yay skeezer then! :) wog boy, can you post the link again here please? i didn’t see it.

Wog Boy Says:

Uhh jane,

That is a big ask:), it was few threads ago, I’ll try to find it but if TB is around he can repost it again, please TB.

Ben Pronin Says:

I think the pressure of being the hunted got to Djokovic in 2012, somewhat. He fought so hard to defend his AO title that year, it seemed to exhaust him quite a bit. He still played well and won plenty. But he lost to Nadal at the FO (horrible loss, duh) and a Federer who would go on to reclaim number 1 at Wimbledon. He lost to an in form Murray at the Olympics. I think the only title he really let slip was the US Open, but he’s not the first or last guy to let some titles get away from him.

In 2013, his overall form rebounded well but he was outlasted by Nadal a few times which, again, obviously horrible losses.

2014 turned out to be somewhat of a transition period where he was tinkering with his game and his mentality under Becker. And everything clicked in 2015.

Maybe all 10 of his slams are flukes. I don’t care. A slam is a slam.

SG1 Says:

Novak doesn’t have to play 2nd fiddle to anyone as his accomplishments stand on their own pretty damn well.

Novak’s very best tennis may in fact be equal to or better than Federer’s, Nadal’s and Sampras’ though this is obviously something difficult to quantify and prove. If nothing else, he has earned some votes in the “best ever” conversation and rightly so.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I think these stats really shout out that 2015 was the most dominant performance of all time. I think its also catapulted Novak from the Becker/Edberg/Lendl/MacEnroe/Connors/Agassi tier PAST the Sampras/Borg tier, right to the Rafa/Fed/Laver tier.

This was a career defining year.

The only question is, how much further can he go at the top? Its possible that Novak at his best has been THE best ever. That’s a subjective question, I’d pick Federer, based on my own viewing of matches, but there’s no definitive answer. What we’ll see in 2016, 2017, is what kind of sustained dominance Novak will have. So Novak’s had 2 supremely dominant years: can he have 3, like Fed? Can he have 4? Right now, you’d have to say the odds are good. Roger, Rafa and Andy are not going to challenge his dominance, even if they get some wins. Same with Stan. There is no one on the ATP that seems within 2 years of development of possibly challenging Novak so… to be continued!

danica Says:

A lot of people were saying that Novak’s 2011 was a freak of nature where he was lucky (?!). However, those results were achieved. He was asked if the thought the could repeat such a year. His answer was something like this: “I have already achieved it once. I have to believe that I can do it again.” And so he did!

elina Says:

Sean said:
“My point is, having watched his form and listened to him in the press he just isn’t a “GOAT candidate” if you will. I don’t think he has the make up, the drive to win that guys like Federer, Sampras, Lendl, Connors, McEnroe and Nadal do.”

Don’t quit your day job. Oh wait.

Purcell Says:

I don’t think any of them are obsessed with being GOAT. It’s the fans and certain coaches who are busy going down that road. As I too am not a mind reader, I can only go on what I’ve heard Nadal, Federer and Djokovic say which is basically they are pleased and surprised with the success they’ve had and are grateful for what tennis has given them. Anyway, as I’ve said before, why give something a name which is so difficult to quantify. Little lives, little lives…….

RZ Says:

@Danica – Agree with you that all those wins in 2011 were achieved. Hard to be lucky for 41 matches in a row. It’s not as if he was given 41 walk overs. (Now that would be some bizarre good luck)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Purcell, I totally agree. This is a fan-made obsession that people project on players.

Ben Pronin Says:

TV, why do you separate Laver/Fed/Nadal from Sampras/Borg? And where’s Emerson? He held the technical slam record until Sampras.

SG1 Says:

Borg is an all time great but to my mind he belongs in a tier below Fed, Nadal and Sampras because he burned out. I’d actually put the top tier this way:

Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Laver


Borg, Novak and Agassi (his career slam puts him here)


Connors, Lendl, McEnroe, Rosewall, Emerson


Becker and Edberg

I am of course leaving out Bill Tilden, Lew Hoad, Pancho Gonzalez, the Three Musketeers, Don Budge and many others but I think we’re talking more about players that all of us have seen in one way or another.

SG1 Says:

Plenty of time for Novak to get into Elite All-Time Great list.

I think Connors may in fact rank with Borg, Novak and Agassi. If not for ’73 ATP boycott, he may have won the calendar slam thereby completing his career slam. Not to mention those whopping 109 titles of his.

Daniel Says:

Agree TV, none in sight to challenge Novak. It’s like he will battling himself from now on and how far can he go health perniting.

He made his onw luck being this good and always in the mix in his ealry years. He has noome in “his prime” to challenge him:

1 – Fed prime year was from 2004 to 2009, we cab eschange that to AO 2010. Wimby 2012 were a peruod of good fortune and even with his ressurgence and back to back Slams finals in last two, he is 34 and hos prime ended in 2010 when he was 28/29. Anyhting else os bonus and his effortless style allows him to be this good now. Again cementing the path for younger players.

2 – Nadal’ prime were from 2008 (when he broke clay Slam win) to 2013. We can extend that to RG 2014 as he reacjed 2 more major finals but the signs were already there with him losing too many finals for his standard. His “next” comeback remain to be seen and with a full played season with little success and a lot of losses (20), it’s hard to see him retunrning to that great standar of old. Maybe he has 1 more RG in him to make La Decima. But he will 30 for his next French Open and age is a b$&ch. Like Federer, seems his prime ended at 28/29.

3 – Murray prime is from Olympics 2012 to Wimbledon 2013, where he held 2 Slams and Olympica. His bigggest tittles but not consistent enough to be #1. Now he ks consistent enought but doesn’t win Slams and big titles anymore. Even so, he still win 2 Masters this years, the second best after Novak and topoing Federer 1. Bas lucky with surgery and Lendl split.

After DC, remains to be seen if he will return to Slam wins again. 9 Slams went by with no titles and he will be 29 soon, also clock is ticking for him. Needs to get big wins over Djkoo and Fed otherwise his confidence could suffer more and we may not see the best of him anymore. Hope not!

4 – Wawa. Only player to have beat Djoko twice in Slams last 2 years and myabe can continue the trend next year. Crossed 30, is not consistent enough and seema like Federer, he only has chance against Djoko in specif courts (slow HC and clay). Can’t see him veating Djoko in Wimby nor on a fast HC.

The rest: Ferrer and Berdych days are almost over, so is Tosnga and co.
The young ones all regressed: Kei, Milos and Dimitrov. Kei got some decent wins but he will just not hold ot for a full year. Maybe 1 upset and that’s it.
Cilic also could have 1 upset but the USO run is not going to repeat soon, at least not in that way.

So maybe Novak can be upset by one of the serve giants in a good day and with more belief and Novak in a bad day. It happen in Doha (insignificant after his 2015 year) and almost happen (in a way) in Wimbledon. Anderson were never in commandong position even with the 2-0 lead.

Other than that, Djoko will need a bad day and the opponent on a good day (something that happen in North America pre USO agaisnt Murray and Fed). But Djoko regrouped just in time.

The only bad match he played all year was RG final, as if he got lazzy, didn’t change strategy, thoght Stan woudl chove and give him the match and by the time he realized what was happening, it was too late and Stan grew in the match. Ir can happen when you play 28 Grand Slam matches, but the level he is on, I see maybe 2 or 3 oportunites and even so it is kot guarantee the opponents will finish it.

So in worst scenario, if he survives 1 and misses 2 he wins 2 Slams, if he survives 2 of this possible “attack” he reproduces his 3 Slam year. If he survives all, glory!

My take is he wins minimum 2 Slams and if he wins AO, whatch out. AO is wehre he os more succesfull but also where he was more “lucky” let’s say. Could have lost to Nadal in 12′, could have lost to Stan in 13′, could have lost to Murray last year innthird set before Murray collapsed, lost to Stan in 14′ So this guys have chances against him there. And if he passes this next “test” where is a Slam Nadal, Mureay and Federer had made multiple finals. He will be safe for the rest of the year.

Daniel Says:

Just wrote a parchment. Kkkk

Yolita Says:

@kris, 11.06 am
“he played federer at french besides 2011?”
Yes, he did. In 2012 Novak got his revenge and defeated Roger at the semifinal stage. It was a very good match.

This is a very impressive list, and it will only grow. Novak in 2015 was totally different to Novak in 2011.
The earlier version was all passion and determination, eager to dominate Fedal, which he did.
This new Novak is a different animal: he is systematically carving his place in history. No wasted energy. His celebrations are subdued, there is a lot to be done still.
Ominous signs for the rest of the field. Magnificent omens for us Nolefans. 😍

Wog Boy Says:

People are comparing Nole from 2011 to Nole 2015, my opinion is that this Nole would beat 2011 Nole, this Nole is more efficient Nole, more experienced Nole, more coolheaded, more versatile Nole, it would be tight five set make ch with 2015 Nole prevailing.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ “match” not “make ch”

Chrisford1 Says:

Connors and Lendl belong on any list of the “Greats” , IMO, because they played in times of very tough competition and still managed 5 years worth of weeks each or thereabouts as the #1 player and both show up in the record books in other attainments like number of titles that they are 1-2 in with little chance of anyone catching them. Lendl also has a brilliant record in Masters 1000s *then called Grand Prix events* and 7 end of year championships. 5 at the year end ATP event and 2 at the WCT.

As for McEnroe, he is the only player in the Open Era that was a longtime #1 in singles and doubles. He had 439 weeks at #1 between doubles and singles. He had 7 singles Slam Titles, 10 doubles titles at Slams. 11 YEC between singles and doubles. He also had his era being him, Connors, Borg…then him, Becker, and Lendl. He caught it coming in and going out and had 3 of them to fight in the middle of his career.

Seems that all these GOAT Debates have reduced tennis down (to many arguers that think Slam Count is all that matters and level of competition never varies) to only a game played at 4 events, where only wins count, and only wins in singles competition.

You will only get best of era, and you have players that not only straddle 2 eras weak and strong, but straddle two eras of a very different set of competitors and winning skills needed.

jane Says:

“hos prime ended in 2010 when he was 28/29”

daniel doesnt this mean novak’s “prime” is ending? he’s exactly 28 going on 29. as is murray. and nadal’s just one year old. so why/how are murray and rafa past their prime but novak is in his?

i see it more like peaks and valleys in a player’s career.


“The only bad match he played all year was RG final, as if he got lazzy, ”

umm, calling novak “lazy” at any point in 2015 is a stretch, imo. don’t forget he had played nadal and murray back to back before the final and he didn’t have a day of rest before the final because his semi with andy was second and it was carried over to the next day while stan was resting. becker said that novak didn’t have “explosiveness” in his legs that day. but also credit to stan for playing amazingly well too.

jane Says:

nadal’s just one year old*er. lol

SG1 Says:

I happen to think that 2011 Novak was just a little better than this one. Of course only Novak knows for sure.

Humble Rafa Says:

People are comparing Nole from 2011 to Nole 2015, my opinion is that this Nole would beat 2011 Nole, this Nole is more efficient Nole, more experienced Nole, more coolheaded, more versatile Nole, it would be tight five set make ch with 2015 Nole prevailing.

I Nole this argument.

Wog Boy Says:

It is very rhythmic name, and rhymes nicely with “Olé”, you know that spanish word, no? It goes like this:
“Nolee Nole Nole Nole .. Oléé Oléé and again, try it;)

Daniel Says:

Yeah Jane,

But Djoko is still in his prime as for Federer and Nadal there were clear breaks. Fed won nothing in 2011 and 1 lone Slam in 2012. Nadal remains to be seen but if he doesn’t win anymore the cut will be clear, 2013 last dominant year and last Slam in 2014.

My parallel with age it was that usually, 28-29 is the time players start fading, as it was thence with Fedal. Novak could be an exception, and so can Murray.


you that goes against Slam as the primary measure, right now, Nadal is always mentioned together with Fed but to me there is clear difference:

1 – You have Fed

2 – Than you have Sampras and Nadal

3 – Than you have Borg, Djoko, Laver

4 – Lendl, Agassi, Conner, Mcac and than the others.

Laver is a joker because he can be put in any group depending on how you see his results since he was in a transition era.

Nadal is only placed higher and sometimes with Fed due to his 14 Slams, If he had 1 or 2 less and he would be downgrade.

In my view right now Smapras is better than Nadal due to Number 1 records and WTF results. The only negative for Sampras is clay.

But Smapras dominated 2 Slams: 7 Wimbledon and 5 USO. Fed dominated 3 Slams, Borg dominated 2 and Djoko is dominating 2 (AO and 3 out of last 5 Wimbledon), 1 more Wimbledon and it will official.

Nadal only dominated clay, his second best is 2 Slams.]
Sampras also is a far better number 1, record holder in Year End number 1 and send in weeks as #1, plus second in WTF titles together with Djoko.

Nadal doesn’t have any WTF and only 2 finals. Another positive for him is the career Slam and is dominance of fellow top 20-30 with positive HxH against almost everybody.

But people only bring him higher due to Slam count, which still is the primary goal.

It’s all very subjective, and their careers is not over still, Sampras is so it’s easy for us to overlook some of his feats.

jane Says:

wog boy i tend to agree re: 2011 vs 2015. i think it’s cool that he had different coaches for each year.

daniel, yeah it remains to be seen with nole and murray. and even rafa. that’s why i take issue with saying novak will only be playing himself or whatever. that’s not really true and we don’t know what’ll happen in 2016. i doubt many were predicting novak would surpass 2011 in 2015!

Humble Rafa Says:

I read the Egg Lover’s accomplishments and I am shocked to see so many references of the Arrogant One. Let it be known that there is one and only one goat owner.

Daniel Says:

Jane, ref your last sentence: I was! Hehe not top, but really thought he would ein multiple Slams and WTF compared to 2011 when he was not smarr enought to schedule and was kind of making the path. Now he knows what needs to be done to play well all year.

In 2011 it was as if he was discovering new ground. Now he is going beyond it.

jane Says:

well you’re very prescient then daniel; kudos to you!

Humble Rafa Says:

Lot of people have asked me why I didn’t go to the Unkempt hair’s wedding, only my other amigo.

The answer is: I am a family man. Marta did Basic Instinct, not my type.

tennisfansince76 Says:

Another impressive aspect to the year djokovic had is that I believe he is the oldest player to have what I call a dominant/consistent year where not only is the player no. 1 but performs highly at all slams and most other events. Help me out here but I cannot remember any other player in the open era maintaining this kind of consistent greatness at the advanced tennis age of 28. Connors was 21/22 in 74. Borg’s last top year was at age 24. McEnroe’s spectacular 1984 was age 25. Wilander was 24 in 1988. Sampras I don’t think ever had a true d/c year but was last no.1 at 27. Fed’s last d/c year was 2007 at age 25/26.

Colin Says:

On the ATP website, they have a compilation video of hotshots from the World Tennis Finals. Some of the best shots were made by guys who lost the match.

What struck me was the reaction of the great players when their opponent won a brilliant point.
Nole gave a rueful smile, as if to say “Great shot, but you’re not gonna beat me!”

Roger and Rafa both looked grim.

Djokovic has incredible confidence, and it’s a big part of his armoury. Rafa used to have that sort of confidence, and he’s still struggling to regain it. Roger knows he can still play a sublime match (as in the Wimbledon semi against Andy), but he can no longer take it for granted.

elina Says:

World Tour Finals Colin.

Colin Says:

Well, I got the initials right!

Okiegal Says:

@Colin…..What tour, the bicycle tour??Personally I think it should be the World Tennis Finals……makes a lot more sense.

Chrisford1 Says:

Colin – One thing I like about Djokovic and players like Monfils and Tsonga (and Edberg) is they will applaud great shots hit against them. Sometimes with a smile.
And not just confident in victory, but with the match in doubt or them losing badly. In the 2013 French Open semi, Rafa hit an impossible topspin backhand passing shot on the full run that he powered into opposite the ad court corner in the 2 square feet Djokovic couldn’t cover. Saving himself from going down a double break to Djokovic. Nole stopped, looked at the corner again, then at Rafa and smiled at him, and shook his head.
It’s one of the traits I like about Djokovic and Monfils and del Potro. And Edberg in his day, when I was a kid learning the game.

jane Says:

tfs76, no one answered your question – “Help me out here but I cannot remember any other player in the open era maintaining this kind of consistent greatness at the advanced tennis age of 28.” –

you raise a really good point.

as i have been saying, we talk about “primes” and most of the other primes are identified, as in daniel’s post, when the player was much younger than novak is now. indeed, he’ll be 29 in 6 months.

so is this an indication that age isn’t so much a factor anymore? i mean, we’ve all noticed how much “older” the top 10 is now.

or is this an anomaly?

personally, i think it’s the former more than the latter.

players take better care of themselves now (novak is meticulous about this); the technology is better now; they manage their schedules more carefully now. there are so many possible factors for this longevity were seeing. maybe it’s even an “entitlement” factor in the younger generation -so they don’t work as hard as their predecessors? (okay i know that one is controversial). but there are several reasons why the players are playing longer.

it’s not just novak. it’s also murray, fed, and rafa – ferrer, berdych, wawrinka. and so on.

jalep Says:

jane, I don’t think you can say that age isn’t a factor anymore but prime age has lengthened. We see it when looking at average ages right now in the top 100 – top ten is maybe thrown off by Federer and Ferrer temporarily or it’s headed to mid-thirties. But if you look at who is playing in the legends born in 1982, 1980, 1979,1978… there are more who have retired from Federer’s age group than remain active in ATP.

I wouldn’t call Federer in his “prime” at 34-35, but he’s able to have peak seasons or schedulde training blocks to peak for specific goals within a season while beyond his main physical prime. Until I start seeing Ferrer and Federer going the distance in 5 set GS’s and winning…I can’t believe they are still prime physical age. Tommy Haas, Hewitt, Roddick, Gonzalez, Davydenko – had more of these guys remained relevant in the ATP, the idea of age not a factor would be more convincing.

If nothing else, it’s too early to tell. Let’s see how Wawrinka, Berdych, Tsonga, and these 30 somethings do. Average age of top ten is 31 but I think that’s a false high. Average age in top 100 is 28, which is more reasonable but still higher than it used to be.

WTA average age is more stable at 26 but the top ten right now has Venus and Serena and it had Panetta. We’ll see.

jane Says:

” but still higher than it used to be.” that’s my point jalep. i didn’t mean to say age is not a factor at all. just maybe – i did use that word – that it’s not “so much of” a factor.

i just found it interesting that daniel listed all the other players as having primes in their mid 20s or having primes that were over by 28, like fed’s ending in 2009, but yet then saying that novak is set to rule indefinitely, when he’ll be 29 next year.

and then in contrast to that along comes tfs76 who points out that novak has maybe hit a high point later than most.

but then that’s true for wawrinka too. and perhaps rafa and murray will come back next year. and fed continues to sit at the top of the rankings almost in his mid-30s.

i think what’s true for novak is true for the others too. people are playing longer more successfully. tennis careers have extended.

as i said before, i’m inclined to believe that players have peaks and valleys in their careers. sure; there’s a decline but it’s not like some straight downward trajectory. a player can have a bad year and bounce back tremendously. we’ve seen it with all of the big 4. fed’s 2013, but then his follow up in 14-15. rafa’s 2012, but then his great 2013. murray’s 2014 but then this year having his highest year-end ranking ever.

Ben Pronin Says:

The big 4 are anomalies. Well, more like Federer is an anomaly. Prime is used to describe physical prime. Federer is definitely not in his physical prime. His ability to hit peaks this late in his career is surreal.

Nadal is 29. We already saw a dip this year. Winning even 1 Masters next year would already be an improvement from this year but that wouldn’t make it an extended prime. His physical prime has passed.

Hard to predict Murray, too. His career has been pretty straightforward but took a hit with his back surgery. Whether that’ll extend his physical prowess or not remains to be seen.

Djokovic is also an anomaly, though. Game-wise everyone’s still saying he was better in 2011. But physically, he looks as strong as ever at 28. He really could see an extended prime, or just decline like Fedal did.

There’s also the issue of young players not being particularly good. Makes it easier for older guys to stay at the top.

elina Says:

If it wasn’t for Novak, Roger would be No. 1 ATM with two slams to his name in 2015 so only one guy (potentially the best ever – only time will tell) prevented this.

So it is debatable whether Roger is playing at a “prime” level whatever that means.

It’s pretty close either way.

elina Says:

I don’t think that Federer and Ferrer are anomalies at all.

Many tennis players such as Stan are starting to suddenly play their best tennis in their late 20s into their 30s with improvements in training, science and equipment.

That’s why I think that Novak and even Nadal can still match or top Roger’s slam record.

35 is the new 30.

jalep Says:

Well said Ben.

jane Says:

ben i brought up that point about the younger generation in my earlier post. i wonder if it’s that they’re not good or if it’s a work ethic / hunger thing; i think with some of them, anyhow, it’s the latter.

but i tend to agree with elina that there’s been a shift – generally speaking – in how long tennis players are able to play well. i am not sure if “35 is the new 30” but certainly players’ careers can be defined by “prime” and “decline” straightforwardly. it’s much too simplistic. stan’s a perfect example: look when he peaked! we can no longer say that players decline at “x” age.

this is true across a spectrum of sports, i suspect. athletes are having longer careers and using their experience to their advantage.

here’s a quote from the guardian:

“What explains the never-ending careers of the modern tennis champions? Improved nutrition and injury prevention, for both sexes, is clearly a factor. The rise of the baseline power game is also important, with younger players taking longer to develop the muscles and fitness to succeed. Money, too, cannot be ignored. Prize funds have increased exponentially, giving players an additional motivation to keep competing and extra means – private jets, trainers – to make that possible.”

here’s another article with some good graphs that show the age-factor in tennis more broadly – not just the “big 4 are an anomaly” perspective.


Ben Pronin Says:

“35 is the new 30.”

Except that it isn’t.

I was pretty clear in saying that prime is used to describe physical prime. Federer shows his physical age on a regular basis.

We’ve seen plenty of players burn out physically. Hewitt, Roddick, and Safin retired due to constant injuries, not because they suddenly couldn’t play well. Karlovic is still having success because he doesn’t do much outside of serving anyway. That older players can still hit the ball extremely well shouldn’t be a surprise considering that have 20+ years of practice. The senior tour players still hit the ball extremely well. McEnroe is 56 and is more than capable of competing with the 30 and 40 year olds.

Plus the younger players suck.

Look at how many matches per year Safin, Roddick, and Hewitt averaged early in their careers. Going deep in Masters and Slams, competing with the very best on a regular basis. Stan wasn’t doing jack for the first 8 years of his career. And he still deals with plenty of injuries. But now he has a coach that helps him get over the hump of big matches.

“Training, science, equipment”. Source? Examples? Specifics? This vague answer flies around all the time without any substance behind it.

jane Says:

ben the stats show the age of players in the top 50 is increasing.

we can’t just simply say wholesale it is because the younger players “suck”; they don’t, entirely. i’ve watched them play. i would agree with you that there’s something going on with them, but i don’t think it’s lack of talent.

a more holistic picture has to take into account how the older players – and not just the big 4 – are playing longer and more effectively. there is tons of evidence about diet, about training – for example adding in things like yoga for flexibility to prevent injuries as much as possible. and then the money factor – being able to hire the best help to extend careers.of course the big 4 are exceptional talents; with that i don’t disagree.

i just think there’s more to it.

Wog Boy Says:

“Until I start seeing Ferrer and Federer going the distance in 5 set GS’s and winning…”

disagree on this one, at least in Roger case. Roger was never good in five set matches, in his prime he couldn’t make top20 when yiu look five set matches results. That deserves special thread, why the man with such records is lousy five set player, was it physical, mental or some other reason behind this?

jalep Says:

“Training, science, equipment”. Source? Examples? Specifics? This vague answer flies around all the time without any substance behind it.”

Ben – Clearly what we know about diet improvements, plus achieving and maintaining fitness advances have an influence. However it is hard for me to believe that training, altitude training, fitness programs and a designer diet specifically for the athlete alone will cause dramatic increase or lengthening of human physical prime at the rate we’ve seen it happening. Have to think that science has the bigger influence and secret sauce – what kind of science sauce? It’s only for speculation and what is held in common about the speculation is that it’s out of this world expensive – therefore, mostly accessible to the wealthiest and best connected stars – which would also explain why the younger ones in general are unlikely to have access to the best from the start.

Specualtion… oxygen vectors for one…

Ben Pronin Says:

“why the man with such records is lousy five set player, was it physical, mental or some other reason behind this?”

Because, in his prime, when he was playing well he’d win in 3 or 4. But if he was off he would fight to the bitter end and his opponent needed to everything to win. He went like 194 matches without losing in straight sets. When he was younger? He wasn’t fit, got tired and outlasted in 5 setters. As he got older? Well he actually turned his 5 set record around a bit in recent years but now he also has to play 5 setters against the most physical players ever (Nadal, Djokovic, Murray).

Anyways, what are the players eating that they didn’t eat in the 90s? What equipment are they using that they didn’t use in the 90s? Who is doing yoga besides Djokovic?

I agree that money has a lot to do with it. The top players are able to afford the best physios and whatnot and that certainly plays a large role.

How about the difference in styles? Everyone thinks baseline play is more grueling that rushing the net yet a lot of players who habitually came to net had shorter careers than the baseliners.

jalep Says:

“Roger was never good in five set matches, in his prime he couldn’t make top20 when yiu look five set matches results. That deserves special thread, why the man with such records is lousy five set player, was it physical, mental or some other reason behind this?”

Have to question this claim at the very least, Wog Boy.

jane Says:

i think the players are WAY more diet conscious now that they were in the 90s. heck, the vast population is. same goes for fitness: way more scientific study and access to information – which has to do with technology.

style is a factor in the comment/ link i posted above. maybe baseline play is more rhythmic, less explosive, and therefore less harmful to joints.

as i say, there are many factors contributing to the longevity of players’ careers – across the board.

who does yoga besides novak? probably a lot of players! who knows if they don’t publicize it. but for one, andy has said he does some yoga too.


elina Says:

The proof is in the numbers. Average age of top 10 players has been OTR for 15 years.

And to say I need sources to say technology, science, training and equipment have improved?

Seriously laughable.

Great article on Novak here…


He’s a prime example of how the game and players have changed.

Many other players are playing their best tennis later in age which is keeping the younger players at bay.

Wog Boy Says:

Ben, if you scroll down in the following link that was dated July 2010, Roger’s prime, you will find out percentage and results and that Roger was #21 in the five set record, after that it got only worst, Nole beat him in USO finals and Wimbledon final etc. so He didn’t really turn his five set record around in recent years:


Ben Pronin Says:

“heck, the vast population is. same goes for fitness: way more scientific study and access to information – which has to do with technology.”

The problem is that a new study is published every day contradicting the study before it.

I see people at the gym wearing elevation masks at the gym because something something simulates thin air something nonsense. Basically, there’s a lot of BS out there.

I don’t think a lot of players do yoga specifically. Djokovic is gumby, a really special case. Murray, well, he’s trying. But for the most part, yoga can do harm, too, if you don’t have the right body type. And I doubt a lot of players are going to commit themselves to yoga when they have tennis to worry about. Stretching, obviously.

Wog Boy Says:

^^should say Nole beat him in USO SFs” and not “finals”

jane Says:

ben, here’s another link on tennis and yoga. i really do suspect it’s more popular than just specialty cases:


but unless they tell their training regimes we won’t know.

elina Says:

“People at the gym” lol.

Wog Boy Says:


My post @2:21pm was also answer to you questioning my statment. I think it is clear from that link, since all the results and percentages are shown in various posts, one post dated in July 2010 states percentage of all active and past players, Roger was #21 in active playets one.

skeezer Says:

“He’s a prime example of how the game and players have changed”
Yep. Fed set that bar. Original. Master. Legendary. Nole said so.

“Many other players are playing their best tennis later in age which is keeping the younger players at bay.”
Are the younger players that bad, or the TOP 4 that good, or is it proof that we are in a weak era for tennis after the Top 4?
One is old, one is always injured, one is really good then really bad, and only one is in his prime and performing accordingly.

Wog Boy Says:


You will be happy to know that Nole is all over Sydney, on the bus stops, airport, billboards you name it…I can’t see Roger and Rafa pictures and I looked hard;)

Wog Boy Says:

BTW, thanks for the link.

jane Says:

you’re welcome wog boy; glad to know he’s being duly noticed/celebrated.

Ben Pronin Says:

This article is the most praise Djokovic has gotten since the season ended -_-.

jalep Says:

1) Any claim you make about Federer I’d question, Wog Boy – you know why.
2. Even if it’s true. So what? #21 is his best in his prime and he only became worse since out of his prime and older.

I think Ben described Federer best @ 2:12pm

elina Says:

Well assuming that there has never been a Weak Era to date, somewhat inconsistent thinking that we could ever actually have one soon.

Wog Boy Says:

I don’t get what you are saying, I just posted the stats and link that he was never good in five sets, you asked for it (for prove) even after that 2010 he was wining some and losing some in the same proportion as prior he “was out of his prime and olser”. The point was that saying he is losing them due to his ages is wrong, as my link proves, and that has nothing to do with my dislike of Federer, so honestly I don’t get your point, sorry. If you took on yourself to defend go after everybody who says anything about Roger, fair enough, I am ok with thst.

jalep Says:

Oh, I see where you got your topic and stats, Wog Boy. Tenniswearhouse posters linked to tennisabstract.

Well, can’t argue with the percentages but the story is far from over. Not that I think Federer’s place will improve from 37th or wherever it is. Fat chance Fed’s percentage will improve in BO5 from now until he quits tennis. But there are some near the top still playing that might fall from their heights the longer they stay in the game. Borg….he’ll stay where he is. It’s better to quit while you are ahead when aiming for the top in such a mash up of a list!

When I said this… “Until I start seeing Ferrer and Federer going the distance in 5 set GS’s and winning…”… I was being fascetious. Federer isn’t going to be getting better at 5 setters. But…if he does and wins a GS? Darned if I might start thinking it’s an improved clone of himself!

skeezer Says:

Re; 8:26 post.
Uh “assuming”? You know what they say……and that kind of rationale leads to inconsistencies….keep mocking the unmockable.

Thanks for the link. Apparently Fed needs a new Lub job. Good luck will all that.

Wog Boy Says:

Thanks very much jane, the little one is probably asking what is daddy doing on the wall:)

Top story: Carlos Alcaraz Rolls Right Ankle In Scary Tumble In Rio [Video]