Novak Djokovic extends lead in ‘Big Titles’ showdown with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Kevin Palmer
Noak Djokovic won a 7th ATP Finals title in Turin
Noak Djokovic won a 7th ATP Finals title in Turin

Novak Djokovic keeps adding more notches to his legacy and his seventh ATP Finals title on Sunday also moved him ahead in another key statistic. 

Djokovic’s sensational performances in his final two matches in Turin saw him blow Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner off the court in vitally error-free displays in the semi-final and final.

His success in beating the two best young players in the world in such a convincing fashion confirmed that at the age of 36, Djokovic appears to be getting better and better.

“It’s very special,” Djokovic, who had shared the record of six titles with Roger Federer, said on Amazon Prime. “One of the best seasons I’ve had in my life no doubt.

“To crown it with a win against the hometown hero Jannik, who’s played amazing tennis this week, it’s phenomenal.

“I’m very proud of the performances these last two days against (Carlos) Alcaraz and Sinner, probably the best two players in the world next to me and (Daniil) Medvedev at the moment.

“The way they have been playing I had to step it up, I had to win the matches and not wait for them to hand me the victory and that’s what I’ve done.

“I played tactically different today than in the group stages against Jannik and just overall a phenomenal week.”

Djokovic now has the most Grand Slam titles in the open era of the men’s game, as well as the most Masters 1000 titles and the most APT Finals titles.

He has also taken what is an unshakable lead in the race to finish his career with the most ‘Big Titles’, as categorised by the ATP Tour.

You may not be familiar with this rating as it is rarely mentioned, but this is a calculation that rates the quality of the titles the game’s top players are winning.

The calculation is made up of Grand Slam championships, ATP Finals and ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, and Olympic singles gold medals.

So Djokovic added six more ‘Big Titles to his incredible record in 2023, with the Australian Open, French Open and US Open titles backed up by wins in Cincinnati, Paris and at the ATP Finals.

Statistically, the debate over who will go down in history as the greatest player of the open era ended some time ago, with Djokovic wrapping up that title with plenty to spare.

When you then add in the significance of the trophies he has won, it makes his achievements all the more remarkable.

READ MORE: Tennis greats predict how many Grand Slam titles Novak Djokovic will win

After a relatively slow start to his trophy-winning career, Djokovic now averages a win in the ‘Big Title’ events every 3.1 times he plays, but that number has shrunk dramatically over the last few years.

With just six defeats on his record in 2023, Djokovic won more than 50 per-cent of the tournaments he entered in 2023 and ended the year with an incredible 90.02 win percentage for this year.

In his post match press briefing in Turin, the Serbian spoke about the aura he has created on court and there is no doubt he has added to that in 2023.

“When they play me, I want them to feel that it’s going to require the best tennis from them in order to win against me,” he said.

“That’s what I want my opponents to feel, no doubt, because that helps mentally coming into the match.

“I think the more I win on the biggest stage, the more this kind of aura grows, and I’m glad for it, no doubt. Of course, that’s not going to win you the match, but it might give you the little percentage, the little edge.

“I will hang on for as long as I feel like hanging on. As long as I’m able to win against them on the big stage, I’ll still keep going — because why stop if you’re still winning the biggest titles?

“Once they start to kick my butt, then I will consider probably having a little break or maybe a permanent break from professional tennis.”