T365 Recall: Novak Djokovic’s $21million season of excellence in 2015

It’s Novak Djokovic’s 31st birthday so we have decided to look back at his 2015 campaign when he had the sweetest of seasons.

Many have described it as the greatest season men’s tennis history and when you look at the statistics, it is difficult to argue.

Three Grand Slam titles, six ATP Masters 1000 trophies, one ATP 500 trophy, ATP Tour Finals winner and the world No 1 ranking.

Djokovic’s 93.2% (82-6) winning record in 2015 puts him in sixth place in the overall standings of best winning percentages for a season, behind John McEnroe (1984 – 96.5%), Jimmy Connors (1974 – 95.9%), Roger Federer (2005 – 95.3% and 2006 – 94.8%) and Bjorn Borg (1974 – 93.3%).

However, if you factor in that Djokovic’s tally of 11 titles included three Grand Slams and six Masters titles, then he edges the others in terms of the prestige of the trophies he won. Connors, Federer (2005) and Borg only won two majors while McEnroe’s season of glory included four Masters trophies.

Let’s not forget he also finished runner-up to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final and was also a finalist in the Canadian and Cincinnati Masters.

In total he entered 16 tournaments, won 11 of them, made it to the final of another four events with his worst performance of the season coming at the Qatar Open when he lost in the quarter-final.

In terms of his head-to-head record against the other Big Five players, he was 6-1 against Andy Murray, 5-3 against Roger Federer, 4-0 against Rafael Nadal and 3-1 against Wawrinka.

The Financial Times said “Djokovic’s 2015 effort was the best ever in the men’s game” after they “measured how good a player’s season was based on the average result they achieved across all tournaments they played”.

In terms of prize money, he raked in $21,646,145 for his singles efforts and it remains the best during an ATP Tour season, comfortably beating the $16,327,821 Andy Murray, who is in second place, made during the 2016 season.

How about this for a stat from Business Insider? He won 14% of the total prize money handed out by the ATP that year and $5 million more than the next two players, Federer and Murray, combined.

The New Yorker certainly felt he was the best of the best as “no athlete had the year Novak Djokovic had. No athlete was as consistently superb, January through November”.

Unsurprisingly he won the ATP Player of the Year Award and also scooped the Laureus Sportsman of the Year gong.

Of course it led to comparisons with Federer’s 2006 season when he had a record of 92-5 and also won three Grand Slams. And many felt he may well end up becoming the GOAT if he continues that form.

“It’s been an incredible season. Next to 2011 probably the best season of my life,” the Serb said of his incredible season.

“But I’m enjoying this year more than any previous one because I’m a husband and I’m a father and that makes it even more sweeter.”

There was certainly no letting up from him at the start of 2016 as he won the Australian and French Opens to hold all four Grand Slams at the same time while he also reached the US Open final.

However, after the highs of 2015 and 2016, last year turned into a nightmare due to a dip in form and injury problems.

Things are also not going well for him so far this year as well and it remains to be seen if he will ever reach the lofty standards of 2015 again.

But Djokovic is a man who loves tennis and back in 2015 he said: “This is a sport I love truly with all my heart. Because I love the sport, that’s why I started playing it. As a kid you dream to be in a position to win Grand Slams, win the season finale and be the best in the world. I managed to achieve that for many times.”