Seven tennis facts that sound fake, but are real: Novak Djokovic hasn’t won a set on grass against Andy Murray

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic pose with their trophies

This one is for the tennis fanatics who love their facts and statistics.

One of the quirkiest, but most well-known facts in tennis is that the longest tennis match in history took 11 hours and five minutes to complete with the clash taking place at Wimbledon in 2010.

That match, of course, took place over three days with John Isner beating Nicohals Mahut 6–4, 3–6, 6–7 (7–9), 7–6 (7–3), 70–68 with the final set alone lasting more than eight hours.

Another interesting record from the match is the fact that both players served more than 100 aces with Isner edging his French opponent 113-103.

But, as mentioned before, most of those facts are well-known so let’s look at seven other weird tennis facts that sound like it is fake, but are true.

1. Novak Djokovic hasn’t won a set on grass against Andy Murray

It is hard to believe, but Andy Murray is 5-0 in terms of sets against Novak Djokovic on grass and that is mostly down to the fact that they have played only two matches against each other on the surface.

That is a bizarre stat in itself when you consider they have faced each other 36 times in top-level tennis.

Murray won their first-ever match on grass at the 2012 London Olympics as he beat Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 and the following year he stunned the Serbian 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.

And that was the last time they met on the surface.

2. David Nalbandian’s Big Three wins in consecutive matches

Argentine David Nalbandian won the 2007 Madrid Open and in the process, he created a bit of history as he is the only player to beat the Big Three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in three consecutive matches.

Nalbandian defeated Nadal 6-1, 6-2 in the quarter-final then dismissed Djokovic 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in the semi-final before beating Federer 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

The Argentine, though, is not the only player to beat the top three players in the world in consecutive matches as Djokovic himself defeated Federer, Nadal and Andy Roddick en route to winning the 2007 Rogers Cup while Boris Becker achieved a similar feat in 1994.

3. Richard Gasquet is 0-45 in sets against Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at Grand Slams

French veteran Richard Gasquet has faced Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on 15 different occasions at Grand Slams and he hasn’t won a single set against the Big Three.

Gasquet is 0-18 against Nadal in six matches, 0-15 against Federer in five matches and 0-12 against Djokovic in four matches.

4. Serena Williams won 16 Grand Slams before winning a WTA 250 event

Serena Williams won her maiden Tier III/International/ WTA 250 title at the 2013 Swedish Open and by that stage she was already a 16-time Grand Slam winner.

The tennis great finished her career with 73 titles, but only two came at International/WTA 250 events. The second of those was also her last title in tennis at the 2020 Auckland Open.

5. David Ferrer didn’t beat a top-four player in any of his 27 ATP title runs

Former world No 3 David Ferrer won 27 ATP Tour singles titles, but at no stage during those 27 title runs did he beat a top-four player en route to lifting the title.

In fact, at 25 of the 27 tournaments there was no Big Four player in the draw. The only time there were a Big Four player in the draw was at Valencia 2010 when Andy Murray lost in the second round and at the Paris Masters in 2012 when Murray and Djokovic lost early.

6. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s US Open anomaly

Fedal faced each other 14 times at Grand Slams over the years, but not a single one of those appearances came at the US Open.

Strange, but true.

Andy Murray denied fans a Fedal final in 2008 when he beat Nadal in the semi-final and the following year Juan Martin del Potro first defeated Nadal in the last four before beating Federer in the final.

7. Chris Evert reached the semi-final in 52 out of 56 Grand Slams

The great Chris Evert played in 56 Grand Slams and in 52 of those she reached at least the semi-final.

The only four times that she failed to reach the last four were at Wimbledon 1983 (third round), US Open in 1987 (quarter-final), French Open in 1988 (third round) and the 1989 US Open (quarter-final).

Evert won 18 Grand Slams and finished runner-up at another 16 majors.