The 11 players to win a set 6-0 against Novak Djokovic: only Rafael Nadal has done it twice

Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells
Novak Djokovic pictured at Indian Wells

Few would doubt Novak Djokovic’s position as one of, if not the, greatest male tennis player of all time.

The world No 1 has been untouchable at points throughout his career, with a record 24 Grand Slam titles to his name and over 400 weeks at the top of the ATP Rankings.

But while he has proved phenomenally difficult to test over the years, on a small handful of occasions players have been able to get the better of him.

And, though he did not lose all of those matches, on 12 occasions Djokovic has not been able to win even a single game in a set.

We take a look at the 11 players to have achieved that incredibly rare feat, with only a certain Spaniard able to do it on multiple occasions.

Marat Safin – 2005 Australian Open

It has been almost two decades since a 17-year-old Djokovic made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open, an event he would later dominate.

But as with most young players, it took some time for him to find his feet at the top of the game, and he was handed a chastening defeat in his first major main draw match.

Having come through qualifying, Djokovic was beaten 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 by Marat Safin on that day, with the fourth seed eventually going on to claim the title.

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Gael Monfils – 2005 US Open

Djokovic has completely dominated his head-to-head against Monfils over the years, winning all 19 of his contests against the Frenchman.

Not all of those matches have been easy though, and their first-ever meeting saw the Serbian pushed to the brink.

Monfils did not drop a game in the fourth set to force a decider, but Djokovic ultimately recovered to battle his way to a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(5), 0-6, 7-6 triumph.

Richard Gasquet – 2007 Estoril Open

Another Frenchman that Djokovic has rarely been troubled by is Gasquet, who has won just once in his 14 matches against the world No 1.

Their second meeting came in the final in Estoril 17 years ago, and after losing the first set, Gasquet responded with an emphatic second set.

But it was not to be for him, Djokovic regaining control in a 7-6(7), 0-6, 6-1 victory.

Nikolay Davydenko – 2008 Tennis Masters Cup

Djokovic and former world No 3 Davydenko contested a thrilling round-robin clash at the Masters Cup – now known as the ATP Finals – 16 years ago.

In a contest in which Davydenko had seemingly gotten the other hand, a then 21-year-ld Djokovic rallied to claim a dramatic 7-6(3), 0-6, 7-5 victory.

And Djokovic then went on to beat Davydenko again in the final, claiming the first of seven year-end championship titles.

Mardy Fish – 2010 Indian Wells

One of the most talented American players of his generation, Fish was a fearsome competitor in his day, with a silver medal from the 2004 Olympic Games to his name.

At Indian Wells 14 years ago he and the Serbian contested a topsy-turvy round two contest, in which neither was able to consistently find their rhythm.

Ultimately it was Djokovic who held firm at the end, rallying from a poor second set to complete a 6-1, 0-6, 6-2 victory.

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Kei Nishikori – 2011 Basel Open

After winning his last four matches after dropping a set 6-0, Djokovic found himself on the losing side when he took on the future world No 4 on this occasion.

2011 was one of the best seasons of his career, winning three of the four Grand Slam titles, and he was in control early on against Nishikori on the indoor hard in Basel.

But the talented Japanese star forced a decider, and eventually ran away with a 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-0 triumph.

Roger Federer – 2012 Cincinnati Masters

Federer was one of Djokovic’s most enduring rivals, and fresh off his emotional seventh title at Wimbledon, the Swiss star had the edge on this occasion.

After beating Djokovic in the last four at SW19 a few weeks previously, Federer got off to a lightning-quick start in the final of Cincinnati and Djokovic was unable to catch up.

The Serbian would ultimately lift the title in Cincinnati a few years later but was beaten 6-0 7-6(7) this time around.

Thomaz Bellucci – 2016 Italian Open

Over three years after last facing a bagel, Djokovic again found himself a set down with no games on the board – though this was more of a surprise.

Few would have given Bellucci much of a chance heading into this contest, but the Brazilian left the Italian Open crowd stunned with a dominant opening set.

But he was unable to pull off the upset, as Djokovic battled back to win 0-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Dominic Thiem – 2017 French Open

2017 was one of the lowest points of Djokovic’s career as he struggled with an elbow injury which he was ultimately forced to have surgery on.

And one of the most difficult matches of his curtailed season came at Roland Garros against Dominic Thiem, whom he had beaten in the semi-final 12 months prior.

On this occasion it was the Austrian in complete control, sealing an impressive 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-0 quarter-final victory.

Rafael Nadal – 2019 Italian Open, 2020 French Open

No men have played each other more in the open era than Djokovic and Nadal, and the 22-time major winner is the only man to bagel Djokovic twice.

The first such incident came in the final of the Italian Open five years ago, where Nadal got off to a flawless start and eventually held firm to claim the title thanks to a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win.

And just under 18 months later Nadal repeated the trick at the delayed French Open of 2020, winning the title thanks to a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph.

Andrey Rublev – 2022 Serbia Open

Djokovic was the home favourite at the Serbia Open in Belgrade in 2022 but fell just short of claiming an emotional title on home soil.

He was handed a tough test against fellow top-ten player Rublev in the final, and it was the Russian who came through to snatch the title.

Rublev was relentless early on and held firm to claim a 6-0, 6-7(4), 6-2 victory.