Monday, September 14, 2015

Djokovic Adds to List of Achievements

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated world No. 2 Roger Federer in the final of the US Open 6-4, 5-7, 7-4, 6-4 to clinch his 10th grand slam title in his career and ninth in the last five years. The win adds another crown to an incredible season, but also does a lot of good for the Serb in a lot of other ways in regards to his career resume. Here's a look at the significance of the Djokovic title.

No. 1 Ranking

Djokovic clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking with his title in New York and is guaranteed to be the world No. 1 going into the next major as well, meaning for the next 18 weeks, Djokovic is guaranteed to retain the top ranking.

Weeks at No. 1
1. Roger Federer 301
2. Pete Sampras 286
3. Ivan Lendl 270
4. Jimmy Connors 268
5. John McEnroe 170
6. Novak Djokovic 164 (182)
7. Rafael Nadal 141

Ranking Points

Djokovic now has earned 16,145 ranking points in the 52-week rankings which is the most ever by any player since the rankings system began in 1973. Djokovic also has 12,785 ranking points in 2015 alone. His lead over world No. 2 Federer in the 52-week rankings has blossomed from 5,800 (which was already a record) to now 6,600. If you added the ranking points of Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Marin Cilic, you still wouldn't have as many ranking points as Djokovic.

Career Ranking Points

Djokovic has now earned 11,140 ranking points in his career at the US Open, making it his second most successful grand slam behind the Australian Open by just 140 points. The US Open is now the third major where Djokovic has earned over 10,000 ranking points, making the Serb and Federer the only players to do so at more than two events.

In the final, Djokovic surpassed Federer in average points earned per grand slam.

Average points per grand slam
1. Bjorn Borg 1148
2. Rafael Nadal 949
3. Novak Djokovic 904
4. Roger Federer 890
5. Rod Laver 851

In total points earned, Djokovic has parked himself within striking distance of a whole pack of players just barely ahead of him. In fact, Djokovic could potentially move all the way up to No. 2 by reaching the final at the Australian Open.

Career points earned at grand slams
1. Roger Federer 58,795
2. Rafael Nadal 40,835
3. Jimmy Connors 40,480
4. Pete Sampras 40,385
5. Ivan Lendl 39,890
6. Novak Djokovic 39,790
7. Andre Agassi 37,675

Nadal's lead on Djokovic is 1045, so if Nadal reaches the fourth round or better, Djokovic will have to win the title to pass the Spaniard. If Nadal reaches the final, he will prolong his stay at the No. 2 position, which he earned at Roland Garros this year.

Record against rivals

Djokovic had two wins over top 10 ranked opponents in his run to the title. He now is 21-4 against top 10 opponents in 2015 and 148-79 in his career. Those 148 wins are the second most in tennis history behind only Federer.

Against the Big Four, Djokovic has tied Nadal for the most wins within the four-way rivalry.

Wins against Big Four (overall record)
1. Novak Djokovic 61(61-53)
1. Rafael Nadal 61 (61-37)
3. Roger Federer 45 (45-55)
4. Andy Murray 20 (20-33)

Grand Slams

Ten grand slam titles now belong to Djokovic - five Australian Opens, three Wimbledons, and two US Opens. He joins, Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Lendl, and Stefan Edberg as the only players with multiple slams at three different majors.

Grand Slam titles (Open Era)
1. Roger Federer 17
2. Pete Sampras 14
2. Rafael Nadal 14
4. Bjorn Borg 11
5. Novak Djokovic 10

Before taking the title in New York, Djokovic also won Wimbledon, making it the third time that Djokovic had won consecutive grand slam titles in his career. In the majors this year, Djokovic went 27-1, which equals the best record by a player in majors since Rod Laver won the grand slam in 1969. Federer was the other player to go 27-1, doing so in 2006.

GOAT debate

Djokovic now holds many of his own records. The peak he has reached in 2015 is the highest peak ever reached by a player. He has won four of the first seven 1000 events played so far this year and reached the final of all six that he has played in, while winning three of the majors and all four major finals.

However, when it comes to career records, the 28-year old has some work to do still. Many of Djokovic's accomplishments have the side comment of "Federer is the only other player to ever do this." While, Djokovic may lead Federer in average points earned per major, Federer leads the Serb in almost every other category having to do with grand slams.

Other than Federer though, nobody else is putting up numbers that are out of reach, except perhaps the incredible mark by Borg of 1148 ranking points earned per major. On the GOAT rankings, Federer may be out of reach for Djokovic right now, but everybody else is at risk of dropping behind Djokovic in the coming years.

Ultimately, what we saw in the 2015 US Open final were two of the sports all-time greats if not the two all-time greatest fighting for the most important trophy left in the 2015 season. Only time will tell how far Djokovic can climb the GOAT list.

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