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Djokovic To Make Biggest World No. 1 Jump In History

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

Djokovic To Make Biggest World No. 1 Jump In History

Serbian returns to top spot after Australian Open victory

Novak Djokovic has made plenty of Pepperstone ATP Rankings history in the past, holding the record for weeks in top spot (373) and year-end No. 1 finishes (7). On Monday, the Serbian will rewrite the record books again.

After winning his 10th Australian Open title Sunday, Djokovic will return to World No. 1 and in doing so make the biggest jump to the top of the men’s tennis mountain between two editions of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in history (since 1973). The Serbian will climb from World No. 5 to World No. 1.

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The four-place ascent is a bigger jump than the three-spot climb previously made by Carlos Alcaraz (12 September 2022), Pete Sampras (11 September 2000), Andre Agassi (5 July 1999) and Carlos Moya (15 March 1999).

 Player  Ranking Jump  Date
 Novak Djokovic  No. 5-No. 1  30 January 2023
 Carlos Alcaraz  No. 4-No. 1  12 September 2022
 Pete Sampras  No. 4-No. 1  11 September 2000
 Andre Agassi  No. 4-No. 1  5 July 1999
 Carlos Moya  No. 4-No. 1  15 March 1999

If Djokovic remains World No. 1 through the week of 20 February, he will tie Stefanie Graf’s record for most weeks as World No. 1 in history (men and women) at 377. If the Serbian maintains top spot through the week of 27 February, he will break Graf’s mark.

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The 35-year-old was not the only player who was competing for World No. 1 in the Australian Open final. Stefanos Tsitsipas had an opportunity to climb to the top spot, but fell one victory short.

The Greek will be World No. 3 on Monday, trailing Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. He will be 875 points behind Djokovic. However, after dropping 480 points in February (Rotterdam F and Acapulco SF), the 24-year-old will only drop 135 points in March (Indian Wells R32 and Miami R16), giving him an opportunity to make a move.

Did You Know?
Djokovic will begin his 374th week as World No. 1 on Monday. He has held the prestigious position for more than a year longer than any other man in history. Roger Federer is second on the list at 310 weeks.

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ATP Tennis Podcast: Australian Open Recap

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

ATP Tennis Podcast: Australian Open Recap

Look back at Djokovic’s 10th AO triumph

This week on the ATP Tennis Podcast…

JILL CRAYBAS ON NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S MENTAL STRENGTH – “Everything he went through last year, to be able to overcome all that, the amount of mental strength that he has, I don’t know where he gets it from, but it’s just phenomenal what he’s able to produce after everything he’s gone through.”

PETER MARCATO ON NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S TENTH AUSTRALIAN OPEN TITLE – “Novak Djokovic won his first title here in 2008 and in 2023 he’s playing like he was in 2008. It was personal this year, a man on a mission and the emotion that came out after a performance which was clinical in the end, showed how much it meant to him.”

TENNIS AUSTRALIA CEO CRAIG TILEY ON THE LENGTH OF TENNIS MATCHES – “Most people are saying that points are lasting longer, but actually the data is proving that the points are not lasting longer, so when you look at length of matches it’s probably time in-between points. Since we introduced the shot clock, players are realising that they can take their time and the officials are only starting the clock when someone is ready to serve or return and also in Covid players are now having to go back and pick up their own towels and that has created extra time, so we’re seeing extra time not during the point, but between points.”

JASON KUBLER ON HOW A NEW MINDSET MAY HAVE HELPED WITH HIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN TITLE – “A lot of it is being more present and having more understanding on my emotions, why I’m thinking certain things and you know I’m more professional in looking after my body, trying to eat a lot better, looking at how I recover and how I’m feeling in general and that’s all been a big help. So it’s no coincidence that’s when the results started coming.”

MARCOS BAGHDATIS ON HIS 2006 AUSTRALIAN OPEN FINAL – ‘Every time I come to Australia I always say it’s like I had a Grand Slam at home with the crowd and I had my best moments on a tennis court here. I remember in the final I had my chance, I was a set and a break up against Roger Federer but couldn’t go until the end and it was more mentally, I think I started thinking too much and my mind just slipped. I started thinking too much about the future and didn’t stay in the present.”

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Brain Game: Djokovic Dominates In His Domain To Dismiss Tsitsipas

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

Brain Game: Djokovic Dominates In His Domain To Dismiss Tsitsipas

Learn how Serbian defeated Tsitsipas on Sunday

The baseline is his domain.

Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for a record tenth time on Sunday with a 6-3, 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The baseline is where he repeatedly took control over the fortnight in Melbourne, and Tsitsipas was simply the last man standing at the back of the court to be knocked over.

Djokovic finished the tournament ranked No. 1 in baseline points won at a staggering 55.8 per cent (423/757). Only 16 players managed to be win greater than 50 per cent of their points from the back of the court.

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Tsitsipas came into the final having won a respectable 49.8 per cent (320/642) of his baseline points. That win percentage got well and truly roughed up against the Serbian in the final, plummeting all the way down to 39.2 per cent (49/125). No matter what else happened around the baseline battle, that win percentage proved too low for Tsitsipas to carry to victory.

The table below shows just how dominant Djokovic was in baseline play against all opponents in Melbourne this year.

2023 Australian Open Djokovic Opponents: Previous Matches & vs. Djokovic

HTML Table Generator

Opponent Previous Matches  vs. Djokovic
R. Carballes Baena  –  33.6%
 E. Couacaud 50.0%  35.4% 
 G. Dimitrov  59.3% 40.4%
 A. De Minaur  56.8%  31.5%
 A. Rublev 51.4% 41.4% 
 T. Paul 49.2%  39.8% 
 S. Tsitsipas 49.8% 39.2% 
 AVERAGE 52.8%  38.0% 

Djokovic’s six opponents after the first round averaged winning a solid 52.8 per cent of their baseline points. But that total was savaged against Djokovic all the way down to 38 per cent. Playing Djokovic from the back of the court proved mission impossible for everyone standing on the other side of the court.

Djokovic’s seven opponents fared much better at the net, collectively winning 65 per cent (66/102) of their baseline points against the Super Serbian. The problem is that they oftentimes found it so tough to get to the net against Djokovic’s deep, penetrating groundstrokes.

Tsitsipas hit slightly more winners (40-36) than Djokovic in the final, but he committed 22 (76-54) more errors. Relentless baseline pressure heavily contributed to that total. Djokovic relied on his forehand much more than his backhand in his run to the title.

Djokovic Groundstroke Performance (7 matches)

• Winners = 111
• Errors = 165
• +/- = -54

• Winners = 38
• Errors = 162
• +/- = -124

When subtracting winners from errors, Djokovic’s forehand was -54, which was markedly better than the -124 off the backhand wing. Djokovic may very well have the best backhand on the planet, but his forehand is still the prime mover.

The average rally length in the final was 4.76 shots per point, which is just where Djokovic wanted it. The Serbian dominated in mid-length rallies of 5-8 shots more than anywhere else, and surprisingly lost the long rally battle of 9+ shots by a single shot.

Rally Length vs Tsitsipas

0-4 Shots
• Djokovic = 69
• Tsitsipas = 64
• Advantage = +5

5-8 Shots
• Djokovic = 22
• Tsitsipas = 8
• Advantage = +14

9+ Shots
• Djokovic = 21
• Tsitsipas = 22
• Advantage = -1

Djokovic’s triumphant return to Melbourne was built on dominating with forehands and backhands more than any other strategic factor.

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Djokovic: 'I Don't Have Intentions To Stop Here'

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

Djokovic: ‘I Don’t Have Intentions To Stop Here’

Serbian defeated Tsitsipas to clinch record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam

Novak Djokovic made history once again Sunday when he clinched a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. The Serbian produced a ruthless display to overcome Stefanos Tsitsipas, rising to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since June with his victory.

Following his record-extending 10th Australian Open crown, the 35-year-old revealed that the fire to achieve more burns as bright as ever.

“I am motivated to win as many Slams as possible. At this stage of my career, these trophies are the biggest motivational factor of why I still compete,” said Djokovic, who moved level with Rafael Nadal on 22 majors. “I never really liked comparing myself to others, but of course it’s a privilege to be part of the discussion as one of the greatest players of all time. If people see me this way, of course it’s very flattering because I know that I give as much effort and energy into trying to win slams as anybody else.

“I still have lots of motivation. Let’s see how far it takes me. I really don’t want to stop here. I don’t have intentions to stop here. I feel great about my tennis. I know that when I’m feeling good physically, mentally present, I have a chance to win any Slam against anybody.

“Physically I can keep myself fit. Of course, 35 is not 25, even though I want to believe it is. But I still feel there is time ahead of me. Let’s see how far I go.”

Djokovic’s Message To The Fans:

The Serbian captured his maiden Australian Open title aged 20 in 2008 before he rose to No. 1 for the first time in July 2011. More than a decade later and Djokovic remains a dominant force, with the 35-year-old proud of the work he and his team have put in to enable him to stay at the top.

“I nurture and celebrate these moments of becoming No. 1 again and Grand Slam champion even more than I have maybe ever in my career. I don’t take it for granted,” Djokovic said.

“It’s just so fresh. I just came off the court. Of course, I have to reflect and sleep over a few nights and just realise what I’ve been through with my team. Of course, it makes me incredibly proud, but it also is a huge relief because it hasn’t been smooth sailing, so to say, on and off the court in the last three to four weeks.”

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Djokovic entered the hard-court major with a left hamstring injury that he sustained en route to winning his 92nd tour-level title in Adelaide earlier this month. Having struggled throughout his opening three rounds, the Serbian’s title chances in Melbourne looked threatened.

However, he improved physically in the latter stages to triumph.

“If I turn back the time two and a half weeks ago, I wasn’t really liking my chance in this tournament with the way I felt with my leg,” Djokovic said. “Then it was just a matter of survival every single match, trying to take it to the next round.

“The good thing about the Grand Slam here is that you have a day between the matches, so it allowed me to have more time than normal [at] some other tournaments to recover, to try to do all the treatments in order to get myself in somewhat of a good state and condition to play and eventually win.

“From [the] fourth round onwards, I felt the leg was not bothering me as much. I felt my movement was much better. I played some of my best tennis honestly in [this] Australian Open. The fourth round, quarter-final, semi-finals, just really comfortable on the court, hitting the ball great.”

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With Sunday’s win, Djokovic improved to 11-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against Tsitsipas, having also defeated the 24-year-old Greek in the Roland Garros final in 2021. Following his 12th win of the season, an emotional Djokovic climbed into his box, where he embraced coach Goran Invanisevic and the rest of his team.

“It [was] just a huge pride and satisfaction that I feel at the moment,” Djokovic said. “Of course, when I went into my box, I just think emotionally collapsed there and teared up with my mother and my brother, when I gave them a hug. Because up to that moment I was not allowing myself to be distracted with things off the court or whatever was happening in dealing with an injury, things happening off the court, as well, that could easily have been a big disturbance to my focus, to my game.

“It required an enormous mental energy really to stay present, to stay focused, to take things day by day, and really see how far I can go.”

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Ivanisevic Reflects On Djokovic & Nadal's Battle For Grand Slam History

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

Ivanisevic Reflects On Djokovic & Nadal’s Battle For Grand Slam History

Croatian reveals the Djokovic stroke that has impressed him most in 2023

Goran Ivanisevic was thrilled to watch his charge, Novak Djokovic, make more history Sunday at the Australian Open. The Serbian claimed a record-extending 10th title at the season’s first major.

But it also marked the 35-year-old’s 22nd Grand Slam trophy, tying Rafael Nadal’s record. Ivanisevic is excited to watch Djokovic and Nadal continue battling for the record.

“I said eight or nine years ago that Novak and Rafa will go over Roger,” Ivanisevic said. “People were looking at me like strangely. But we have 22-22. Two unbelievable competitors, two unbelievable tennis players, what they did for the tennis.

“I’m looking forward. Looking forward, honestly, for both of them to be super healthy, then battle is there. And with the young guys who [are] going to try to find backdoors to sneak and try to do something. But still these two guys, they [are] going to have last word to say there.”

There are plenty of young players challenging the legendary duo, including Djokovic’s opponent in Sunday’s final, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and reigning US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz. But Ivanisevic still has his eyes on the Djokovic-Nadal battle.

“We [are] talking about young guys. They’re here, it’s great for tennis, great for the future of tennis. But you still have these two guys battling. This was Novak’s home court, and now we going next one to Rafa home court in this handball match of 22-22,” Ivanisevic said. “Yes, they are coming, Alcaraz, unbelievable. Still, if Rafa steps on the court on the French Open, for me he’s always the favourite to win the tournament.” 

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Djokovic arrived at the Australian Open with injury concerns after hurting his left hamstring in Adelaide. Those concerns grew after it was clear his movement was hindered in the early rounds of the tournament.

But in the end the Serbian showed his class at Melbourne Park, claiming the trophy with the loss of just one set during the fortnight.

“I think I have to agree with him like he said, definitely the best one, not only because all what happened last year and he came back, but last three weeks, they were extremely hard,” Ivanisevic said. “I thought I saw everything in 2021 when he won here with the abdominal tear. This one was unbelievable.

“To play like this every day better and better, it’s just impressive.”

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Djokovic is known for his relentless baseline game. His dogged defence stymies all levels of opponents and when necessary, he can step into the court and take charge, while his serve is an underrated weapon. But one shot in particular has stood out to Ivanisevic in 2023.

“I’ve been impressed by his forehand all this year. Actually we work a lot. Let’s say in Torino he start to hit the forehands, but we work a lot in the pre-season. Adelaide was not bad,” Ivanisevic said. “But here kind of when he got injured, he needed to be more aggressive. He stepped up and he was smacking forehands unbelievable. Really probably the best two weeks of forehands that I ever saw [from] him in his life. I mean, I never saw him hitting better forehands before. He was really going for it.”

Ivanisevic added that Djokovic is “unbelievable” and that the 93-time tour-level titlist continues to impress the Croatian in new ways.

“The guy is unbelievable. I don’t know how to describe in the words. I thought I saw everything, and then you see this. Probably I’m going to see something else,” Ivanisevic said. “Unbelievable. I know he’s emotional on the court. Doesn’t matter. We talk, he talks. But, like I said before, how he won the tournament, how he played also today in the moments was good tennis, in the moments was bad tennis, but doesn’t matter, overall he won 10 Australian Opens.”

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Stef: Novak Dominance 'Not A Curse'

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

Stef: Novak Dominance ‘Not A Curse’

Greek was competing in his second major final

Defeated but not downbeat, Stefanos Tsitsipas was eager to take the positives from his Australian Open run after losing to Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

The Greek, who would have climbed to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings with victory, produced a series of impressive performances in Melbourne, leaving him confident that a maiden major title and the No. 1 ranking are close.

“I’m just happy that I’m in another Grand Slam final. Of course, I was dreaming about the trophy, lifting that trophy. I even dreamt it last night in my sleep. The desire is really there. I really, really want it badly,” said Tsitsipas, who lost to Djokovic in his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros in 2021. “But just dreaming about it won’t make it happen. You got to act. You got to do something out there. You got to be present even more and do better.

“[It is] definitely much better playing finals than being stuck behind in the semi-finals. I’ll take that for sure. I just need to take that one more step where I can consistently lift trophies and win Slams and Masters 1000 events.”

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Djokovic and Tsitsipas entered their 13th ATP Head2Head meeting knowing victory would take them atop of men’s tennis’ mountain. Up to a joint career-high No. 3 following his 11th defeat against Djokovic, Tsitsipas revealed reaching No. 1 is a major goal.

Having fallen in the third round in Indian Wells and the fourth round in Miami last year, the Greek will have the opportunity to climb to the top before he defends his Monte Carlo crown in April.

“I want to max out in what I do in my profession. No. 1 is on my mind,” Tsitsipas said. “It doesn’t come easy, I know that. I got to work harder to make that happen. Today was my opportunity to be a World No. 1. I had a better opponent on the other side of the net who did things much better than me. He deserves that spot currently.

“I am born a champion. I can feel it in my blood. I can feel it as a competitive kid that I was when I was young. It’s something that is within me. I want to harvest that, make it bloom, make it even stronger and fonder, work hard towards those goals.

”It’s that beautiful number, the number ‘1’, that will make things extremely emotional when converting that.”

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Tsitsipas arrived in Melbourne having advanced to the semi-finals on three previous occasions at the hard-court major. Two weeks later and the 24-year-old has added a final appearance to his Australian Open CV.

While he is pleased with his progress, the Greek is hungry for more.

“There are definitely things that I can improve and get better at, given the circumstances today. But I don’t think there’s any reason for me to be affected by today’s loss,” Tsitsipas said. “It is a step forward. I’m looking forward to scoring more points during this season, making bigger results, fighting for bigger trophies.

“I very much enjoy the way I play, my attitude on the court, my mental stability, my concentration levels. There’s still a little bit more to add to the whole structure of my game. I couldn’t be more excited to be heading towards that path.”

Despite falling short, Tsitsipas produced a strong performance against Djokovic. He fired 40 winners and had the opportunity to win the second set, squandering one set point on the Serbian’s serve at 4-5.

Tsitsipas praised the impact Djokovic has had on him when he reflected on his display.

“I did everything possible in order to get a good match against him. My team is working exceptionally to give me the best way that I can approach this, especially today. There is nothing that I didn’t use in my advantage,” Tsitsipas said. “There’s nothing that I could have extracted more for today. I did everything possible.

“Novak is a player that pushes you to your limits. I don’t see this as a curse. I don’t see this as annoying. This is very good for the sport, to have competitors like him, to have champions like him. He has made me a much better player. He has made my levels of concentration higher and higher every single time I get to play him. You have to be really involved and you have to be dedicated to the game when you play against him.”

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Social Media Reaction: Kyrgios: 'We Created A Monster'

  • Posted: Jan 29, 2023

Social Media Reaction: Kyrgios: ‘We Created A Monster’

Del Potro, Jabeur among others who congratulate the Serbian

Novak Djokovic earned a historic win on Sunday at the Australian Open, where he claimed a record-extending 10th title and tied Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam trophies

From Nick Kyrgios to Billie Jean King, stars quickly took to social media to congratulate the champion on his victory at Melbourne Park.

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