11 iconic wins among Djokovic's 1,100 career victories

Serbian joins Connors and Federer with 1,100 or more wins
May 22, 2024
ATP Tour
By Arthur Kapetanakis

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic joined rare company Wednesday when he claimed his 1,100th career match win — on his birthday, no less — with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Yannick Hanfmann at the Gonet Geneva Open. Tournament organisers presented a birthday cake to the 24-time major champion, who shared it with ballkids and even a security officer.

To celebrate the Serbian's latest milestone, we've combed through his history to pick out one memorable match from each century of wins, from his first 100 (2004-07) through to his most recent 100 (2022-24).

Win No. 37: 2006 Amersfoort Final, d. Massu 7-6(5), 6-4
Djokovic did not drop a set en route to his first ATP Tour final, and he maintained that perfect record on the Amersfoort red clay by beating Nicolas Massu in a hard-fought title match. The two tight sets against the Chilean required two hours, 41 minutes before Djokovic dropped to his knees in celebration.

Then 19, Djokovic provided an early glimpse of the mental resilience he would become known for. He recovered after losing a 4-1 lead and missing out on two set points in the opening set, winning the tie-break from 0/3 down. One break was enough to decide the second, with the Serbian clinching his maiden tour-level trophy on his second championship point.

"It's been an amazing week for me," said Djokovic. "I will always remember this tournament in Amersfoort."

Massu was convinced that the Serbian was a future star after their first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting: "We had already trained beforehand, but in the match his spectacular potential was noticeable," he said in 2016. "I thought he’ll surely be in the Top 5 in the future. He had it all — the game and a winning mentality.”

<a href=''>Novak Djokovic</a>
Djokovic stretches for a forehand in Amersfoort. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images.

Win No. 128: 2008 Australian Open Final, d. Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(2)
In the first of three Melbourne meetings between Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Serbian claimed his first Grand Slam title by holding off a fierce late push from his powerful opponent. After losing the 2007 US Open final to Roger Federer, Djokovic avenged that defeat in the Melbourne semis and finished the job with a composed display against Tsonga.

The No. 3 in PIF ATP Rankings at the time, Djokovic swiftly erased a one-set deficit but was on the brink of a deciding set when Tsonga brought up a break point at 5-5 in the fourth. Undaunted, the Serbian steadied at the crucial moment and produced a flawless tie-break to secure the biggest win of his career to that point.

“I was dreaming of it many times. I was watching a lot of legends in the sport lifting up Grand Slam trophies, so I wished to be in that situation one day,” a 20-year-old Djokovic said post-match. “It’s like a dream come true.”

Win No. 261: 2009 Paris Final, d. Monfils 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(3)
Djokovic played the villain against Gael Monfils and his home crowd in the 2009 Rolex Paris Masters final. After beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals and losing just one set en route to the final, Djokovic led 6-2, 4-1 before Monfils roared back.

What began as a one-sided domination culminated in a test of nerves, with Djokovic twice surrendering a break advantage in the final set. At the conclusion nearly three hours, Monfils blinked with a double fault on Djokovic's first championship point. The title was the Serbian's fifth of 2009 and his fifth at the ATP Masters 1000 level. The event also marked his seventh different Masters 1000 final, with just Madrid and Shanghai missing at the time.

<a href=''>Novak Djokovic</a>
Djokovic celebrates winning his 2009 Paris title. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images.

Win No. 387: 2011 US Open SF, d. Federer 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
For the second straight year at the US Open, Djokovic saved match points with fearless tennis to defeat Federer in a five-set semi-final. On this occasion, Djokovic dropped the first two sets and fought back, only to see the Swiss step to the line to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth and build a 40/15 lead.

That set the stage for one of the most iconic swings of Djokovic's career, a blazing forehand return winner that stunned his opponent and sparked a run of four straight games to win the match. 

"I tend to do that on match points," he said of his high-risk forehand. "It kind of works."

He added: "This is what happens at this stage of a tournament when two top players meet. Just a couple of points decide the winner... It's always important to be calm, to stay positive, and to believe, to believe that you can win."

Djokovic followed that with a four-set win against Nadal in the final to claim his first US Open crown.

Win No. 401: 2012 Australian Open Final, d. Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5
In the longest Grand Slam final in history at five hours, 53 minutes, Djokovic prevailed for what he has called the best win of his career.

Perhaps the biggest twist in a match full of them came in the final set, after Djokovic dropped serve to trail 4-2. Nadal, leading 30/15 in the ensuing game, missed a routine passing shot that let Djokovic back into that game — and with it, the match. The Serbian was revived from that point, finding an extra bit of power to win five of the match's final six games.

“It’s probably the longest final in the history of all Grand Slams, and just to hear that fact is making me cry, really,” Djokovic said post-match, after both weary warriors were provided chairs to sit on during the trophy ceremony. “I’m very proud just to be part of that history.”

<a href=''>Novak Djokovic</a> and <a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a> take a seat during the trophy ceremony.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic take a seat during the 2012 Australian Open trophy ceremony. AFP/Getty Images.

Win No. 531: 2013 Shanghai Final, d. Del Potro 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(3)
Djokovic completed a perfect Asian Swing in 2013 by retaining both his Beijing and Shanghai titles. Across both tournaments, Juan Martin del Potro pushed him hardest in a thrilling three-set final at the Rolex Shanghai Masters

In their first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting since Djokovic won a five-setter that year at Wimbledon, the Serbian again triumphed by playing his best tennis in a deciding set. Djokovic looked out of sorts as Del Potro powered to the second set, but he rediscovered his footing to match the Argentine blow for blow in a high-quality third.

Del Potro fought off two match points at 4-5 but could not overcome Djokovic's fast start to the climactic tie-break. A backhand winner down the line clinched the crown in style.

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Win No. 644: 2015 Roland Garros QF, d. Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-1
On his seventh attempt, Djokovic finally dethroned then nine-time champion Nadal on the red clay of Roland Garros, handing the Spaniard just his second loss at the Paris major.

Djokovic held on to win the first set after seeing a 4-0 lead erased, then rode strong serving to take the second set, winning 16 of 18 service points during a dominant stretch. The third set was even more one-sided as Djokovic continued to lock down in the baseline rallies, limiting Nadal to just three forehand winners in the final set.

Djokovic ultimately lost to Stan Wawrinka in a four-set final, but went on to complete the career Grand Slam with his first Roland Garros title one year later in 2016.

Win No. 756: 2017 Doha Final, d. Murray 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
After losing to Andy Murray in the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals title match and ceding the year-end No. 1 PIF ATP Ranking to the Briton, Djokovic reasserted himself in an epic final to begin the 2017 season. The Serbian saved five match points to beat Fernando Verdasco in the semi-finals and needed four match points of his own to end Murray's 28-match winning streak in a final of the highest quality.

Djokovic missed out on three match points when attempting to serve out the second set and later needed treatment on a bloody finger. But he regrouped for a strong closing push and ultimately completed his revenge mission by escaping 0/30 in his final service game.

“It means a lot to me because in the last three months of last season I did not feel confident like that," Djokovic said post-match. "To start the year like that is a dream start."

<a href=''>Andy Murray</a>, <a href=''>Novak Djokovic</a>
Murray and Djokovic share a warm handshake after their 2017 Doha final. Photo by Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images.

Win No. 871: 2019 Wimbledon Final, d. Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3)
In one of the great matches in Grand Slam history, Djokovic fought off two match points on return at 8-7 in the fifth set — one with a stunning forehand passing shot — before winning what was his fifth Wimbledon title. Djokovic also fended off a set point at 5-4 in the third set with a service winner.

The four-hour, 57-minute final remains the longest in Wimbledon history. It also proved to be Federer's last major final appearance. The title was Djokovic's 16th major trophy, leaving him two behind Nadal and four behind Federer at the time.

"It was probably the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match I was ever part of," Djokovic said. "I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hours. But mentally this was a different level."

Win No. 960, 2021 Roland Garros SF, d. Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2
Win No. 961, 2021 Roland Garros Final, d. Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
A pair of epic wins earned Djokovic the second of his three Roland Garros titles. After losing a 6-0 opening set to Nadal in the 2020 Paris final, a match the Serbian lost in straight sets, Djokovic again appeared overmatched early as he fell into a 5-0 hole.

But this time, the top seed grew into the match and began to dominate the rallies. Neutralising the Nadal forehand by targeting that wing with great depth, Djokovic moved decisively ahead by taking the third-set tie-break. As it became clear an instant classic was unfolding, French authorities permitted fans to remain in the stands beyond the COVID-19 curfew — drawing huge cheers on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

“Just one of these nights and matches that you will remember forever,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic was forced to battle back from behind for the third time in four Roland Garros matches against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The Greek was firmly in the ascendency after hitting through Djokovic's defenses to claim the second set, but the Serbian's self pep talk helped him turn around the title match in methodical fashion to win his second of what would become three straight majors to begin the 2021 season.


Win No. 1069: 2023 Cincinnati Final, d. Alcaraz 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4)
What looked for a set and a half like a potential passing of the torch turned into one of Djokovic's most dramatic and hard-fought victories. On the heels of Carlos Alcaraz's win against the Serbian in the Wimbledon final, the young star claimed a tight first set then raced out to a break lead in the second. But Djokovic, visibly exhausted in the humid Cincinnati conditions, summoned the will and the wondrous tennis to turn the tide.

The 36-year-old saved a championship point in the second-set tie-break and then survived a late charge from Alcaraz in a deciding set full of twists and turns to triumph after three hours, 49 minutes, claiming victory in the longest best-of-three final in ATP Tour history (since 1990).

"Just overall, one of the toughest and most exciting matches I was ever part of," said Djokovic, who ripped off his shirt in celebration. "These are the kinds of moments and matches that I continue to work for day in day out. I was never in doubt that I can deliver the 'A' game when it mattered the most and [I am] just thrilled.”

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