Djokovic celebrates 1,100th win on 37th birthday in Geneva

Serbian saves 10 of 11 break points faced to advance
May 22, 2024
AFP/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic defeats Yannick Hanfmann on Wednesday at the Gonet Geneva Open. By ATP Staff

Novak Djokovic celebrated his 37th birthday in style Wednesday at the Gonet Geneva Open, where the Serbian became just the third player in the Open Era to win 1,100 tour-level matches.

The top seed overcame German Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals at the ATP 250 event and when Djokovic clinched victory, fans instantly began singing happy birthday to the Belgrade native. “That really touched me,” Djokovic said while thanking the crowd in his on-court interview. “I’m very happy to win on this special day.”

Djokovic found peaks of his best level throughout his first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Hanfmann, but will be searching for greater consistency should he capture his first title of the season this week. The World No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings showed flashes of impressive shotmaking, including a perfect drop shot and a screeching forehand pass in the opening two games. Djokovic again treated the crowd with a forehand hammer past the 32-year-old in the final game.

“The key was the birthday,” Djokovic said with a laugh. “The birthday probably wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t win the match, but it’s nice to be here for the first time at this tournament, with my family coming here to support as well. I grew up with my aunt, uncle and two cousins for most of my life. We don’t get the chance to see each other that much lately, so it’s really nice. I’m getting some really quality time on the court, but also off the court.”

Rain stopped play for an hour when Djokovic was serving for the opening set at 5-3. Upon resumption, the seven-time Nitto ATP Finals titlist saved his fifth break point in that game alone before holding for a one-set advantage.

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Hanfmann jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, even having a break point that had he converted, he would have gone ahead 4-0. But Djokovic quickly recovered, tallying six consecutive games to close the one-hour, 29-minute match.

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Djokovic, who saved 10 of 11 break points faced, according to Infosys ATP Stats, will meet wild card Denis Shapovalov or sixth seed Tallon Griekspoor in the quarter-finals. The Canadian Shapovalov led 7-6(7), 3-3 15/0 before the match was suspended for the day due to rain. The match will resume Thursday not before 1 p.m. local time with the return later returning to court for a quarter-final contest against Djokovic.

Making his first appearance in Geneva this week, the 98-time tour-level titlist joins Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer as the only players to reach 1,100 tour-level match wins in the Open Era.

Players who have won at least 1,100 tour-level matches (Open Era)

Player Wins
Jimmy Connors 1,274
Roger Federer 1,251
Novak Djokovic 1,100

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