All-Surface Novak: Learn Why Djokovic Is In A Class Of His Own
He is the one and only Mr. 54 per cent.
Novak Djokovic is in a class of his own competing on the three outdoor surfaces in our sport. An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the highest achievers when playing outdoors identifies Djokovic is the only player to push through the 54 per cent threshold of points won on grass, hard and clay. The data set goes back to 1991 when official records began and includes all players who have competed in a minimum of 10 matches on each surface.
The following breakdown includes only players to have broken through the 54 per cent threshold for points won on each of the three outdoor surfaces.
First on hard. Second on clay. Third on grass. It’s a ubiquitous record that finds Djokovic as the only player in 30-plus years to break through the 54 per cent barrier with points won on all three outdoor surfaces. It speaks to his longevity and adaptability to thrive on slow, medium and fast courts.
Djokovic is imminently poised to improve his grass-court resume in the coming weeks at Wimbledon, where he has already won the title six times, including the past three editions. An interesting comparison between generations is that of Djokovic and grass-court legend John McEnroe.
Djokovic has already surpassed McEnroe in one facet, with six Wimbledon titles to the American’s three. With a win at SW19 in 2022, Djokovic would pull even with McEnroe with eight grass-court titles apiece. In fact, the equality runs even deeper if Djokovic is again triumphant this year, as both players would then share a grass-court match winning percentage of exactly 85.8 per cent, with Djokovic winning 109 of 127 and McEnroe 121 of 141. There are still seven matches in the way of that becoming reality.
What about comparing Djokovic to Sampras and Federer on grass?
Sampras edges Djokovic and Federer with grass-court points won, but Djokovic climbs above Sampras when analysing games won on grass.
Federer and Sampras have built their grass-court resumes much more from the serving side, while Djokovic leads the duo when returning.
Djokovic gets the opportunity to add to his already impressive grass-court legacy in the next couple of weeks at Wimbledon, hunting a seventh title, which would put him equal with Sampras and one behind Federer.
History once again beckons for the steadfast Serbian.
- Craig O'Shannessy is a former member of Novak Djokovic's coaching team.