Novak Djokovic in Sight of New Career Milestones in 2021

Published 01/04/2021, 5:00 AM EST
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi-final match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Toby Melville


Novak Djokovic had plenty of positives to take home from the 2020 tennis season.

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The Serb clinched his 17th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open title and also achieved his sixth career number one in the year-end ATP singles rankings, equaling legend Pete Sampras. However, Sampras’ feat still stands alone as he achieved six career year-end number ones in consecutive years.

In another feather to his cap, Djokovic ended the season tied with Russian Andrey Rublev for the most number of matches won in the calendar year, at 41. He also topped the vote tally to finish as the best European tennis star last season.

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However, the Serb isn’t done yet as he is in sight of more career milestones this year. He is just nine weeks shy of beating Roger Federer’s record of spending 310 weeks as the top-ranked player. The Serb became only the second man in tennis history to complete 300 weeks as World Number 1 on December 21, last year.

Novak Djokovic could also have the most year-end number ones in 2021

Djokovic, who currently leads 20-time Grand Slam winning rival Rafael Nadal by 2,180 points in the ATP rankings, will leapfrog Federer if he can stay as the top-ranked player till March 8, 2021.

The Serb could also break Sampras’ record with his seventh year-end number one finish this season. 

As far as the race for Grand Slams goes, Djokovic could take his tally to 21 by winning all four Major titles this year. However, that may appear a bit far-fetched with Nadal more realistically having the chance to set a new record for most Major championship trophies with his 21st this year.

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Federer, though out of action since the Australian Open last year, has identified Wimbledon and the US Open as his priority events this year. These Majors could potentially give him two more titles, taking his career tally to 22.

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While the mantle for the most Grand Slams will keep shifting between the ‘Big Three’ as long as they are fit and firing, the other milestones are more realistically within the Serb’s reach and will further reaffirm his status as one of the greatest ever in men’s tennis.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

824 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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