Novak Djokovic Upstages Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal With Huge Career Milestone at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/16/2021, 11:33 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Kelly Defina


By virtue of sealing a place in the Australian Open semi-finals battling serious physical odds and a strong opponent, top seed and World Number 1 Novak Djokovic crossed another major career milestone.

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Djokovic has become the first player to reach 9 Australian Open semi-finals

The Serb became only the first player in the history of the sport to reach at least 9 semi-finals in each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

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In reaching this phenomenal career landmark, the 17-time Grand Slam champion left ‘Big Three’  rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal trailing in his wake.

Carrying an injury from his bruising five-set win over American Taylor Fritz in the third round, the Serb had battled past Canadian Milos Raonic to seal his passage to the quarters.

Bringing more of that indomitable will to the fore at the Melbourne Park on Tuesday, Djokovic got the measure of German Alexander Zverev in four sets to ensure an unprecedented ninth semi-final appearance at the Australian Open. 

Novak Djokovic has now reached 39 last-fours in Grand Slams, behind Federer’s 46

The Serb will be playing the 39th Grand Slam semi-final of his career as he takes on high-flying Russian Aslan Karatsev on Thursday.

Along with nine last-four appearances at Melbourne Park, Djokovic has played 10, 9 and 11 semi-finals at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open respectively, in a glittering career profile.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his third round match against Taylor Fritz of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

These are mind-boggling stats as they are but compare them with the career milestones of his Big Three rivals in Majors, the numbers would appear even more amazing. 

Just to put Djokovic’s numbers in context, Federer has made eight semi-final appearances at the Roland-Garros and Nadal has 6 and 7 last-four ties to his credit at Australian Open and Wimbledon respectively.

However, Federer tops the men’s list for most semi-final appearances at 46, followed by Djokovic at 39 and Nadal at 34.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Was a Relief”: Novak Djokovic States the Racquet Smash at Australian Open 2021 Helped Him

3 months ago

The Serb is in sight of another huge landmark as a ninth Australian Open title this year will put him alongside the legendary Martina Navratilova as the joint holder of most Grand Slam trophies at a single event.

Navratilova won 9 of her 18 career Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

864 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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