US Open 2021 – The mind-boggling numbers behind Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of a Grand Slam

NEW YORK — When Novak Djokovic takes the courtroom at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, he’ll try and do one thing solely three different tennis gamers have completed within the historical past of the game: win a calendar-year Grand Slam.

The world No. 1 has had an ideal Grand Slam yr, profitable all 27 matches he has performed and lifting three main trophies.

He’s one match — and three units — away from making historical past two instances over: changing into the fourth participant to win the calendar-year Slam and likewise surpassing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for a document 21 main titles.

“I’ll deal with this match as [if] it’s my final one as a result of it is arguably a very powerful one in every of my profession, possibly,” Djokovic mentioned after Friday’s semifinal battle towards Alexander Zverev.

One might argue that he is handled each Grand Slam match this yr prefer it’s a very powerful one in every of his profession, contemplating his good document.

Forward of Sunday’s match towards Daniil Medvedev (4 p.m. ET; ESPN/ESPN App), this is a have a look at a few of the mind-boggling numbers Djokovic has put up on the tennis courtroom this season. All numbers are by way of Friday’s semifinal.

49.61: Variety of miles Djokovic has run on the 4 majors mixed

Djokovic has performed 27 matches at majors this yr (and received all of them), and he has run a complete of 49.61 miles in these 27 matches. It is rather less than the space of two full marathons (a marathon is 26.2 miles lengthy).

53: Variety of photographs in Djokovic’s longest rally

Within the semifinals of the US Open, Djokovic and Zverev have been concerned in a 53-shot rally within the third set, which Djokovic led 5-4 (with one set apiece). In essentially the most pivotal level of the match at 40-30, up a break and with set level in sight, Djokovic determined to offer his every part, hitting baseline forehand photographs with precision. Djokovic hardly ever grunts throughout factors, but after 25 photographs, the world No. 1 started grunting with each return. That was when followers realized how lengthy the rally had been. Zverev held on to win the purpose, forcing a deuce with an enormous forehand winner.

“He performs the most effective tennis when he must, which quite a lot of gamers do not. That is why he is the world No. 1,” Zverev mentioned on the information convention following the match. “He comes up with the most effective tennis when he must. We play [53]-shot rallies. The one approach for me to win that rally is to hit a forehand winner. That claims all of it, on a set level.”



Alexander Zverev beats Novak Djokovic to win the longest rally of this yr’s US Open.

11 minutes and 15 seconds: Period of longest recreation performed

In June this yr, Djokovic did one thing that is since been talked about as top-of-the-line moments of his profession: He beat Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, in Roland Garros. The match, which lasted 4 hours and 11 minutes, felt like the ultimate of the event. After the third-set tie breaker, the French authorities, which had imposed an 11 p.m. curfew because of the pandemic, gave an extension for the 5,000 individuals within the stadium so they might proceed watching the duel. Djokovic received the match 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2, towards a person whose Roland Garros document is 105-2.

“It’s certainly the best match I’ve performed right here in Paris,” Djokovic mentioned after the match.

4,954: Complete variety of forehands hit

5,107: Complete variety of backhands hit

3,796: Complete variety of serves hit

130: Quickest first serve this yr (in miles per hour)

37: Share of first serves unreturned

4: Variety of five-setters performed in a Grand Slam

The primary five-setter got here towards the American Taylor Fritz within the third spherical of the Australian Open. He held on 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2. Drama ensued all through the match. First, the match was paused in the course of the fourth set to make sure the spectators left due to a COVID-19 lockdown rule in Melbourne. Second, Djokovic mentioned he tore an stomach muscle after a slide throughout some extent. He mentioned he wasn’t certain if he would get well in time for the subsequent match. However he did, and he ended up profitable the event.

The second was towards Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti, within the fourth spherical of the French Open. He shockingly misplaced the primary two units and needed to dig himself out of a gap earlier than Musetti retired at 4-0 within the fifth set. The ultimate rating learn 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.

The third one additionally got here within the French Open, within the remaining towards Stefanos Tsitsipas. Once more, he got here again from being two units all the way down to elevate his second ever Roland Garros trophy 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

And the final one occurred this week within the semifinals of the US Open towards Zverev. After shedding the primary set like he has for a lot of the matches this event, Djokovic’s focus slipped within the fourth set, which Zverev capitalized on, forcing a fifth. Djokovic raised his recreation within the fifth set to beat Zverev comfortably, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

“There’s a cause why he is received 20 Grand Slams. There is a cause why he is spent essentially the most weeks at world No. 1. There’s quite a lot of causes for that,” Zverev mentioned after the loss. “I feel mentally he is the most effective participant to ever play the sport. Mentally in a very powerful moments I might slightly play towards anyone else however him.”

81-19: Complete variety of units received vs. misplaced in Grand Slams in 2021

Other than the 4 five-setters through which he misplaced eight units, Djokovic has performed 11 four-setters in Grand Slams this yr, whereas he has received 12 matches in straight units.

337: Variety of ongoing weeks as world No. 1

In March 2021, Djokovic surpassed Federer’s nine-year document for weeks spent because the world No. 1. Federer broke 286 weeks at No. 1 on July 16, 2012.

Knowledge credit score: Hawk-Eye Improvements. | US Open 2021 – The mind-boggling numbers behind Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of a Grand Slam


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