with 1000 career victories, Novak Djokovic still makes history and joins four legends

Enter here Novak, with your parade of 1000 victories. We don’t know if Connors, Lendl, Federer and Nadal have read Malraux but that’s how they could welcome Djokovic into their Tennis Hall of Fame. The four players were, before Saturday May 14, the only ones to have won more than 1,000 career victories. The fantastic four knew very well, however, that the Serb had been knocking on the door for some time. The enthronement, however, was a little late.

Due to the incredible episode of the Australian Open and its consequences, Novak Djokovic has played little in recent weeks. The world number 1 (certain to be so until Roland-Garros) has still not even won a tournament in 2022. However, if he is far from his usual passing times at this time of year, his success against Casper Ruud opens the door to a possible first title of the season in Rome, at the same time as he devotes it, finally, in the players with 1000 victories.

Even if nothing, in his game or his attitude, seems to betray the slightest weakening, the “Djoker” took his time to hit the bullseye. At 34 years and 357 days, he is indeed the oldest of the five players to reach this milestone. That’s almost three years older than Jimmy Connors, 32 years and ten days old when he signed that feat.

We also find the American in the lead in the total number of games won in his career. The longevity of “Jimbo”, who was still playing a quarter-final at the US Open at 39, as well as his multiple successes in lesser tournaments, partly explain this honorary first place.

Without insulting Connors or even Lendl, the Federer-Nadal-Djokovic trio won their greatest Grand Slam victories, totaling 61 crowns between them (21 for the Spaniard, 20 for the Swiss and the Serb) when the great mouth of US tennis and the naturalized American Czechoslovak won “only” eight each. Besides, the Serbian has won 37 Masters 1000.

If Federer, who only points to 23 victories from Connors, can still dream of dethroning him, it seems more chimerical for the Serb and the Spaniard who should still win more than 200 games to get closer to the scepter. Moreover, in their old age, Novak and Rafael clearly favor quality over quantity, choosing their appearances sparingly.

History, therefore, will remember that Nole signed his 1000th victory in the semi-finals of the Masters 1000 in Rome, his 379th in this category of tournament. The Serb has also won 323 Grand Slams and trails Rafael Nadal in career winning percentage (83.3% vs. 83.1%). If all roads lead to Rome, the one taken by Novak Djokovic this week could bring him even closer to the Colosseum of tennis.