Djokovic’s losing record through the years points to his success

Author: dtadmin
Date: April 7, 2016

Sometimes in order to see how good someone is, one has to look at them at their worst relative to others to gain perspective.

Since the start of 2011, Djokovic has lost only 42 matches and has withdrawn once to Tsonga (doesn’t count as loss or win).

Player…….. # Lost……..# of Sets Lost/Won

Federer…………9………………….20/3

Nadal……………7………………….18/6

Murray…………6………………….14/3

Del Potro………3…………………..6/1

Wawrinka……..2…………………..6/3
Nishikori……….2…………………..5/2
Tipsarevic……..2…………………..4/1
Isner……………..2…………………..4/2

Ferrer……………1…………………..2/0
Haas……………..1…………………..2/0
Robredo………..1…………………..2/0
Tsonga………….1…………………..2/0

Lopez……………1…………………..1/0 (Only 2016 loss so far – retirement)
Berdych………..1…………………..2/1
Dimitrov……….1…………………..2/1
Karlovic………..1…………………..2/1
Querrey………..1…………………..2/1
Total…………..42…………………94/25

Rather amazingly, only 12 losses were outside the top 10 and the loss to the worst ranked was #32 Nishikori in Basel 2011.

Pointedly, since Sep 2013, Novak has only lost once each to two of the three players where he had his biggest losing records, Nadal and Murray. Since that time, Novak has virtually stopped losing to two of his chief former competitors in age and ability. The reasons may be many, but the results have been very beneficial for Djokovic.

Though in comparison since 2014, Federer is still handing out defeats to Novak, he is not quite succeeding against Novak on the biggest stages – the majors. Given his age and matches played, one supposes that it is not surprising.

Now compare Novak’s more recent losing record to his 0-54 record in the shorter time span from 2008-2010 after winning his first major:

Player…….. # Lost……..# of Sets Lost/Won

Nadal…………10………………….23/5

Federer………..8………………….18/3

Roddick………..5………………….11/1

Tsonga…………5………………….11/4

Murray…………3…………………..6/0

Haas…………….2…………………..5/2
Verdasco………2…………………..4/1
Davydenko……2…………………..3/3

Ferrer……………1…………………..3/0
Safin……………..1…………………..3/0
Kohlschrieber..1…………………..3/0
Berdych…………1…………………..3/0
Melzer…………..1…………………..3/2
Gulbis……………1…………………..2/0
Karlovic…………1…………………..2/0
Ljubicic………….1…………………..2/0
Llodra……………1…………………..2/0
Niemenin………1…………………..2/0
Soderling……….1…………………..2/0
Youzhny…………1…………………..2/0
Anderson K…….1…………………..2/1
Malisse…………..1…………………..2/1
Rochus O………..1…………………..2/1
Simon…………….1…………………..2/1
Krajinovic……….1…………………..1/0
Total…………….54………………119/25

Note that from 2008-2010 Novak had 13 losses outside the top 10 up to rank 32, similar to 2011-today, but he also had 10 losses to players outside #32, compared to 0 from 2011-today, including losses to countryman #319 Krajinovic, and Qualie #122 Kevin Anderson.
Of course, some of the other losses were to talented and quality players like Safin, Haas, Roddick and others who are no longer with us or are injured/declined.

So, has Novak improved so much, or have key players declined or disappeared from the tour, or some of both?

Regardless, from the point of view of his recent stellar limited losing record, Novak has clearly done what was needed to give him his success.
It remains to be seen for how long he will be able to keep his losses to a minimum.
As of now, it seems the best bet would be on new blood, and/or Novak’s own decline at some point.

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