Novak Djokovic has the chance to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam singles titles as he takes his dominant form of recent years to Wimbledon.
With the Serbian also chasing a calendar year Grand Slam, the PA news agency takes a look at his record.
Grand slam record
Djokovic has won six of the last eight major tournaments he has played, including the last three in a row – Wimbledon last summer and this year’s Australian and French Opens.
That 21-match winning run extends his record to 52 wins and two defeats since the start of 2021, and 58-3 since he was defaulted at the 2020 US Open for hitting a ball girl with a ball.
He missed last season’s Australian and US Opens due to his unvaccinated status but has otherwise been in a class of his own since tennis returned following the most stringent Covid lockdowns.
Wimbledon was not staged in 2020 and Djokovic’s US Open nightmare followed before he finished as runner-up to perennial champion Rafael Nadal at a rescheduled Roland Garros.
He won 2021’s first three slams and reached the final in New York, only for Daniil Medvedev to deny him a calendar year grand slam. Nadal again defeated him in Paris last year, at the quarter-final stage, before his current all-conquering run.
In his career as a whole, Djokovic has won 88 per cent of his grand slam matches, 348 of 395. Wimbledon therefore provides his first opportunity to tick off two landmark numbers, 350 wins if he reaches the third round and 400 matches by getting to the last eight.
His 23 grand slam titles are the most ever for a male player, having broken a tie with Nadal by winning the French Open, and alongside Serena Williams for all players in the Open era. Court’s 24 were split almost equally between 13 in the amateur era and 11 in the Open era.
Djokovic goes to Wimbledon as a four-time defending champion – a run dating back to 2018 given the 2020 cancellation.
His 2018 triumph saw him account for Tennys Sandgren, Horacio Zeballos and Karen Khachanov in straight sets and Kyle Edmund and Kei Nishikori in four before an epic semi-final against Nadal – winning 10-8 in the fifth set – and a three-set final against South African giant Kevin Anderson.
He was similarly dominant the following year, dropping sets only against Hubert Hurkacz and Roberto Bautista Agut on the way to the final where he needed two tie-breaks to take Federer to a decider and another to win it 13-12.
He dropped only two sets in 2021 but was more sternly tested last year, with only two straight-sets wins while he trailed Jannik Sinner by two sets before winning a thrilling quarter-final 5-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 and going on to beat Cameron Norrie and Nick Kyrgios to retain his title.
Calendar slam on agenda again
Two years on from going within one match of the calendar slam feat achieved by only two men in history, Djokovic is halfway through another assault on that target.
American Don Budge won all four of 1938’s majors while Australian great Rod Laver did so in both 1962 and 1969.
Djokovic is already the third and final man to hold all four titles simultaneously, winning Wimbledon and the US Open in 2015 and the Australian and French in 2016, as well as uniquely having at least three wins in each.
In this season’s two grand slam triumphs he has dropped only three sets – to French journeyman Enzo Couacaud at the Australian Open, on a tie-break while conceding only three games across the three sets he won, and to both Khachanov and Carlos Alcaraz in France.
In 2021, outside of Wimbledon, he was made to work for his titles, starting in Australia where he faced a five-set battle with American Taylor Fritz and dropped sets also to Frances Tiafoe, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev.
He trailed both the unheralded Lorenzo Musetti and final opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas 2-0 in France, where Matteo Berrettini and Nadal also took him to four sets, and had only one straight-sets win in New York before losing the final 6-4 6-4 6-4 to Medvedev.