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Novak Djokovic has got one over on Rafael Nadal after backing up his Tel Aviv Open win with another string of superb performances in Astana. The Serb now boasts the highest win percentage of any man in tennis history ahead of the Spaniard, Roger Federer and a surprise fourth entrant.
Djokovic had some time out after pipping Nick Kyrgios to the Wimbledon title in July. Having missed out on the US Open due to his Covid vaccine status, he spent almost two months watching on before returning to action at the Laver Cup last month.
The 35-year-old has played plenty of tennis over the past week with victory over Marin Cilic in Israel followed up by an even more impressive run in Kazakhstan. Karen Khachanov was beaten in the quarter-finals on Friday before a controversial win over Daniil Medvedev in the semis.
By his own admission, Djokovic was second-best in the first two sets but with the contest tied up at 1-1, Medvedev retired out of the blue to give the Serb safe passage to the final.
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Once there, the 21-time Grand Slam champion dispatched Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets, much like he did in the Italian Open final earlier this year. Laver Cup aside, Djokovic hasn’t lost in competitive men’s singles action since Nadal himself got the better of him at the French Open in May.
His imperious form has moved him to the top of the all-time charts when it comes to win percentage. Separated by fine margins, Djokovic sits on 83.29 per cent as Nadal sits just behind on 83.28 per cent, with both tennis greats having racked up well over 1000 wins.
Federer, who won 20 Grand Slams and retired from tennis last month lies in fourth with Bjorn Borg taking up the final spot on the podium. Djokovic therefore has the bragging rights on that front but the race to be considered the greatest of all time is judged by many metrics and former French Open finalist Alex Corretja maintains that the Spaniard is still out in front.
“Novak is past Roger and is chasing Rafa again, so the race is still there,” he told Eurosport earlier this year. “I think it is very interesting for the sport in general. It’s good that Novak keeps on winning because he is such a professional player.
He is past Roger and is chasing Rafa again, so the race is still there. I think it is very interesting for the sport in general. It’s good that Novak keeps on winning because he is such a professional player.
“I think it is phenomenal winning seven Wimbledons. This is something unreal, and he is someone who is very special.”
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