Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been consistent throughout their careers, reaching the latter stages of most of the ATP events. Two great rivals are among the players with the most ATP semi-finals, trailing only Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.
Djokovic made a perfect start to the season and won the Adelaide and the Australian Open titles. Thus, he now has more ATP semi-finals than Nadal, standing at 178 and leaving the Spaniards at 177! Rafa was still in front at the end of 2019, earning 164 and having 12 more than Novak.
However, the Serb has been a more consistent player since the start of 2020, reducing the deficit and passing his great rival, probably for good. Djokovic is 33 ATP semi-finals behind Roger Federer and will have to keep his usual pace to catch the Swiss in the next three or four years.
Novak claimed his tenth Australian Open title in January, writing history books and joining Rafa at 22 Majors. Novak defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, delivering a bagel in the third set to make a winning start.
The Serb lost the second set against a qualifier Enzo Couacaud in round two, struggling with his left leg but recovering in sets three and four to advance. Novak had to give his everything against Grigor Dimitrov, despite beating the Bulgarian in straight sets!
Djokovic’s injury did not look good in the first set, but he fought hard to overpower the opponent and preserve energy. Without knowing what to expect, Novak entered the court against Alex de Minaur and wished for the best.
As it turned out, he did not feel any issues with his leg and destroyed the rival in three comfortable sets in just over two hours.
Novak Djokovic has 178 ATP semi-finals, leaving Rafael Nadal at 177.
With a boost and momentum, Djokovic produced another reliable performance against Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final.
A nine-time champion delivered a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory in two hours and three minutes for a place in the last four, his 178th on the Tour. Djokovic secured the record-breaking 27th consecutive Australian Open win following a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Tommy Paul in two hours and 21 minutes.
The lower-ranked player gave his everything in his first Major semi-final, erasing a massive deficit in the opener before fading from the court. Novak lost serve twice and stole half of the return points. Djokovic turned them into seven breaks and made the difference.
Novak was the only player on the court since the opening set’s closing stages, crumbling the rival’s resistance and marching into the title clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Serb fought in his tenth Australian Open final and lifted the tenth trophy thanks to a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 win in two hours and 56 minutes.
Novak made a great start and prevailed in the closing stages of sets two and three to emerge at the top and secure his 22nd Major crown.