5 titles Djokovic won as a teenager
Novak Djokovic forms one-third of men's tennis' most famed 'Big-3', the others being Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The 32-year-old made his breakthrough on the tennis scene when his two other Big-3 peers were dominating the major rankings and held a duopoly of the ATP no.1 ranking from 2004 to 2011. Djokovic (17) is third on the all-time Grand Slam titles leaderboard while at Masters 1000 tournaments the reigning no. 1's haul of 34 titles is only surpassed by all-time title leader Nadal.
The Serb is the oldest of 5 players in the Open Era to have won the 'career Grand Slam' when he lifted his lone Roland Garros title in 2016 following a four-set win over his good friend Andy Murray. In Masters 1000 tournaments, Djokovic is the only player in the series' three-decade history to have won all 9 tournaments on the calendar, achieving the feat with a victory over Federer at 2018 Cincinnati.
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One of three players, the others being Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal, to win Masters 1000 titles in their teens, twenties, and thirties, Djokovic's title at the 2020 Dubai Open marked a record-equalling 15th consecutive season the Serb won multiple titles in a season. On that note, let us have a look at Djokovic's 5 titles won before he turned 20.
#1. 2006 Amersfoort
Making his first appearance on the claycourts of Amersfoort in 2006, Djokovic had a week to remember.
The Serb produced near flawless tennis in the Dutch city, reeling off consecutive straight-set wins over Boris Pashanski, Tomas Zib, Marc Gicquel, Guillermo Coria, and Nicolas Massu to land his first career singles title, and the first of two titles he would win that season.
In the process, Djokovic ascended to the Top-30 of the ATP rankings for the very first time in his young career.
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#2. 2006 Metz
Having made his breakthrough on the claycourts of Amersfoort, Djokovic lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Umag final and made an early exit at the 2006 Cincinnati Masters before arriving in Metz.
Following successive straight-set wins over Nicolas Mahut, Daniele Bracciali, and Tobias Clemens respectively, the then 19-year-old needed to recover from a set down against Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean in the semis before repeating the same in the title match against Austrian Juergen Melzer.
The triumph in Metz lifted the upwardly mobile Djokovic into the top-20 of the ATP rankings as he would end the season at a career-high ranking of world no. 16.
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#3. 2007 Adelaide
In his only appearance in Adelaide, Djokovic lifted his first title of the 2007 season and the third title of his singles career.
After consecutive straight-set wins over Jan Hajek, Alun Jones, Paul Goldstein, and Joachim Johansson respectively, Djokovic looked on course to lift a second singles title without dropping a set when he took the opener against Chris Guccione in the final.
The left-handed Australian took the second set on a tiebreak to extend the match. However, Djokovic regrouped quickly to thwart Guccione's comeback and win the first of 5 titles he would win that season.
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#4. 2007 Indian Wells
After being thwarted in his first Masters 1000 final at 2007 Indian Wells by Rafael Nadal, the then 19-year-old Serb triumphed in the tournament category on his very next attempt in Miami.
Djokovic did not concede a set in his wins over Daniele Bracciali, Michael Llodra, and Feliciano Lopez respectively before avenging his loss to Nadal at Indian Wells by seeing off the Spaniard in straight sets in the quarterfinals.
Dropping his only game in the semi-final against another teenager Andy Murray, Djokovic beat qualifier Guillermo Canas, who had upset two-time defending champion Roger Federer in a third set tiebreak in the fourth round in straight sets to win his first Masters 1000 title and become only the 5th teenager to triumph in the tournament category.
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#5. 2007 Estoril
Following his maiden Masters 1000 triumph in Miami, Djokovic saw off Russian Igor Andreev in a third-set tiebreak in the opening round at 2007 Estoril.
The Serb then defeated Santiago Ventura, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Tommy Robredo, and Richard Gasquet in consecutive straight-set matches to win his second title on clay, third of the season, and the fifth of his young career.
In the process, Djokovic moved to 5-1 in career singles finals, having lost his only title match on the claycourts of Umag in 2006 against Stanislas Wawrinka.
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