4 active tennis players who have been perfect against Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic forms the third part of men's tennis' famous trifecta better known as the Big-3

The youngest Big-3 member is just 4 Slams short of Roger Federer's all-time tally of 20, and his 34 Masters 1000 titles are dwarfed only by the third Big-3 member, Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic became the latest entrant in the elite career Grand Slam club in the Open Era when the Serb beat Andy Murray in the 2016 French Open final. In the process, Djokovic became the only player after Rod Laver to hold all 4 Grand Slam titles since tennis opened its doors to professionals in the summer of 1968.

Djokovic's career win-loss record of 82.7% (893-187) is only second to Nadal (83.2%) among players to have played over 200 singles matches. During the course of his stellar career Djokovic has faced 248 different opponents, 174 of whom have never managed to beat the Serb.

Also Checkout: Tennis Schedule 2020

The 16-time Grand Slam titlist's perfect record against 70.6% of all opponents faced is better than the corresponding numbers of his fellow Big-3 peers Roger Federer (233/344, 67.7%) and Rafael Nadal (198/281, 70.4%).

Ivo Karlovic is the only active player who has lost to Djokovic but has a winning head-to-head record against the Serb. On that note, let us meet the active quartet amongst a group of 8 players that has never lost to the man from Belgrade.

#4 Filip Krajinovic (1/1)

Filip Krajinovic
Filip Krajinovic

The up and coming Serb's only win against his more illustrious compatriot came in the pair's home tournament in Belgrade when Djokovic retired after dropping the first set 4-6 against the younger Krajinovic in the 2010 quarter-finals.

Krajinovic is a 3-time finalist on the ATP tour, reaching his first career final at 2017 Paris-Bercy and two in 2019 - Stockholm and Budapest, each time falling short of winning the title.

#3 Jiri Vesely (1/1)

Jiri Vesely
Jiri Vesely

The tall Czech left-hander Jiri Vesely downed Djokovic in the first round of the 2016 Monte Carlo Masters in the pair's only tour meeting.

Vesely took the win in three sets, winning the first and third sets 6-4 either side of dropping the second 2-6.

The pair was slated to meet in the second round of the US Open the same year but owing to an injury to Vesely, Djokovic received a walkover to the third round. The same does not count as a win in the Serb's career win-loss record.

#2 Taro Daniel (1/1)

Taro Daniel
Taro Daniel

Japanese journeyman Taro Daniel faced Djokovic in the second round of the 2018 Indian Wells Masters. The Serb was coming off a brief injury-induced hiatus after a fourth round exit at the Australian Open to Hyeon Chung.

On the day, Daniel ran out a 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1 victor.

Djokovic went on to drop his opening match at Miami to suffer 3 consecutive defeats for the first time since the end of the 2007 season when the Serb lost in the Madrid semi-finals, Paris-Bercy opening round, and lost all 3 group-stage matches at the ATP Finals (then called the Tennis Masters Cup) in Shanghai.

Only two other times during his illustrious career, Djokovic has endured a trio of successive singles losses - both in 2005, the year when the Serb made his debut at a Grand Slam tournament.

#1 Nick Kyrgios (2/2)

Nick Kyrgios
Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios is the only player after his compatriot Lleyton Hewitt to have beaten Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer in their respective first matches against the trio.

Apart from Marat Safin (2/2), Kyrgios is the only player to have played Djokovic multiple times and emerge unscathed on each occasion.

In the pair's two meetings on tour in 2017, the combustible Australian beat the then No. 2 ranked Djokovic in the Acapulco quarter-finals and in the opening round at Indian Wells, both times without dropping a set.

Both matches may have been straight-set affairs, but the wins were anything but straightforward. Two of the sets in both matches were decided in tiebreaks while another went 7-5. Wins against Djokovic rarely come easy.

Following his Acapulco win, the then 21-year-old Kyrgios became the youngest player to have beaten each of the Big-3 trio of Nadal (2014 Wimbledon 4th round), Federer (2015 Madrid 2nd round), and Djokovic (2017 Acapulco quarter-finals).

Also read: 4 milestones awaiting Djokovic in 2020

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Edited by A. Ayush Chatterjee
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