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Gael Monfils goes past Novak Djokovic's tally of 16 consecutive years with an ATP final, trails leader Rafael Nadal by 1

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Novak Djokovic after beating Gael Monfils at the 2017 Aegon International Eastbourne
ANALYST

Until Saturday, Novak Djokovic had the joint second-longest active streak (in years) of reaching at least one ATP final. But by making the final of the ongoing Sofia Open, Gael Monfils has overtaken the Serb and claimed sole ownership of the second spot.

Djokovic and Monfils had both made the final of an ATP event in 16 consecutive years, but the Frenchman moved to 17 by beating Marcos Giron in the Sofia semis on Saturday. Monfils will take on top seed Jannik Sinner in Sunday's summit clash.

Rafael Nadal leads the list among active players, having made the final of an ATP tournament for 18 years and counting. Nadal made his first-ever ATP final in 2004 at Sopot (where he won the title), and has repeated the feat every year since.

Longest current active streaks for reaching at least one ATP final a year:18 - Nadal (2004-2021)
17 - @Gael_Monfils (2005-2021)
16 - Djokovic (2006-2021) https://t.co/kNCWHT1Y5n

Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, made his first-ever ATP final in July 2006, reaching the title round of the Dutch Open. The Serb beat Nicolas Massu in that match to win his maiden ATP title.

A week after that, Djokovic also made the final at Umag. But he had to retire midway through the title match due to an injury, handing Stan Wawrinka the win.

Like Rafael Nadal, Gael Monfils also made the final of an ATP event for the first time in Sopot. The Frenchman achieved that feat in 2005, and like the Mallorcan, he ended up winning the title too.

Djokovic, Nadal and Monfils have now made the summit clash of at least one ATP tournament every year since making their first-ever ATP final. But given that the three are neck-to-neck on this list, it is difficult to say who will eventually hold the record.

Consecutive years with at least one ATP final (active streak)Nadal 18 (2004-2021)
Monfils 17 (2005-2021)
Djokovic 16 (2006-2021)
Zverev 6 (2016-2021)
Schwartzman 6 (2016-2021)
Rublev 5 (2017-2021)
Medvedev 5 (2017-2021) https://t.co/ehC2afZteY

Novak Djokovic seems to be the slight favorite, given his superior form and fitness compared to Rafael Nadal. Gael Monfils, on the other hand, is known for his inconsistency and injury problems; the odds of him keeping this streak going are not too high.

Djokovic is also the youngest among the three, which is another thing that might work to his advantage.

A look at Gael Monfils' record against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal after beating Gael Monfils at the 2017 Australian Open
Rafael Nadal after beating Gael Monfils at the 2017 Australian Open

Gael Monfils has an abysmal record against both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. He has faced them a combined 33 times but has ended up victorious only twice, both times against Nadal.

The Frenchman has a 0-17 win-loss record against Djokovic and a 2-14 record against Nadal.

Monfils last registered a victory against Nadal back in 2012. Since then, he has been winless against both the 20-time Slam champions.

Monfils has fared slightly better against Roger Federer, having beaten the Swiss four times in 14 career meetings.

Edited by Musab Abid
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