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Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic - Who is the better Indoor tennis player?

Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic at the 2010 Swiss Indoors in Basel
Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic at the 2010 Swiss Indoors in Basel

Indoor tennis is usually played towards the end of the ATP calendar, with the two biggest tournaments being the Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals.

There have been a number of successful players at indoor events in the past, from Rod Laver to John McEnroe to Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors. Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are among the modern greats to have enjoyed indoor success.

The GOAT debate among tennis fans is raging now more than it ever has, with fans divided over who among the Big 3 of Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic deserves the accolade. But when it comes to indoor conditions, we can safely say that Nadal is ruled out of the debate, having never won the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals and only winning one indoor title in his whole career.

But who among Djokovic and Federer is the better player in these conditions? Here is our verdict:

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic after winning the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in 2012
Novak Djokovic after winning the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in 2012

It comes as no surprise that Novak Djokovic is arguably the greatest hardcourt player of all time. But he is also one of the best at indoor events.

The Serb has accumulated a career win-loss record at indoor tournaments of 167-46 (76%) and has won 14 indoor titles. Djokovic has won the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals five times and the Paris Masters 1000 title a record six times in his career.

The World No. 1 has a head-to-head record of 5-5 against Federer on indoor hardcourts and has reached the semifinals of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals 10 times in his career.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer after winning the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals for a record sixth time
Roger Federer after winning the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals for a record sixth time

Roger Federer, on the other hand, has a superior win-loss record of 298-70 (81%) indoors and has accumulated 26 indoor titles. He has won the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals a record six times, the Paris Masters 1000 title once and Basel (Swiss Indoor) a record 10 times in his career.

The Swiss maestro has made the semifinals of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals a record 16 times. Clearly, Federer has been more consistent throughout his career than Djokovic in these conditions.

As mentioned earlier, Federer has a level head-to-head record vs Djokovic indoors 5-5), with his last win coming in the group stages of the 2019 Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at the age of 38.

In conclusion, we can say that Roger Federer has a leg up over Novak Djokovic at indoor events.


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Poll : Who do you think is the better indoor tennis player?

Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer

138 votes

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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