#360stats: Djokovic-Becker or Superman-Supercoach

Shyam Sundar 23/12/2016
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Novak-Djokovic-Boris-Becker.

Bergelin-Borg, Günthardt-Graf, Gilbert-Agassi, Toni-Rafa, Lendl-Murray, Mouratoglou-Williams.

These above coach-player duos are arguably the greatest partnerships tennis has ever produced with perhaps one team missing – “Becker-Djokovic”.

The German-Serb duo joined hands three years back (2014-16) and went on to string conceivably one of the best periods of dominance the tennis world has ever witnessed.

The duo recently split after three seasons together and scaling unimaginable heights.

Here, Sport360 brings you all the stats, records and numbers that Becker and Djokovic achieved over the past three seasons.

GRAND SLAMS

3 – By winning the 2016 French Open, Djokovic became only the third man in history to hold all four major titles at the same time (joining Don Budge in 1938, Rod Laver in 1962 and 1969). He also became the first man to hold all four majors on three different surfaces at once (non-calendar year Grand Slam).

30 – Under Becker, Djokovic set a new Open-Era record for consecutive Grand Slam match wins (2015 Wimbledon – 2016 Wimbledon).

6 – Australian Open titles – the most in the Open-Era (tied with Roy Emerson overall).

4 – Djokovic joined Laver and Federer as the only players to reach all four Major finals in a single season (2015).

Australian/French Open double – He became the first man since Jim Courier (1992) to win the first two Grand Slams of the season.

ATP Masters 1000

14 – ATP Masters 1000 titles won by Djokovic-Becker, winning 8 of the 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (excluding Cincinnati).

With Becker, Djokovic reached the finals of all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000. The Serb also became the first man to win 30 ATP Masters 1000 titles.

Sunshine Double – The duo completed an unprecedented three consecutive “Sunshine Double” or the Indian-Wells-Miami double; winning the double for three straight years (2014-16).

4 – Djokovic-Becker produced two streaks of four consecutive Masters 1000 titles – all-time records.

First Streak – 2014 – Paris, 2015 – Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo

Second Streak – 2015 – Shanghai, Paris, 2016 – Indian Wells, Miami

7 – Consecutive Masters 1000 finals; an all-time record (Rome 2015 – Miami 2016).

11 – Consecutive Masters 1000 finals (including skipped tournaments); another record (Paris 2014 – Miami 2016; skipped Madrid 2015).

5 – Consecutive Masters 1000 titles (including skipped tournaments); another record (Paris 2014 – Rome 2015; skipped Madrid 2015).

6 – The duo were able to win six Masters 1000 in a single season in 2015; another all-time record (2015 – Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Rome, Shanghai, Paris).

8 – Masters 1000 Finals in a single season (2015); another all-time record (all finals except Madrid – DNP)

4+ – Djokovic produced three consecutive seasons with 4+Masters 1000 titles (2014 – 4, 2015 – 6, 2016 – 4)

Season Start Triple – In 2015, Djokovic became the first man to win the first three Masters 1000 titles of the season (Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo).

Hard Triple – In 2016, Djokovic achieved the Hard Triple – winning Indian Wells, Miami and Toronto for a second time (after 2011) – the only man to achieve this feat.

Autumn Sweep – In 2015, Djokovic achieved the Autumn Sweep – winning Shanghai, Paris and World Tour Finals for a second time (after 2013) – the only man to achieve this feat.

39 – Djokovic won 39 Masters 1000 matches in a single season in 2015 (39-2).

SIGNIFICANT RECORDS

2 – ATP World Tour Finals titles won by Djokovic; thereby becoming the first man to win four consecutive season-ending championships.

25 – ATP World Tour Titles won (25-8 record in finals).

28 – Match win-streak for Djokovic-Becker; their longest win-streak (2015 Davis Cup world group round 1 – 2015 Roland Garros final).

122 – Novak was ranked No.1 for 122 consecutive weeks during his collaboration with Becker. He took over the top spot on July 7, 2014 (after winning the 2014 Wimbledon) before losing the No.1 ranking to Andy Murray on November 7, 2016. Thus in total Djokovic was ranked No.1 for 28 of the 36-month coaching association with Becker (almost 80% of their partnership).

4 – This was the fourth longest streak at No.1 (since the ATP rankings were introduced in 1973) – Federer (237 weeks), Connors (160 weeks), Lendl (157 weeks).

31 – Most wins against top 10 opponents in a single season (31-5 in 2015). He defeated all players ranked inside the top 10 in a single season (2015) for the first time in history.

$21.65 million – Most Prize Money won in a single season (2015); this includes singles and doubles. In total, Djokovic-Becker won $50 million in prize money (2014-16).

26 – Djokovic won 26 consecutive semi-finals from 2014 Paris Masters to 2016 US Open. Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut snapped this streak in the last four of this year’s Shanghai Masters.

Big 4 Domination – With Becker, Djokovic was 30-10 against other members of the Big 4 and now holds a winning record against each of them.

Staggering Strike RateDjokovic played 47 events (excluding Davis Cup), winning 25 of those events (53% success rate). He played in 33 finals (70% success rate) and 38 semi-finals (81% success rate).

Titles > Losses – Djokovic clinched 25 titles under Becker, suffering only 23 losses.

7 – Djokovic-Becker produced two streaks of seven big title wins in a row.

First Streak – (2014 Paris – 2015 Rome)

Second Streak – (2015 US Open – 2016 Miami)

10 – Big titles (Grand Slams, World Tour Finals, and Masters 1000) won in a single season (2015). He also managed to play in a record 15 straight finals in a season (2015).

18 – Djokovic also featured in 18 finals in a row (2014 Paris – 2016 Miami).

7 – Djokovic also won seven consecutive titles (2015-16) for a second time after 2011 – the first man to win 7+ titles on two separate occasions in the Open-Era. He also featured in 17 straight finals (2015-16), second only to Ivan Lendl (18 consecutive finals).

16,950 – Under Becker, Novak amassed 16,950 points (as World No.1) after winning this year’s French Open. This is the ATP points record under the current ranking points distribution.

82.9% – Under Becker, Djokovic has gone on to own the Best Winning % in the Open-Era (751-155 Win-Loss record).

MISSES

Career Golden Masters – Under Becker, Djokovic was unable to win the Cincinnati Masters and become the first player to complete the set of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. The closest he came was in 2015 when he lost to Roger Federer (his 5th runner-up finish in Cincy).

Olympic Singles Gold – Djokovic was the odds-on-favorite to win his first Olympic Gold Medal at the Rio Olympic Games but lost out to a spirited Juan Martin Del Potro in the opening round.

Calendar Grand Slam – By clinching the first two grand slam titles of 2016, Djokovic was in prime position to achieve the calendar Grand Slam (hold all four slams in a single year) and join Rod Laver (who achieved this feat in 1969 – Open-Era). However, American Sam Querrey ended his dream in the third round at Wimbledon.

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#360view: IPTL must be tweaked to survive

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No-show: Serena Williams pulled out of this week’s Singapore leg of the IPTL.

For a while there, it looked like the third season of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) would never see the light before organisers finally made an announcement just eight days prior to the event’s kick-off.

IPTL founder and managing director Mahesh Bhupathi addressed the media on November 24, and unveiled a compact version of the league. It went down from five stops to three and from five teams to four.

The stellar cast that stole the show in the first two editions of the league also took a hit. Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova are all absentees.

With little information revealed on what exactly happened behind the scenes that forced organisers to cram to put together a condensed version of the league, it’s tough to judge this season three of the competition.

Economic troubles in India have also compounded the IPTL’s woes. It’s obvious that star names are key to its success but having watched parts of the opening leg in Japan, the team aspect of the IPTL remains an incredibly compelling factor.

Watching Goran Ivanisevic and Marat Safin face off, then listening to Tomas Berdych and Thomas Johansson give tips to Ivanisevic on how to come back against the Russian is simply good television.

Add to that the fact that Ivanisevic is actually Berdych’s coach on tour and it gets kind of funny. While sustainability is obviously a concern considering everything that happened this year, some version of this league deserves to survive, because it is exciting, different and shows a light-hearted side of tennis so rare to see these days.

Bhupathi marketed the IPTL as a “revolutionary idea” . Would it have been better to be more reserved at the start and increase the level of expectation gradually each season? Perhaps.

The fact remains that the massive appearance fees top players request will continue to be an Achilles’ heel for the IPTL. It might have been better to get people excited about the format and concept itself from the start, rather than focus on the ‘Big Four’ element.

That way, people would tune in irrespective of the line-up. Axing Dubai was a smart move because the team owners here simply did not know how to market it the right way and couldn’t draw in the crowds.

Visiting tennis-hungry cities will prove imperative for the league’s survival and figuring out a way to make it attractive to the masses without a full cast of ‘Big Four’ calibre could prolong its lifetime.

Great ambition is what created the IPTL. Scaling it back and going back to the drawing board is what might keep it afloat.

SMART CHANGES FROM ATP TOUR

News broke out this week that the ATP has made some interesting changes to the 2017 Rulebook, including one that addresses the issue of first-round retirements.

It’s no surprise that every time a player retires during a first round match at a tournament, question marks are raised whether that person already knew they were injured but started the match in order to receive prize money.

If that is the case, then the player denies a lucky loser a chance to take part in the main draw in order to pocket a paycheck, knowing he or she is not fit to compete and will retire from a match a few games in.

Smart move: ATP CEO Chris Kermode.

Smart move: ATP CEO Chris Kermode.

This situation may now be avoided with the new ATP rule that will be tested out in 2017. It states that ATP players can withdraw on-site prior to competing in a first round of an event and will still be rewarded full prize money from the round which they withdrew from.

The lucky loser that will take his place is entitled to the prize money for the round he reached and for the final round of qualifying. A player can only opt to use that rule twice in a season, and never in two consecutive weeks.

It is a smart move from the ATP and by testing it for a year, they can actually see how effective it is and whether the number of first-round retirements will go down as a consequence.

It’s nice to see the ATP resorting to common sense for an issue that has existed for a long time.

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