Novak Djokovic moves closer to Roger Federer’s Major record

Since 2007, Novak Djokovic has forged his way towards one of the most accomplished players on hard court in the Open era. With numerous Major titles and Masters 1000 crowns on the most common surface, Novak leads almost every chart related to the achievements on his beloved hard courts, remaining one of the players to beat on it for 15 years. At the recently finished US Open, Djokovic advanced to his 21st Major semi-final on hard courts, moving four behind Roger Federer and hoping to challenge the Swiss in the upcoming years. Thanks to his incredible run in his prime, Federer has been the leader of the pack, leaving all other opponents miles behind until Djokovic started to reduce the deficit and follow Roger’s pace. Novak is a proud owner of 12 US Open semi-finals, adding nine more at the Australian Open for an impressive tally and the second place on the list, leaving players like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal behind.

Novak’s first Major semi-final on hard court came at the US Open 2007 when he played in the final, losing to Roger Federer despite a notable resistance. In 2008, Djokovic was the semi-finalist at both the Australian Open and the US Open for the first time, repeating that in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2021! The Serb was a dominant figure on the Tour between 2011-2016, failing to reach the hard-court semi-final at Majors only once and standing as Roger Federer’s biggest rival in the years to come. Novak was the US Open semi-finalist for ten consecutive seasons before his streak ended in 2017 when he had to skip the season’s final Major due to an elbow injury.

Novak Djokovic is the second player with 21 Major semi-final on hard court.

Novak returned in glory in 2018, securing his third and so far the last US Open crown before two early exits in 2019 and 2020 following that unfortunate default a year ago. This September, Djokovic was the top favorite in New York, claiming the season’s opening three Majors and hoping to achieve something that has stayed out of everyone’s reach since Rod Laver in 1969. After missing a medal in Tokyo, Novak made one last push towards a calendar Grand Slam in New York and reached the final despite not playing at his best. Djokovic came from a set down four straight times and advanced into the ninth final following a five-setter victory over Alexander Zverev. Still, Novak had nothing in the tank in his quest for tennis glory, losing in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev to stay on three US Open crowns and 20 Major titles.