Player Feature: Novak Djokovic

Full Name: Novak Djokovic 

Birthdate: May 22, 1987

Birthplace: Belgrade, SR Serbia 

Years active: 2003 – present

ATP Rank: #1

Key facts and statistics

  • One of the Big Four of men’s tennis
  • Had the highest Elo rating
  • 16 Grand Slam titles
  • Held the 4 major titles at once
  • 5x ATP #1 tennis player in men’s singles
  • Has 75 singles titles

Novak Djokovic is dubbed as one of the best male tennis players of the Open era and of all-time. He ranks among the rosters of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, and Bjorn Borg.

An aggressive baseline player, there is something unique about Djokovic’s all-court (albeit modern) playing style. He is known for his deep and penetrating groundstrokes. But his backhand underspin is legendary with its consistent pace and precision – even considered as the best in this era. 

Djokovic is both a defensive and offensive player. He can easily convert positions on seemingly defensive positions. 

He turns to his serves as a weapon to win free points. The same goes with his return of serves; John McEnroe even said that Djokovic is the most outstanding returner in tennis history.

Together with Federer, Nadal, and Andy Murray, they formed the Big Four. The players dominate men’s tennis division in terms of ranking and victories. Djokovic has the highest Elo rating of the four, though, because of his records in winning against quality opponents. He was the only player to defeat the top three tennis players within one season.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) currently rank him as the #1 player in men’s singles. He was a five-time #1 player, grabbing the position in a total of 250 weeks. He was the only Serbian to achieve the ranking as well as win a Grand Slam singles title.

Djokovic has numerous titles under his belt; 75 titles. He has a total of 16 Grand Slam titles, reaching the Career Grand Slam title after winning the 2016 French Open. He was the eighth player to do so.

He was also the third tennis player who holds four major titles at once, on different surfaces. His major titles include seven Australian Opens, five Wimbledons, three US Opens, and one French Open.

He was consistently on tours since he started playing professionally as well. Djokovic has won 33 ATP Tour Masters, 12 ATP Tour 500s and five ATP Finals. He holds the record for being the only male player to win tournaments under Masters 1000.

With all these, he was always the consistent half on the best rivalries on the court. Not just against his Big Four contemporaries, but also Stan Wawrinka, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, and Juan Martin del Potro. In all their meetings, Djokovic prevailed.

One of the cited reasons for his court endurance and agility is his vegan diet. In 2010, his coaching team, which included Igor Četojević, a nutritionist, discovered that he has a gluten intolerance. Gluten was removed from his diet. He became stronger and quicker after the change.

Aside from playing tennis, he also devotes his time to his vegan restaurant in Monte Carlo that he opened in 2016.

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ATP Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Sunday 20th November By @DavAulak

Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray – 18:00 live on Sky Sports 3

The ATP World Tour Finals comes to an end on Sunday and it is the Final that most would have wanted. The top two players in the World Rankings go up against one another with the trophy and the World Number 1 Ranking on the line.

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Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have won all four matches played so far this week, but I think it is hard to ignore the amount of tennis that Murray has had to play compared with Djokovic. The long winning run does mean Murray is going to believe he can dig deep enough to come through in the Final, but he has twice had to go over three hours to win his matches and yesterday’s Semi Final victory over Milos Raonic came close to four hours on court.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting

Novak Djokovic

Compare that with Djokovic who lost just two games on his way to crushing Kei Nishikori and the former World Number 1 has to be a lot fresher. I do think Djokovic has not been at his very best this week, but his level could be good enough if Murray is fatiguing and I think the Serb has to feel he can outlast Murray much like he has throughout his career.

Matches between Djokovic and Murray have been competitive, but tiredness didn’t help Murray when beaten in four sets by Djokovic in their last meeting at the French Open. I can see the first set being very competitive, but Murray will find it tough to continue finding the strength to win the long rallies these two tend to play against one another. At that point I think Djokovic will take control of the match and come through with a 7-5, 6-3 win.

 

Handicap Betting Pick: Novak Djokovic – 2.5 Games at 1.71 with Pinnacle

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP World Tour Finals London Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Tuesday 15th November By @DavAulak

Gael Monfils v Dominic Thiem

Both Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils were beaten in their opening matches on Sunday, although the former showed more of the quality tennis that has taken him into the top eight this season. The problem for Thiem is that he has admitted some tiredness and the way he fell apart against Novak Djokovic, after taking the tiebreaker in the first set, has to be a concern.

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Having a day of rest will help Thiem, but the collapse has been something of a feature of his matches down the stretch in what has been a long season for him. He did win the Tie Break Tens competition in Austria, but the regular tennis points have been tough for Thiem and I am not sure he has a lot left in the tank for the remaining days of the 2016 season.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for Monfils either and I was little disappointed that he couldn’t produce more in his loss to Milos Raonic. The Frenchman has some solid results to end the 2016 season, but he has to show a little more tennis smarts to look for the win in this one, rather than entertaining the crowd.

That has been an issue for Monfils through his career, but he has looked more focused in 2016 and I think he can pick himself up from his opening loss. I don’t hold much hope for either of these players to make it through to the Semi Final, but I think Monfils can keep his chances alive for another couple of days by using his athleticism to wear down Thiem over the course of this match.

Thiem admitting he is feeling a little tired would be a worry and I think Monfils can continue the run of straight sets win in this tournament and I will back him to cover the games.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Gael Monfils -1.5 Games at 1.92 with Pinnacle

 

Tennis Handicap Betting

Gael Monfils

Milos Raonic v Novak Djokovic

The favourites have been winning easily so far this week so backing against Novak Djokovic, who is desperate to finish the year with the World Number 1 Ranking, is perhaps a little foolhardy. That is probably even more so when you think that he has dominated Milos Raonic in their previous matches and would have covered this number in their previous two matches in 2016 and three in a row in their best of three contests.

That includes a win in the Paris Masters in 2014 for the loss of just five games, in what are similar conditions to those that the players will be facing in London.

However my reason is that Djokovic might be motivated this week, but he has also still got some issues that need to be resolved. There looks to be a couple of problems with his camp which came to the fore on Sunday, after dropping the first set while the Djokovic serve is still not working to the same level as it was a few months ago. Another problem has been the unforced errors that Djokovic has produced, which is considerably below what we expect from him and these are situations that Raonic can take advantage of.

I was concerned about the leg issue Raonic had and whether that would have an affect on his serve in the opening match. Those were set aside by a huge serving day and the Canadian has a big enough game to give Djokovic something to think about and this looks enough games for Raonic to at least produce the first really competitive match at the Tour Finals.

There is every chance we will need at least one tiebreaker in this one too and a strong serving display coupled with taking some of the chances Raonic gets to break serve, should see him within this number.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Milos Raonic + 3.5 Games at 2.02 with 188BET

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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