Novak Djokovic could destroy a milestone that belonged to Rafael Nadal

The Serbian champion is breaking (and will be able to break) many records at Indian Wellsm, taking them from his rivals Federer and Nadal

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Novak Djokovic could destroy a milestone that belonged to Rafael Nadal
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic waited five years to play a match again at the BNP Paribas Open. And, after five years away (for one reason or another) from the ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, the Serbian returned with a victory. He suffered, to tell the truth, always a victory.

Nole beat the Australian Aleksandar Vukic, beaten in three long sets in over two hours and ten minutes of play, 6-2 5-7 6-3. The success coincided with his 400th ATP Masters 1000 tournament victory, yet another fact that celebrates his extraordinary career.

Djokovic is breaking all kinds of records and statistics, and he might soon shatter another one. Nole already holds the most Slams and the most ATP Masters 1000s, he is the tennis player who has spent the most weeks as ATP No.1 and could soon surpass one last record that still stands and which belongs to Rafael Nadal.

A victory here in Indian Wells would guarantee him his sixth success in California, thus surpassing Roger Federer. With the victory over Vukic, Nole has already surpassed Federer in terms of matches won at the ATP Masters 1000 on hard courts.

Now, the goal will be to overcome Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has 400 victories in the ATP Masters 1000 while the tennis player with the most victories in this category is Nadal, with 406 triumphs.

And to think that the two arrived at Indian Wells together by plane and Rafa withdrew only a few hours before the start of the tournament. With the next matches, and perhaps with Miami, Nole could shatter yet another record.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

And, speaking of records, what if the 2028 Olympic Los Angeles wasn't a utopia for Djokovic?

What if Novak Djokovic was able to play the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic tournament? Just on the eve of Indian Wells, during the BNP Paribas media day, journalists asked the Serbian this very funny and provocative question. Limits don't exist. It's all in your head. The season is really long.

I have clear objectives and events that I want to focus on this year: the Slams, the Olympic Games and trying to do my best in the ATP Masters 1000. I have developed a different approach in recent years. I don't play the whole season, I'm more selective in choosing tournaments, I listen to my body and I talk to my team about the calendar," he told.

"It's about the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, there are a lot of cards in the deck and we have to see how many I have left. It's really a long way off, but it would obviously be wonderful to play the Los Angeles Olympics. I can't think about it now, we'll see how the team responds my body and how motivated I will be to do what I have done for many years of my life.

It gets harder and harder, but I still love the sport and enjoy competing at the highest levels. I'm number 1 and I want to try to make history again. I want to try to get the most out of this phase of my career," he explained.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal