Novak Djokovic can improve a crazy record

The Serbian champion has a great chance to improve a record that already belongs to him, between Indian Wells and Miami

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Novak Djokovic can improve a crazy record
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

How long has it been since a tennis player managed to complete the Sunshine Doubles, winning the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and the Miami Open? Simple answer: it has been missing since 2017, when Roger Federer succeeded.

There were 11 other cases of double victory besides that of the Swiss Maestro. Leading the way in this special list is Novak Djokovic who has achieved this feat 4 times. Roger Federer is in second place in this statistic, as he has achieved this feat three times.

The other of the Big 3 that dominated tennis is completely missing, because Rafael Nadal not only never made this double win, but he never won the Miami tournament, during his career.

The Indian Wells-Miami double win, as mentioned, has been achieved 12 times in history and 7 players have achieved it. Novak Djokovic is aiming for his fifth double and to strengthen his leadership in this ranking, given that he has already achieved it in 2011 and for three years in a row from 2014 to 2016.

Novak Djokovic, Indian Wells 2024
Novak Djokovic, Indian Wells 2024© Matthew Stockman / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Roger Federer ended his career with 3 winning pairs, having won both tournaments in 2005, 2006 and 2017 which is also the last year in which the Sunshine Doubles was hit. But there are 5 other players who have achieved it at least once.

Jim Courier in 1991, Michael Chang in 1992, Pete Sampras in 1994, Marcelo Rios in 1998 and Andre Agassi in 2001.

The BNP Paribas Open begins today, Wednesday 6 March 2024, the first ATP Master 1000 of the season to be played on the Californian hard-courts of Indian Wells. The Sunshine Doubles will be completed with the Miami Open, the second ATP Master 1000 of the year, which will begin following Indian Wells on the hard courts of Florida. The two events in California and Florida are played close to the long European clay court season.

Djokovic can't wait to play Indian Wells

"Greetings to all tennis fans from the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, California. It's 2024 and the last time I played this tournament was in 2019. Five long years have passed, too long without being part of the Tennis Paradise tournament.

One of the best tournaments in the world without a doubt, probably the favorite Masters 1000 of many players, including myself. I can't wait to come back and play in front of some of the best fans we have on Tour again. I think back to 2008, the first time I won the title at Indian Wells - one of the biggest successes of my career at that time .

I remember playing against Fish in the final. I was lucky to have won the tournament four more times playing some epic matches in the final against Federer and Nadal. I'm really looking forward to coming back."

Djokovic can't wait to return to compete in a tournament that he has won five times in his career. From the first success obtained in 2008 by beating Mardy Fish to the epic finals against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: Djokovic remembered some of his most important victories.

Five years have passed since Novak Djokovic last played a match in Indian Wells. The pause imposed by the pandemic, the decision to move the tournament to October 2021 and the entry rules in force in the United States during the last two editions have somehow hindered the presence of the Serbian champion.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Elsa

But just a few hours before the start of Indian Wells, Nole is already sure of at least one finish line. In fact, with Carlos Alcaraz's injury in Rio de Janeiro and the Spanish player's consequent withdrawal from the tournament, Djokovic is meanwhile sure of remaining world number 1 at least until Monday 1 April 2024, the date of release of the ranking after the ATP Master 1000 of Miami, second appointment of the Sunshine Double which opens with the Indian Wells tournament.

Alcaraz lost the 300 points of last year's final in Rio de Janeiro and due to the heavy points that he has to defend between Indian Wells and Miami, mathematically he cannot reach Djokovic.

Djokovic will have everything to gain and nothing to lose, given that last year, due to his unvaccinated status, he was unable to travel to the United States to play the two tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

Djokovic is already the player who has currently been number 1 in the world for the most weeks in the history of tennis.

And curiosity has it that with this certainty of remaining at the top of the rankings until at least April 1st, he will reach 418 weeks. A double result compared to Rafael Nadal, who was ATP No.1 for 209 weeks in his career, exactly half.

Second place for Roger Federer, number 1 in the ATP ranking for 310 weeks. Third position for Pete Sampras with 286 weeks. Followed in the top-10 in fourth place is Ivan Lendl with 270. Fifth Jimmy Connors with 268. Sixth Rafael Nadal with 209. Seventh John McEnroe with 170, then eighth Bjorn Borg with 109. Andre Agassi ninth with 101. The top ranking closes 10 Lleyton Hewitt, with 80 weeks.

Novak Djokovic Indian Wells