Before Novak Djokovic faced his third-round opponent at Wimbledon 2022, perhaps the two had a locker room chat, discussing the odd amounts they have in common. On the one hand, the No. 1 and Miomir Kecmanovic are Serbs and were both born in Belgrade.
But that is not all. Between the two of them they have won 20 Grand Slam titles, including six Wimbledon crowns, and have spent 373 weeks at No. 1. Amazing. And there is even more: they share more than nine million followers on Twitter and almost 11 million followers on Instagram.
The sheer volume of common ground is positively creepy. But despite these close parallels, on Day 5 of Wimbledon 2022, Djokovic defeated his Davis Cup teammate 6-0, 6-3, 6-4. It's the 14th time he's made it to the second week here, though if his numbers on that are combined with Kecmanovic's, they've made it to the second week here 14 times.
"I know Miomir quite well and I'm very happy that he's doing well," Djokovic said afterward. “Hopefully I can play it many more times on center courts at the biggest tournaments. “I am very grateful to have played for quite a few years, competing at the highest level.
The Grand Slams are the tournaments that matter most in our sport. “I am very proud of my consistency at this level. This week I have been playing better as the tournament progresses, which is what you always want as a player.
"But I can always do better and I always expect the best of myself." He came close to that in this match, unfortunately for the 22-year-old Kecmanovic, who has had a pretty splendid year.
Nole is proud of his consistency
“I think I've been playing better and better as the tournament progresses.
That's obviously something you always wish for as a player, that every match that you play you raise the level of tennis up a notch at least. I think that's what is happening at the moment. I know I can always do better, I always expect the highs from myself but I think so far so good and looking forward to the next challenge,” Novak Djokovic said.
“I know Kecmanovic quite well, we train a lot of obviously as he also comes from Serbia. I'm really glad that he, alongside a couple of other players, is doing well and I wish him all the best. You know, hopefully, we'll get to play many more times in the Center Courts of the biggest tournaments,” Djokovic said.
It was his 331st win at a Grand Slam and the Serb trails only Serena Williams (365) and Roger Federer (369) on the all-time list. “Well, [the 331st win] means that I've been playing for quite a few years, which I'm very grateful for,” Djokovic said, laughing.
“I'm very blessed to be in the position to compete at the highest level and to secure more wins in the Grand Slams. Those are the tournaments that historically matter the most in our sport. Just very proud of the consistency on this level”.