Novak Djokovic passes Guillermo Vilas. Rafael Nadal is next

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Novak Djokovic passes Guillermo Vilas. Rafael Nadal is next

The Open era started in 1968, with 17 players collecting 1000 ATP matches. Novak Djokovic became the fifth-best player on that list following his perfect start of the season and back-to-back titles in Adelaide and Melbourne.

With 12 encounters under his belt, Djokovic currently stands on 1249 ATP matches, leaving Guillermo Vilas on 1248 and trailing 39 to Rafael Nadal. Ivan Lendl stands third with 1310 ATP duels, and Djokovic and Nadal should pass him in the upcoming years.

Novak has been playing ATP matches since 2004, producing unreal consistency and delivering 1043 wins and 206 defeats. The Serb came to Melbourne with 1042 ATP matches and extended his Australian Open dominance to pass Vilas and move closer to Nadal.

Novak defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round, delivering a bagel in the third set to make a winning start. The Serb lost the second set against a qualifier Enzo Couacaud in round two, struggling with his left leg but recovering in sets three and four to advance.

Novak had to give his everything against Grigor Dimitrov, despite beating the Bulgarian in straight sets! Djokovic's injury did not look good in the first set, but he fought hard to overpower the opponent, seal the deal in three sets and preserve energy.

Without knowing what to expect, Novak entered the court against Alex De Minaur and wished for the best. As it turned out, he did not feel any issues with his leg and destroyed the rival in three comfortable sets in just over two hours.

Novak Djokovic has played 1249 ATP matches since 2004.

With a boost and momentum, Djokovic produced another super fine performance against Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final. A nine-time champion delivered a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory in two hours and three minutes for a place in the last four.

Djokovic secured the record-breaking 27th consecutive Australian Open win following a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Tommy Paul in two hours and 21 minutes. The lower-ranked player gave his everything in his first Major semi-final, erasing a massive deficit in the opener before fading from the court.

Novak lost serve twice and stole half of the return points. Djokovic turned them into seven breaks and made the difference. Novak was the only player on the court since the opening set's closing stages, crumbling the rival's resistance and marching into the title clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Serb fought in his tenth Australian Open final and lifted the tenth trophy thanks to a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 win in two hours and 56 minutes. Novak made a great start and prevailed in the closing stages of sets two and three to emerge at the top and secure his 22nd Major crown.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Australian Open