Novak Djokovic overtakes Rafael Nadal in career matches played during the Paris Masters 2023

Novak Djokovic, who has been the best men’s player this season, sits at the top of the world ATP Live ranking. Winning his 24th Grand Slam title in New York at the US Open made him the joint record winner of the competition, surpassing Rafael Nadal’s record. The Serbian star also has a 28-1 win in hard court matches in 2023, making it his 96.5% win since the Australian Open triumph.

The tennis star surpassed yet another Nadal’s statistics when he defeated Tomas Etcheverry at the Paris Masters to become the fourth men’s player to have played an ATP Tour match in the Open era.

Novak Djokovic overtakes Nadal’s total matches

Novak Djokovic was in complete control of his first ATP game after 50 days away in front of a packed crowd on Court Central, as the Serbian star moved past Tomas Etcheverry 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round at the Rolex Paris Masters. The win was Djokovic’s 1298th ATP match, surpassing Rafael Nadal, who has 1288 matches.

Djokovic now sits fourth on the list of most open-era matches played on the ATP Tour. Above, the Serbian is Ivan Lendl with 1310 games and second is Swiss legend Roger Federer with 1526 matches under his belt. At the top of the list is American legend Jimmy Connors, with 1557 games played.

The 36-year-old star had surpassed Rafael Nadal’s 22 Grand Slam record after winning the French Open and has also added one slam to make it 24, when he beat Daniil Medvedev to win the US Open in New York in September.

Djokovic makes a winning comeback in Paris Masters

Novak Djokovic was back on the hard court after a six-week break and the Serbian didn’t look as if he were away as he cruised past Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 6-2 and strengthened his hold on the top spot in the rankings.

“I am pleased,” Djokovic said after the win. “I think I played well in the important points. Hit the extra shot and made him uncomfortable. I think I changed the position of the court and did not give him the same look. I think that allowed me to break serve in the first set. I was serving up and down. Some parts of the match really good, others losing the rhythm. But I think it is normal to be rusty a little bit after not playing an official match for so long. But a straight-sets win against a guy who has been improving so much.”

Novak Djokovic
via Eurosport

“People around me always talk about the danger of not playing so many weeks and I am aware,” said Djokovic, who was competing for the first time in six weeks. “I felt nerves going into the match even though I have plenty of experience. But you need some time to get the engine going and to hit through the ball and that is what started to happen to me at end of first set and that was great.”

Tomas Etcheverry on Novak Djokovic: “I love Novak, it is true because since I was a child I wanted to be like him. I play with the same racquet like Novak, because when I changed brands to HEAD, the first racquet I asked for was the Novak racquet. I wanted to play with the Novak racquet.”

Novak Djokovic, a 96-time tour-level champion has a standout 46-9 record at the indoor hard-court event. The Serbian is also eyeing the 7th Paris Masters and a record-extending 40th ATP Masters 1000 title.

What do you think of Nole’s most recent record? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Victor Okechukwu

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