Last Sunday, Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas from two sets to love down to claim the 19th Major crown in Paris. Alongside many records, Djokovic became the second player in the Open era with at least two Major finals in ten seasons, matching Rafael Nadal’s record and joining him at the top. Novak was the finalist at both Majors in 2021, claiming both titles and moving closer to Federer and Nadal in the GOAT race. Since 1968, only seven players have had at least five seasons with at least two Major finals, with this feat being reserved for the greatest players in the previous five decades. Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors were the first players to achieve that, playing well throughout the season and reaching the title clash at their favorite Majors and surfaces. Ivan Lendl joined them in the 80s, securing six seasons with at least two Major finals to top the charts.
Novak Djokovic has played in two Major finals in ten of the last 11 years.
Between 1993-2000, Pete Sampras achieved five seasons with two Major finals to join the exclusive list as the last player before the ‘Big 3.’ Roger Federer did that six years in a row and added 2015 and 2017 to his tally to stand alone with eight seasons with at least two Major finals. Rafael Nadal bested that after a stellar performance between 2006-2019 and became the first player with ten seasons with two Major finals. Novak Djokovic achieved that for the first time in 2011, and he never looked back, advancing into two Major finals in ten of the previous 11 seasons, which is a mind-blowing feat!
During the last decade, the most dominant figure missed playing in two Major finals only in 2017 when he dealt with an elbow injury, returning stronger a year later and remaining on the winning course ever since. Eager to improve his Major tally after staying empty-handed at the US Open and Roland Garros last year, Novak overcame an abdomen injury in Melbourne and beat Daniil Medvedev to lift the ninth Australian Open title. In Paris, Djokovic battled past Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Berrettini to enter the semis, where he ousted Rafael Nadal after a thrilling battle that lasted for over four hours. In the title match, the Serb trailed two sets to love against Stefanos Tsitsipas, staying calm and starting all over in the third to leave the Greek behind and beat him in five sets for the 19th Major crown at 35.