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Djokovic Owns Americans—And Values Their Resurgence

Djokovic Owns Americans—And Values Their Resurgence

By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Don’t let his heart-sharing celebration and smiling selfies with fans fool you.

Despite his post-match benevolence, the court is Novak Djokovic’s octagon and he continues knocking out Americans.

More: Djokovic Roars Past Rublev

The 21-time Grand Slam champion has left an assortment of American men red, white and bruised in his wake. Djokovic rides a 26-match winning streak against American opponents into his Australian Open semifinal showdown against American Tommy Paul.

Continuing his quest for a record-extending 10th AO championship, Djokovic is fueled by a 26-match winning streak in Melbourne Park, which equals the Open Era record set by Hall of Famer and former Novak coaching consultant Andre Agassi.

Tennis Express

The last time an American defeated Djokovic, Tom Brady was still a Patriot and Serena Williams would win Wimbledon.

It happened two days before the Fourth of July, 2016 when Sam Querrey slammed 31 aces scoring a seismic 7-6 (6), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) Wimbledon third-round upset of reigning champion Djokovic on Court No. 1.

On that day, the 28th-seeded Querrey denied Djokovic’s bid for the calendar Grand Slam snapping the Serbian’s streak of 30 straight Grand Slam victories and ending his run of four consecutive major championships.

Since that defeat, Djokovic has beaten all U.S. comers. Djokovic has been untouchable against Americans though Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, a North American, did upset the former world No. 1 at Laver Cup in London last September. Djokovic denied a championship point defeating Sebastian Korda in the Adelaide International 1 final earlier this month to collect his 92nd career title.

Still, Djokovic surveys an American rise that saw Taylor Fritz defeat Rafael Nadal to win the 2022 Indian Wells, Frances Tiafoe topple Nadal en route to his maiden major semifinal at the US Open and Paul play some of the most dynamic tennis of his career to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal in Melbourne and understands why U.S. fans are excited for the future.

The 35-year-old Serbian superstar says U.S. success and the American market is “extremely important” because the nation hosts the US Open as well as three Masters tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati. Djokovic says when Americans are playing meaningful matches it strengthens the sport.

“We have some of the biggest tournaments in the world played there, in the North American…

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