Who has won most Grand Slams in men’s tennis? Explaining why Novak Djokovic is close to making history at US Open

Who has won most Grand Slams in men's tennis? Explaining why Novak Djokovic is close to making history at US Open

On Saturday, Emma Raducanu made history at the US Open when she became the first qualifier — man or woman — to win a singles title. It was her first career major title. On Sunday, Novak Djokovic will look to make history with his 21st.

The 34-year-old Serbian won his first Grand Slam title 13 years ago when he beat Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in four sets at the 2008 Australian Open. His last Grand Slam title was in July when he won Wimbledon to seal his third major in 2021. Yes, if Djokovic wins on Sunday he’ll also win the calendar Grand Slam.

MORE: What is the calendar Grand Slam?

Sporting News breaks down everything you need to know as Djokovic tries to make history and become all-time leader in men’s singles major titles.

What is a Grand Slam?

The tennis calendar is filled with tournaments year-round, but players focus on four major tournaments the most: the Grand Slams. Also called majors, the two-week affairs break up the year into four segments:

  • Australian Open: Typically played in January, the tournament is held in Melbourne and is played on hard courts.
  • French Open: Also known as Roland Garros, this Paris major usually begins in May and marks the end of the clay court season.
  • Wimbledon: The Championships run from the end of June through the beginning of July, are held in London and are played on grass.
  • US Open: Beginning in the end of August, this New York major is played on hard courts.

At the Grand Slams, men play best-of-five matches.

How many Grand Slam titles has Novak Djokovic won?

Djokovic has won 20 titles out of 30 Grand Slam final appearances. He clearly likes the hard courts Down Under as nine of his majors have happened in Melbourne. Of his 10 final losses, five have come at the US Open, where he is 3-5 in finals. The one positive for the 2021 US Open? That he’s not playing Rafael Nadal, who has beaten him in five Slam finals including the 2013 and 2015 US Opens.

MORE: Why Federer, Nadal aren’t playing in 2021 US Open

Novak Djokovic Grand Slam titles

NO. YEAR TOURNAMENT OPPONENT AND SCORE
1 2008 Australian Open Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(2)
2 2011 Australian Open Andy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
3 2011 Wimbledon Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
4 2011 US Open Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1
5 2012 Australian Open Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5
6 2013 Australian Open Andy Murray 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2
7 2014 Wimbledon Roger Federer 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4
8 2015 Australian Open Andy Murray 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0
9 2014 Wimbledon Roger Federer 7-6(1) 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-3
10 2015 US Open Roger Federer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
11 2016 Australian Open Andy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3)
12 2016 French Open Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
13 2018 Wimbledon Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3)
14 2018 US Open Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3
15 2019 Australian Open Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
16 2019 Wimbledon Roger Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12
17 2020 Australian Open Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
18 2021 Australian Open Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2
19 2021 French Open Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
20 2021 Wimbledon Matteo Berrettini 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Novak Djokovic Grand Slam final losses

NO. YEAR TOURNAMENT OPPONENT AND SCORE
1 2007 US Open Roger Federer 6-7(4), 6-7(2), 4-6
2 2010 US Open Rafael Nadal 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 2-6
3 2012 French Open Rafael Nadal 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 5-7
4 2012 US Open Andy Murray 6-7(10), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6
5 2013 Wimbledon Andy Murray 4-6, 5-7. 4-6
6 2013 US Open Rafael Nadal 2-6, 6-3, 4-6, 1-6
7 2014 French Open Rafael Nadal 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 4-6
8 2015 French Open Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 4-6
9 2016 US Open Stan Wawrinka 7-6(1), 4-6, 5-7, 3-6
10 2020 French Open Rafael Nadal 0-6, 2-6, 5-7

US OPEN 2021: Can Novak Djokovic win the Grand Slam? Stan Wawrinka weighs in

Who has won the most Grand Slams in men’s singles?

Entering Sunday’s US Open final, three players are tied for most men’s singles Grand Slam titles, with Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all at 20. 

The trio, aka “The Big 3,” have a ways to go if they want to clinch the all-time record for a man or woman. In fact, overall they are tied for fourth place. Margaret Court won the most Grand Slam titles (24). Serena Williams has won 23 and Steffi Graf, who is also the last player to win the calendar Grand Slam, has 22. 

Men’s singles

PLAYER AUS OPEN FRENCH OPEN US OPEN WIMBLEDON TOTAL
Rafael Nadal 1 13 4 2 20
Roger Federer 6 1 5 8 20
Novak Djokovic 9 2 3 6 20
Pete Sampras 2 0 5 7 14
Roy Emerson 6 2 2 2 12
Rod Laver 3 2 2 4 11
Bjorn Borg 0 6 0 5 11
Bill Tilden 0 0 7 3 10

Information courtesy of LandofTennis.com





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.