Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2023

Novak Djokovic surpasses Rafael Nadal statistic with Paris win

Novak Djokovic was in fine form as he returned to action with a win at the Paris Bercy, and in the process he surpassed Rafael Nadal in yet another statistic.

The Serbian eased past Argentinian Tomas Etcheverry 6-3, 6-2 in what was his first ATP Tour match since winning the US Open in September.

It was, in truth, a routine win for Djokovic, but it was one that took him past rival Rafael Nadal in terms of total matches played.

In fact, there are now only three players ahead of him on the all-time list. Ivan Lendl is next in Djokovic’s sites, and given he is just 21 matches short we can expect him to climb another spot early next year.

However, he is still more than 200 matches away from equalling Roger Federer’s career record, and even further adrift of the all-time leader Jimmy Connors.

Most Open Era matches played on the ATP Tour

Jimmy Connors 1557
Roger Federer 1526
Ivan Lendl 1310
Novak Djokovic 1289
Rafael Nadal 1288
Guillermo Vilas 1248

* Correct as of November 1, 2023.

Testament to Novak Djokovic durability

There is a chance that this statistic will surprise some, and understandably so. Rafael Nadal is a year older than Djokovic and he started out at just 15-years-old, so instinct tells you he should be well ahead.

However, while Nadal has struggled to stay injury free throughout his career, including the last 12 months which have left him on the brink of retirement, Djokovic has been a master of conditioning.

Barring an elbow problem in 2017, the Serbian has been almost entirely injury-free his whole career, and in recent years he has reduced his schedule to make the most of what he has left in the tank.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.