Undefeated Djokovic goes to 27-0 with Belgrade title


World number two Novak Djokovic took his season’s win-loss record to 27-0 on Sunday when he defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to win the Belgrade ATP clay court title.
Top seed Djokovic’s fifth title of 2011 adds to his victories at the Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.
The 23-year-old, who also won the Belgrade title in 2009, now stands just two wins away from equalling Ivan Lendl’s record of a 29-0 winning season start, set in 1986.
While Djokovic was delighted with his winning run, he said that toppling world number one Rafael Nadal was his main objective this year.
“I’m definitely happy to win another title. Now in front of me there is a period of two months, which are really important,” said Djokovic.
“I need to stay healthy and I need to stay fit in order to play well. The winning streak is something I don’t really think about.
“I am flattered that people compare me to the greats, like Lendl, (John) McEnroe, (Roger) Federer, Nadal — guys who have made history on the tennis court. But I have some other goals to achieve this year.
“Obviously the number one ranking is still far away, even though I’ve been winning every match I’ve played this year and won five titles in a row.
“But I know I need to do more and if I ever get to that number one in the world it would be a dream come true for me, because it’s been the ambition of my career.
“But there is Nadal who is playing really well, Federer who wants to come back definitely, many players to beat in order to get there.”
In a final interrupted by rain, Djokovic was made to battle for 73 minutes to wrap up the first set on a tie-break after saving six break points in all.
The start of the second set was also delayed by rain before Djokovic stormed to victory with two breaks of serve.
The Serbian star has in fact won his past 29 matches, with his last defeat coming against Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals in November.
He closed the 2010 season by leading Serbia to victory in the Davis Cup final against France.
“Today I was playing for the title in front of so many people. It’s always a huge motivation for me, but also a huge responsibility with the kind of expectations that I feel,” added Djokovic.
“I was aware of that and that’s why I was maybe a little bit more nervous. I was focused and in the important moments today I played well, I was patient and the luck was on my side a little bit as well.”
World number 37 Lopez hit form on his debut in Belgrade, upsetting two seeded players in number eight Juan Monaco and fourth seed Albert Montanes, as well as former world number five Fernando Gonzalez, to reach his seventh career final.
The 29-year-old Madrid left-hander came into Belgrade on the back of a quarter-final showing in Barcelona, but in his preceding nine tour-level tournaments he had won back-to-back matches just once.
“I feel good. I’m in good shape. I’ve played so many matches in the past two weeks, so it’s good for my confidence,” said Lopez.
“I have three more tournaments on clay, so I hope to keep going in this level that I played at here.”


  1. "The 23-year-old, who also won the Belgrade title in 2009, now stands just two wins away from equalling Ivan Lendl's record of a 29-0 winning season start, set in 1986."

    Lendl had 25 straight wins in 1986 season; not 29 as you assert in your article. For your info the wins are:
    – Philadelphia (27/01/1986)
    1) Lendl – Seguso 6:2 6:2
    2) Lendl – Holmes 6:2 6:2
    3) Lendl – Annancone 6:4 6:4
    4) Lendl – Gilbert 7:5 4:6 6:2
    Lendl- Mayotte W/O – do not count
    – Boca West (10/02/1986)
    5) Lendl – Sadri 6:2 3:6 7:6
    6) Lendl – Van Rensburg 6:4 6:1
    7) Lendl – Holmes 6:4 7:6
    8) Lendl – Arias 6:1 7:5
    9) Lendl – Nystrom 6:1 6:1 6:4
    10) Lendl – Connors 1:6 6:1 6:2 2:6 5:2 (DEF)
    11) Lendl – Wilander 3:6 6:1 7:6 6:4

  2. – Milan Italy (10/03/1986)
    12) Lendl – Aguilera 6:3 6:1
    13) Lendl – Ostoja 6:1 7:5
    14) Lendl – Hlasek 6:3 6:4
    15) Lendl – Mecir 7:5 6:4
    16) Lendl – Nystrom 6:2 6:2 6:4
    – Fort Myers (17/03/86)
    17) Lendl – Sadri 6:4 7:5
    18) Lendl – Teltscher 7:6 6:1
    19) Lendl – Pate 6:4 6:2
    20) Lendl – Gomez 6:3 6:3
    21) Lendl – Connors 6:2 6:0
    – Chicago (24/03/1986)
    22) Lendl – Wilkison 6:4 6:3
    23) Lendl – Giammalva 6:4 6:3
    24) Lendl – Kriek 6:4 6:3
    25) Lendl – Davis 6:1 7:6
    The last match that Lendl win (25th for the 1886 season) was against Davis. Next match he lost against Boris Becker in two sets (6:7 3:6).
    So, Djokovic already passed Lendl record by 27 winning in 2011 season. It is two (2) more than Lendl, at this point of time.
    Can you please correct the error!

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