Best Player Under Pressure: Novak Djokovic Ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

Best Player Under Pressure: Novak Djokovic Ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

What makes the greats so great in the game of tennis? It’s their behavior under pressure, their unfailing resilience, and their ability to pull a match out of a burrow. The ATP Beyond The Numbers statistics on Under Pressure performance reveal insightful data on the best players. In the Leaderboard, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic leads the herd while below him sits Spain’s Rafael Nadal.

Nearing 300 weeks as World No. 1, Djokovic has built an admirable stature over the years. His recent endeavor against World No. 3 Dominic Thiem in the 2020 ATP Finals semi-finals helped him outrival Nadal. Prior to London, the Spaniard led the under-pressure group and continues to be a leader in serve.

Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 player under pressure

Novak Djokovic - ATP Finals, London
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 21, 2020, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi-final match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Toby Melville

A total of the percentage of breakpoints converted and saved and the percentage of tiebreaks and deciding sets won equals the under pressure rating. Furthermore, it consists of data of matches against all players on all courts over 52 weeks.

With the highest percentage of tiebreaks won (85.7), Djokovic’s under pressure rating is 259.1 for the 2020 season. The Serbian’s breakpoints converted percentage is 45.9% while the percentage of breakpoints saved and deciding sets won are 65.6% and 61.9% respectively.

Even though Novak lost in the semi-finals, his performance in the second and third set explains his ratings under pressure. Dominic, who eventually lost in his second consecutive final, had to play every muscle to beat the Number 1 player. Not far from the 17-time Grand Slam winner are the two 20-time Grand winners, both born with nerves of steel.

Behind Djokovic are Nadal and Federer

Big 3 - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

After completing his 13th successful campaign at the Roland-Garros and reaching the semi-finals in Paris, the Spaniard stayed marginally ahead in the ratings. However, two defeats in the season-ending tournament allowed Djokovic to become the best in a demanding situation.

Nadal’s rating is 255.9 as he leads in the percentage of deciding sets won at a whopping 83.3%. Despite missing most of the 2020 season, Roger Federer’s 248.7 ratings are positioned at Number 3 above Thiem.

From this, one can conclude that more than strong serves, it is strength in adversity that marks the true sentiment of a great player. Along with that, this also proves why the Big Three have successfully dominated the tennis arena for two decades now.

Also Read: Dominic Thiem Joins Andy Murray in an Elite Club With Amazing Record Against Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic