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4 players who never lost to Novak Djokovic

Let us have a rigorous look at the tennis players who have never bowed down to Novak Djokovic.

Jiri Vesely, Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios

Novak Djokovic is the third member of the legendary Big-3 trio of men’s tennis players. The youngest Big-3 member holds 20 Grand Slam titles and his 34 Masters 1000 titles are dwarfed only by the third Big-3 member, Rafael Nadal. Many players throughout tennis history have been brushed aside by the Serb. However, miraculously, there are few who have never bowed down in front of the World No.1.

#4. Taro Daniel

Taro Daniel

In the second round of the 2018 Indian Wells Masters, Taro Daniel, a Japanese journeyman, faced Novak Djokovic. After losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Hyeon Chung, the Serb had taken a temporary injury layoff. Daniel was victorious 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1 on the day. Djokovic then dropped his first match in Miami, becoming the first Serb to lose three consecutive matches since the end of the 2007 season, when he lost in the Madrid semi-finals, the Paris-Bercy first round, and all three group-stage matches at the ATP Finals (then known as the Tennis Masters Cup) in Shanghai.

#3. Jiri Vesely

Jiri Vesely

Jiri Vesely has played Novak Djokovic three times in his career, although the two have only met twice on the tennis court, with the Czech winning both times. Vesely withdrew before the match in the second round of the 2016 US Open. The World No. 1 went on to the final, where he was defeated by Stan Wawrinka. In the second round of the Monte-Carlo Masters, Djokovic lost to the former World No. 35 for the first time. Jiri Vesely, the unseeded player, stunned the top seed 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, but lost the next round to Gael Monfils.

The second match took place in the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championship quarterfinals. This time, the top seed was defeated 6-4, 7-6(4) by the 28-year-old, who came all the way through qualifying to deny the Serb his World No. 1 status.

#2. Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios has only met Novak Djokovic twice in his career, and both times he has won without dropping a set. Both matches were played on hardcourt, which is generally the best surface for the Serb. Their first clash was in the 2017 Mexican Open quarterfinals, where the World No. 1 was the top seed. Kyrgios, who was seeded sixth in the competition, won 7-6(9), 7-5. The Australian advanced to the semifinals, where he was defeated by eventual champion Sam Querrey.

The two met for the second time in the same year in the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters. The World No. 1 was seeded second this time, but he was defeated by Nick Kyrgios, who was seeded 15th, 6-4, 7-6(3). The former World No. 13 was set to play Roger Federer in the quarterfinals but withdrew due to food poisoning before the match.

#1. Marat Safin

Marat Safin

Marat Safin has met Novak Djokovic twice in his career and has won both times without dropping a set. Both of their confrontations took place in Grand Slams, which is even more impressive. In the first round of the 2005 Australian Open, Safin met the Serb for the first time, which also happened to be the World No. 1’s maiden participation in the main draw of a Grand Slam. The Russian dominated the match, winning 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 and going on to win the championship for the second time.

Their second meeting took place in the 2008 Wimbledon second round, where the 20-time Grand Slam champion was seeded third. Despite this, Marat Safin came out on top, winning 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-2. The former World No. 1 advanced to the semifinals before losing to Roger Federer in the final.

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