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.YEARTOURNAMENTOPPONENT AND SCORE
12008Australian OpenJo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(2)
22011Australian OpenAndy Murray 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
32011WimbledonRafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
42011US OpenRafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1
52012Australian OpenRafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5
62013Australian OpenAndy Murray 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2
72014WimbledonRoger Federer 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4
82015Australian OpenAndy Murray 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0
92014WimbledonRoger Federer 7-6(1) 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-3
102015US OpenRoger Federer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
112016Australian OpenAndy Murray 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(3)
122016French OpenAndy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
132018WimbledonKevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(3)
142018US OpenJuan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3
152019Australian OpenRafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3
162019WimbledonRoger Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12
172020Australian OpenDominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
182021Australian OpenDaniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2
192021French OpenStefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
202021WimbledonMatteo Berrettini 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3

Novak Djokovic Grand Slam final losses

NO.YEARTOURNAMENTOPPONENT AND SCORE
12007US OpenRoger Federer 6-7(4), 6-7(2), 4-6
22010US OpenRafael Nadal 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 2-6
32012French OpenRafael Nadal 4-6, 3-6, 6-2, 5-7
42012US OpenAndy Murray 6-7(10), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3, 2-6
52013WimbledonAndy Murray 4-6, 5-7. 4-6
62013US OpenRafael Nadal 2-6, 6-3, 4-6, 1-6
72014French OpenRafael Nadal 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 4-6
82015French OpenStan Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 4-6
92016US OpenStan Wawrinka 7-6(1), 4-6, 5-7, 3-6
102020French OpenRafael 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

PLAYERAUS OPENFRENCH OPENUS OPENWIMBLEDONTOTAL
Rafael Nadal1134220
Roger Federer615820
Novak Djokovic923620
Pete Sampras205714
Roy Emerson622212
Rod Laver322411
Bjorn Borg060511
Bill Tilden007310

Information courtesy of LandofTennis.com