Novak Djokovic carved his name into the history books on Sunday, becoming the first player to win all nine Masters 1000 events.
It was fitting that the feat, referred to as the Golden Masters, came with a straight set 6-4, 6-4 win over 20-time grand slam winner Roger Federer in front of a packed house in Cincinnati.
The Western & Southern Open has alluded the Serb, who needed 12 attempts to finally lift the silverware in Ohio. He was a runner-up on no-less than five occasions, most recently in 2015.
“It’s always been at the back of my mind, adding extra pressure, but also motivation, as it’s what you work for,” admitted the 32-year-old after the match.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 20, 2018
It’s the completion of a journey that started in 2007, where he claimed his maiden Masters 1000 title in Miami. Since then, Djokovic has been prolific, notching up 30 more Masters titles at a phenomenal winning percentage of 82%.
This win rate is only matched by rival Rafael Nadal, who has 33 Masters victories to his name.
To highlight the enormity of his Golden Masters achievement, one only has to compare Djokovic to the rest of the Big Four. Federer still has two outstanding titles missing from his Masters resume – Monte Carlo and the Italian Open – and given the Swiss Ace has been skipping the clay court swing in recent years, he’s unlikely to change that.
An aging Nadal still has three outstanding while Andy Murray arguably has the best chance to replicate the feat, with just Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo remaining.
Having won all the grand slams, all the Masters and been world number one, what is left for Djokovic? Perhaps the only feather missing from his cap is an Olympic Gold medal in singles. For Djokovic fans, Tokyo 2020 can’t come soon enough.