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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday December 1, 2021


A glorious 2021 tennis season has seen records shattered and milestones achieved. Here is a rundown of some of the biggest statistical milestones of the 2021 ATP season.

Novak Djokovic’s brilliant 2021: Not only did the Serb make a push for the calender year Grand Slam, he also continued his assault on the ATP’s record books, rewriting several categories.

You can find a more thorough update on Djokovic here.

And below, find a few of the highlights:

Djokovic reaches 20 Slam titles, joining Federer and Nadal.
Djokovic breaks the all-time record for weeks at No.1. Currently at 349 weeks at No.1 and counting.
Djokovic breaks the record by earning his 7th year-end No.1 finish.
Djokovic wins 27 consecutive Grand Slam match wins, and becomes just the fifth man in history to win the first three majors of a calendar year.
Djokovic records record 9th Australian Open title.

Medvedev the New No.2

2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev became the first Top-2 player not named Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Murray since No. 2 Hewitt in 2005. The Russian became the third Russian Grand Slam men’s singles champion (Kafelnikov at 1996 Roland Garros and 1999 Australian Open; Safin at 2000 US Open and 2005 Australian Open).

Carlos Alcaraz on the rise:

It was a brilliant year for 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain. He started the season at 141 and finishes 109 spots higher at 32. Even that remarkable ranking rise doesn’t tell the story of the Spaniard’s push to become an elite player as a teenager.

Alcaraz at the US Open: At age 18, Alcaraz became the youngest men’s quarter-finalist at the US Open in the Open Era. The Alicante, Spain native is 8 days younger than Agassi when he reached 1988 US Open QF and SF as an 18-year-old.

Alcaraz became the youngest men’s singles quarterfinalist at the Majors in 31 years, since Michael Chang, 18, at 1990 Roland Garros. Alcaraz ended 2021 season by winning Next Gen ATP Finals title and achieving career-high No. 32 at age 18, becoming youngest player in year-end Top 32 since 18-year-old A. Medvedev finished 1992 at No. 24. He also Captured 2021 Umag title to become youngest ATP Tour champion since Nishikori, who won Delray Beach at 18 in 2008.

Age is just a number for Dr. Ivo Karlovic:

Ivo Karlovic is getting close to the end of his career, but that didn’t stop the Croatian from making some history in 2021. He defeated Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the first round at Newport to break his own record as oldest ATP Tour match winner since 1995.

Aslan Karatsev: An improbable rise to the top of the sport

Wow. That’s a perfect word to describe what we saw from Russia’s Aslan Karatsev, who stormed out of the Challenger Tour and onto the Grand Slam scene in February where he became the first player to reach the semifinals on his Grand Slam debut in Open Era history.

Remarkably, Karatsev was 3-10 lifetime before the tournament. The 28-year-old, who finished the season with a year-end ranking of 18, had never been ranked higher than 111 prior to this season. He is qualifier to reach a Grand Slam semifinal on men’s side since 2000.

Juan Manuel Cerundolo’s stunning ATP debut:

Not many people were familiar with Juan Manuel Cerundolo before his first ATP tournament. That changed after he won it!

This spring, Cerundolo qualified, won 8 matches in 9 days and captured title at 2021 Cordoba in his ATP Tour debut as a 19-year-old ranked 335th. He became the first player to win an ATP title in his debut since 2004, and also became 5th-lowest-ranked player to win a title since ATP Tour was established in 1990, then rose 154 spots to career-high No. 181. He finished the season at No.90.

Italians on the rise:

Italian tennis had an incredible season that saw two men – Matteo Berrettini and Jannik Sinner – finish inside the Top-10 for the first time ever. And the future is bright. There are three players under 21 in the ATP’s Top-60 and two of them are Italian (Sinner and Musetti).

At Roland-Garros Berrettini, Sinner and Musetti formed a formidable trio on the red clay, as three Italians into pushed into week two for first time ever. At Wimbledon, Berrettini became the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam final since Adriano Panatta won the title at 1976 Roland Garros.

Sinner won four titles and at Antwerp he became youngest player to win 5th tour-level title of career since Djokovic, 19, at 2007 Estoril.

Next year, we suspect, will be even better.

Americans on the rise as well:

Major pushes by Sebastian Korda, Jenson Brooksby and Brandon Nakashima have many believing that the Americans might have a future on par with that of Italy.

Korda enjoyed a successful season, backing up his breakout success at Roland Garros in 2020 with some big performances, including a trip to the second week at Wimbledon.

By reaching the round of 16 on his first appearance at SW19, Korda became the 3rd man in the Open Era to reach the round of 16 on his debuts at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon – after Bjorn Borg, who reached the round of 16 at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon on his debuts in 1973, and Mikael Pernfors, who reached the final at Roland Garros and the round of 16 at Wimbledon on his debuts in 1986.

Korda is only the eighth man since 2001 to reach the fourth round at both the All England Club and Roland Garros before turning 21.

Of the eight highest-ranked ATP players 21 and younger, three are American. Brooksby and Nakashima also had breakout seasons. Brooksby Reached the round of 16 at the US Open as a 20-year-old wild card, becoming youngest American to achieve the feat since Roddick, in 2002. Nakashima advanced to back-to-back ATP Tour finals at Los Cabos and Atlanta as a 19-year-old in 2021, becoming youngest American to reach multiple finals since Roddick in 2001-02.

Biggest ATP Rankings Risers inside Top 100 in 2021

1) Juan Manuel Cerundolo # + 251 341 – 90

2) Jenson Brooksby + 251 307 - 56

3) Mackenzie McDonald + 138 193 - 55

4) Arthur Rinderknech + 120 178 - 58

5) Carlos Alcaraz # + 109 141 - 32

Nadal the match point maven:

The only player to save match point en route to a title more than once was Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard was also the only ATP player to save match points in a winning effort in a final.

Nadal saved a match point against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona final. A few weeks later he saved two match points to defeat Denis Shapovalov in the round of 16 at Rome, then went on to win the title, defeating Novak Djokovic in the final.

Flawless not once but twice:

Three players won two different titles without losing a single set in 2021 – Hubert Hurkacz (Delray Beach and Metz), Casper Ruud (Gstaad and Bastad) and Jannik Sinner (Sofia and Antwerp).

Streaking:

Not surprisingly, Novak Djokovic was the only ATP player that managed two winning streaks of ten victories or more. The World No.1 is one of five players that mustered a winning streak over ten or more matches in 2021.

Novak Djokovic 22
Alexander Zverev 16
Casper Ruud 13
Matteo Berrettini 11
Daniil Medvedev 10 (20 going back to 2020)
Novak Djokovic 10

Teenage Titlists!

Carlos Alcaraz, Umag 18 yrs., 2 months
Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Cordoba 19 yrs., 3 months
Jannik Sinner, Melbourne 19 yrs., 5 months
Jannik Sinner, Washington D.C.19 yrs., 11 mons.

First Time ATP Title Winners!

Name | AGE | Tournament


Daniel Evans 30 Melbourne-2
Juan Manuel Cerundolo 19 Cordoba
Alexei Popyrin 21 Singapore
Aslan Karatsev 27 Dubai
Sebastian Korda 20 Parma
Cameron Norrie 25 Los Cabos
Carlos Alcaraz 18 Umag
Ilya Ivashka 27 Winston-Salem
Soonwoo Kwon 23 Nur-Sultan
Tommy Paul 24 Stockholm

 

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