Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic

Player DNA: Novak Djokovic, the return king

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He’s back at No.1 in the world, he’s a six-time Australian Open champion, but what makes Novak Djokovic one of the greatest players of all time?

Game Insight Group (GIG) breaks down the inner workings of the best players in the game to discover their Player DNA, starting with the legendary Serb to uncover just how he became such a winning machine.

GIG’s Player DNA is combination of four key areas: Technical, Tactical, Physical and Mental. GIG breaks down the major findings within each metric to illustrate the strength of a player’s attributes relative to their competitors. Ratings are given up to a maximum score of 100.

Read – the complete guide to GIG Player DNA

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The strongest stroke in the ATP
GIG’s Return metric makes up one quarter of a player’s overall Technical DNA. It examines a player’s speed, reliability and potency when returning a ball. With a Return score of 95, Djokovic ranks No.1 in the ATP. The world No.1 dominates by getting back almost any ball that is served his way, as well as capitalising on weak serves by winning quick points on return.

The best rally craft in tennis
Patience, discipline and precision - getting into a long rally with Novak Djokovic is like finding yourself in no man’s land. Winning 9% more rally exchanges than the average player against the same opponent, GIG has Djokovic ranked No.1 for rally exchanges of four or more shots on tour.

One of the fittest players in the game
The best return, the best rally craft - how about out-working the 14-time Grand Slam champion? Once Djokovic is on the move, good luck. A fearsome Physical DNA sees him ranked No.2 overall behind Rafael Nadal, with a deeper dive revealing the Serb is No.2 for Match Endurance, No.2 for Repeat Sprints and No.5 for Agility.

Top 6 in every aspect of mental strength
GIG’s ‘Mental’ metric is comprised of four components: Killer Instinct, Grit, Clutch and Winning Edge. Djokovic is near-perfect in almost all categories, which places him 3rd overall only just behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.  An outstanding 99 score in the Clutch component – the highest on tour – denotes what an incredible performer Djokovic is in moments when it matters most.

With the Australian summer of tennis now under way, stay across Australian Open platforms for the latest updates and player profiles from the Game Insight Group.