You have to finish off Novak Djokovic. Otherwise, the World No. 1 might not only win that match, but the entire tournament.
The Serbian is a 79-time tour-level titlist. On a record seven of those occasions, he saved at least one match point during the tournament. Djokovic accomplished the feat at 2007 Vienna, 2009 Basel, 2011 US Open, 2012 Shanghai, 2017 Doha, 2019 Wimbledon and 2020 Dubai.
Djokovic returned from the brink to earn a crown in his most recent tournament at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. In the semi-finals, the top seed saved three consecutive match points before defeating Gael Monfils 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-1. The Serbian rode that momentum to the title by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“It’s like being on the edge of a cliff,” Djokovic said about facing match points. “You know there is no way back so you have to jump over and try to find a way to survive I guess and pray for the best and believe that you can make it.
“That’s one of the things that I feel at the moment. Okay, one point away, one shot away. There is no going back. This is it. I accept the situation and try to make the most out of it.”
Since 2015, players have won 53 tour-level titles after saving match point(s) during the tournament. Djokovic and Lucas Pouille lead the way during that period by winning three different events from match point(s) down.
Pouille has won three of his five ATP Tour titles from the brink of defeat, saving at least one match point at Budapest and Stuttgart in 2017 as well as Montpellier in 2018. Since 2015, seven different players have saved match point(s) in two different matches at the same tournament before lifting the title, led by Dominic Thiem at 2016 Buenos Aires
Players Who Saved Match Point(s) In Multiple Matches, Won Title (since 2015)
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has saved at least one match point en route to a title twice since 2015. In the semi-finals of the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals, Murray saved one match point before battling past Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(9). In the championship match, with year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on the line, Murray beat Djokovic for the title.
Murray also notably saved seven match points in the quarter-finals of the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4), 7-6(18), 6-1 before lifting the trophy on the weekend. The top seed saved all seven match points in the 38-point second-set tie-break, which lasted 31 minutes.
“It’s obviously a special match to win because of how it went,” Murray said. “I’ll probably never play another tie-break like that again.”