Djokovic is finding a way past all opponents on all surfaces as he continues
his unbeaten start to 2011.
over Rafael Nadal in the Rome Masters on Sunday improved his record to 37 wins
without defeat for the season, as he took his seventh title in succession.
impressive - especially in an era when two of the game's all-time greats, Roger
Federer and Rafael Nadal, are still fiercely competitive opponents.
But it is
not yet even tennis's best unbeaten streak - Guillermo Villas holds that record
in the men's game with 46 in a row, while Martina Navratilova once went 74
matches without defeat.
So here are
a list of 10 streaks which are even more impressive than Djokovic's current
run (limited to one per sport):
1. Arsenal's Invincibles go 49 Premier League
It seems an
awfully long time ago after the Gunners again slid ignominiously out of the title race,
but just seven years back Arsenal became the first side in the modern era to go an
entire season unbeaten in the Premier League. In the 2003-4 season the Highbury
side won 26 and drew 12 of their 38 league games, romping to the title by 11
points with star striker Thierry Henry scoring 30 goals. When they finally lost
on October 25, 2004 - a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United - it brought to an end
a streak of 49 league games without defeat, still an English top-flight record.
2. Jahangir Khan goes 555 matches unbeaten in
are mind-boggling - Pakistan squash star Jahangir Khan has a claim to the
longest unbeaten streak in all of sport. Beginning in 1981, Jahangir, just 17
years of age, swept to victory in the World Open, and from that point was
untouchable in all tournaments all over the world. Khan was the fittest player
of his era and allied his conditioning to his talent in irresistible fashion. Ross Norman of New Zealand vowed to be ready
should the great player ever have an off-day - and five years later in the
final of the 1986 World Open, 555 matches after the run had started, that day
. West Indies go 15 years without a Test
The kind of
streak which was so good that a film has been made about it. The West Indies,
with ludicrous amounts of talent and unrivalled application, transformed their
reputation from Calypso cricketers into that of fearsome winners. With a pace
attack unrivalled to this day and a batting line-up blessed with the
belligerent talent of Viv Richards, the mishmash of Caribbean nations swept all
opponents before them, going unbeaten for 29 Test series over the course of 15
years, winning 20 of them.
4. Edwin Moses wins 122 consecutive 400m
likes of Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt have not dominated an event quite like
Edwin Moses. A hurdler of impeccable technique and outstanding pace, Moses was already
Olympic champion before his record streak began. From 26 August 1977 to 4 June 1987 Moses won
every single race he contested, adding a second Olympic gold on home soil in
Los Angeles in 1984 along the way.
5. Byron Nelson wins 11 straight golf
the golf circuit, with large fields of talented stars, is some achievement -
winning 11 consecutive events is another matter altogether. Byron Nelson's
achievements in 1945 are unlikely ever to be repeated, and despite the quality
of fields of tournaments being reduced marginally by the war, Nelson still had
to record his winnings against legends of the game like Sam Snead and Ben
Hogan. In addition to his 11 tournaments in a row, Nelson won 18 tournaments in
all and finished second a further seven times.
6. Esther Vergeer unbeaten in 404 wheelchair
tennis matches - and counting
absolutely dominant in her sport, having started a streak in January 2003 that remains unbeaten to this day. With more than 400 singles wins on the board,
the record is made even more impressive by the fact that at one point she had
won 250 successive sets. The 29-year-old dominates the game like no other and can
yet break all-time streak records across all sport.
7. Miami Dolphins' perfect season in 1972
The Miami Dolphins, beaten in the 1971 Super
Bowl by Dallas, regrouped to put together a 14-game unbeaten run in 1972 and
take the title - the first and only time in the history of the sport that a
team has managed a perfect season. Quarterback Bob Griese said: "If another
team is good enough to go undefeated, more power to them." The New England
Patriots, who went through the 2007-8 regular season undefeated, don't need
telling. Their 18-0 streak that season came to an abrupt end in the Super Bowl, losing to the New York Giants.
8. Germany's female
Germany's women have dominated the luge in
extraordinary fashion over the years. From 1997 until earlier this year, German
team members won 105 races in succession, a run that only ended when Alex Gough
of Canada beat German Carina Schwab in Paramonovo, Russia. The Germans still
dominate, though - in the last four Olympic Games the women of Germany have
claimed four gold medals, as well as three silvers and three bronzes.
9. Julio Cesar Chavez
wins 87 consecutive pro fights
The Mexican champion was unstoppable for much
of his career, winning titles at Super Featherweight, Lightweight and Super
Lightweight. He won 87 straight fights from his professional debut in February
1980 until his draw with Pernell Whitaker in September 1993. The streak is
unlikely ever to be bettered in an era when boxers fight far less often.
10. The New York Yacht
Club unbeaten in the America's Cup for 132 years
Surely the longest streak of any kind in the
history of sport. In 1851 the New York Yacht Club took on the Royal Yacht
Squadron of England around the Isle of Wight in a fleet race, and won. They
defended their title again - and again - and again. Twenty-five times they competed for
the trophy, and until 1983 - 132 years after they first won it - they retained
it. There may be a side that retains a trophy in sport for as long as that
again - but we're more than 100 years from finding out.