For Novak Djokovic, productivity is not necessarily defined by quantity and he demonstrated the full meaning of this statement during the course of the 2023 season.
As the ATP Tour takes a breather after an 11-month marathon, Djokovic has emerged as the tour's most efficient player, winning seven singles titles, the most by any man this season. This is his best-ever return in title output since 2016 when he won the same number.
But it is pertinent to note that Djokovic has played just 12 ATP events this season and failed to progress beyond the semifinals on just three occasions (Monte Carlo, Banja Luka, and Rome).
He lost just one final this season, an epic at Wimbledon. Lest we forget the shanked break point miss in that fifth set and the conversation would have a completely different tune to it. Nevertheless, this has been one of the most remarkable seasons in ATP history and the closest thing to invincibility.
It feels like an awfully long time now from when Djokovic played his first ball of the 2023 season. He began the year on a clean slate and he was at the time, not the record holder of men's Grand Slam title haul. But he won three of the four majors to swing the pendulum in his favor.
The Serb also triumphed at Masters 1000 level, in Cincinnati - where he defeated Carlos Alcaraz in an epic - and the Paris Masters which took him to unchartered territory of being the first man to win 40 Masters titles. If that wasn't a justification for greatness, then he fully answered the critics on Sunday at the ATP Finals.
On a night of febrile atmosphere, Djokovic silenced the Italian crowd and sliced through Jannik Sinner to win a 7th season-ending championship, breaking a two-man tie with Roger Federer. The sobering feeling for his rivals next season is that even as he approaches 37, he appears to be aging in reverse.