Sports

Djokovic Ends Year As World No.1 Singles Player For Sixth Time, Equals Pete Sampras’s Record


World No.1 Novak Djokovic achieved yet another milestone in his glittering tennis career as he ended the year as the number one ranked singles player for the sixth consecutive year on the ATP World Tour.

The Serbian tennis ace clinched the year-end men’s world No 1 ranking for a sixth straight year and equaled the long standing record of his childhood hero and American tennis great Pete Sampras.

Djokovic was assured of ending the year as the top ranked singles player after his fierce rival Rafael Nadal pulled out from the ATP Tour event in Bulgarian capital Sofia next week.

The 17-time Grand Slam singles champion had earlier finished as the year-end World Number One ranked singles player in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Novak Djokovic joined Pete Sampras as only the second singles player since the inception of the ATP Singles rankings in 1973 to achieve the feat. Sampras ended six straight seasons as the World Number singles player between 1993 and 1998.

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Djokovic has enjoyed one of the most dominant seasons of his stellar career, winning the ATP Cup for Serbia in January before pocketing a record-extending eight Australian Open Grand Slam in Melbourne.

He added a record 36th ATP Master 1000 Series title by winning the Cincinnati Masters. ‘Djoko’ also ended up as the losing finalist to Rafael Nadal at the 2020 French Open played in September-October.

“Pete was somebody I looked up to when I was growing up, so to match his record is a dream come true” Djokovic said in an ATP statement.

“I will also keep striving to be a better player, hopefully have more success and break more records in a sport I love with all my heart.”

“To finish the year as No. 1 is one of the most impressive achievements in our sport, one which requires sustained excellence across the season,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi added.

“Obviously I am super proud of it, but I have mixed emotions because of what is going on in the world. I can’t be ignorant to that, although I have achieved one of the biggest goals in sport. I feel for many people in the world going through hardship and my heart goes out to them.”


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