Novak Djokovic secures historic seventh year-end No 1

Novak Djokovic secures a record seventh year-end No 1 after making it to the Paris Masters semi-finals

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Novak Djokovic today secured the year-end No. 1 ATP Ranking for a record seventh time, eclipsing the mark he previously shared with American Pete Sampras.

By defeating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in Saturday’s Paris Masters semi-finals, Djokovic breaks a tie with Sampras, who completed six straight year-end No. 1 finishes between 1993-98.

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Djokovic has achieved the feat in seven of the past 11 seasons (2011-12, ’14-15, ’18 and ’20).

“Just proud and extremely happy. Obviously that was one of the biggest goals and it’s always one of the biggest goals, to try to be No. 1 and end the season as No. 1,” Djokovic said.

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“To do it for the record seventh time and surpass my childhood idol and role model, Pete, is incredible. Very grateful, very blessed to be in this position.”

Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: “Finishing the season as No. 1 is a monumental achievement. To do it seven times, in this incredible era of men’s professional tennis, is hard to describe. Novak deserves huge credit and recognition for continuing to redefine excellence in our sport, year after year. Congratulations to him and his team on this outstanding new milestone.”

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Three Majors in 2021

The 34-year-old, who extends his record as the oldest man to finish year-end No. 1, came within one victory of completing the Grand Slam in 2021.

He went 27-1 at the four major championships with trophies at the Australian Open (d. Medvedev), Roland Garros (d. Tsitsipas) and Wimbledon (d. Berrettini). His bid to match the feat of Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) ended in the US Open final (l. to Medvedev).

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It marks the 17th time in the past 18 seasons (barring Andy Murray in 2016) that the year-end No. 1 has been held by Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (five times: 2008, ’10, ’13, ’17, ’19) or Roger Federer (also five times: 2004-07, ’09).

Djokovic eclipsed Federer’s all-time mark of 310 weeks at No. 1 on 8 March and will finish 2021 having held the top ranking for 348 weeks (as of 22 November). The Serbian’s fifth stint in the top spot began the week of 3 February 2020.

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In addition to his three major titles, Djokovic also triumphed on home soil at the Belgrade Open in May. He became the first man since Laver to win each major twice at Roland Garros in June and earned a sixth Wimbledon title in July, drawing him level on a record 20 majors with Federer and Nadal.

Djokovic’s career trophy haul stands at 85 (fifth all-time).

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Djokovic will attempt to secure a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals trophy at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. He will be making his 14th appearance at the season finale, where he will officially receive the year-end ATP Tour No. 1 trophy.