Novak Djokovic has clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking for a third time after he completed round-robin play with a 3-0 record on Friday at The O2 in London to qualify for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The 27-year-old Serbian previously finished at the top in 2011 and 2012 and is the seventh player to finish year-end No. 1 on three or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (4) and Rafael Nadal (3).
“Being World No. 1 is probably one of the most difficult and biggest challenges that a tennis player can have, so it’s incredibly fulfilling and I’m very happy with this achievement,” said Djokovic, after he was presented the ATP World Tour No. 1 trophy in an on-court ceremony with McEnroe, Boris Becker, Mats Wilander and Carlos Moya. “It’s been a long year and it’s one of the ultimate challenges. I’m just glad to be standing here with the trophy knowing how many legends of the sport have done the same before.”
Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “On behalf of the ATP, I’d like to Llodra congratulate Novak on another phenomenal season. Finishing as the year-end No.1 is the ultimate achievement in our sport. Since the inception of the rankings in 1973, only 16 players can lay claim to that achievement. It’s been a very exciting end to the season with Novak being pushed all the way by a resurgent Roger Federer. Novak has had another outstanding season and is truly deserving of his place as No. 1.”
Djokovic returned to World No. 1 on 7 July this year after capturing his seventh Grand Slam championship title at Wimbledon (d. Federer). Overall, he has an 18-5 record against Top 10 opponents in 2014 and has won six titles, including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (d. Federer), Miami Open presented by Itau (d. Nadal), Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (d. Nadal), Wimbledon, China Open in Beijing (d. Berdych) and the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris (d. Raonic). He also finished runner-up at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).
Djokovic first ascended to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 4 July 2011, following his maiden Wimbledon triumph, and held the top spot for 53 weeks. He reclaimed No. 1 from Federer on 5 November 2012, before relinquishing it to Nadal on 7 October 2013. Djokovic competes in London at No. 1 for the 121st week in his career.