The 17-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic was honoured on Sunday afternoon at the ATP Finals, receiving his ATP Tour No. 1 trophy from ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi for finishing as the year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for a record-equalling sixth time. The Serbian finishes as World No. 1 for the sixth time in the past 10 years (also 2011-12, ‘14-15 and ‘18), draws level with his childhood hero, American Pete Sampras, who ended six straight years at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis between 1993 and 1998.
“I’m very happy,” Djokovic told ATPTour.com on Sunday at The O2 in London. “It’s been a strange year for all of us with a six months’ gap for all of us. We restarted the season in August, and I continued where I left off before lockdown and had a terrific run. I’m very pleased with the way things went.
“I have to say a huge thank you to my team for supporting me in the hard time and trusting me. This is the crown for all achievements in the year and it’s unreal that I’ve managed to finish the year at No. 1 for a sixth time.
“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.”
The 33-year-old Serbian has enjoyed a stellar season, capturing four titles and compiling a 39-3 match record. Djokovic lifted an eighth Australian Open trophy (defeated Thiem) in January, two ATP Masters 1000s at the Western & Southern Open (defeated Raonic) and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (defeated Schwartzman), plus the ATP 500-level Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (defeated Tsitsipas).
He competes this week in Group Tokyo 1970 alongside Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman at the ATP Finals in London.