Novak Djokovic has clinched the year-end World No. 1 ranking for 2020, marking the sixth occasion that he will end the season as the top-ranked male player. In the process, Novak Djokovic has tied the ATP record set by Pete Sampras of ending the year as the World No. 1 player six times, and has overtaken Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors - who all achieved the feat five times each.
The 33-year-old Novak Djokovic has also set a new record as the oldest year-end No. 1. The previous record was held by Rafael Nadal, who finished as the year-end No. 1 in 2019 when he was a few months younger than Djokovic is right now.
While Pete Sampras achieved his record of six year-end finishes in consecutive years between 1993 and 1998, Novak Djokovic has achieved his feat over a 10-year period - between 2011 and 2020. Both achievements are equally impressive, but here's a side-by-side comparison of each of their seasons as World No. 1 based on a few key metrics.
Notes for the statistics -
# - age at the end of the season
*ATP titles include Grand Slams for all years
** as of 7 November 2020
As can be seen above, Djokovic has usually had a better win-loss ratio in his No. 1 years, while he has also won more Slams in total. Sampras, on the other hand, won more titles overall (43 to 42), and he achieved each year-end No. 1 finish at a younger age than the Serb.
Novak Djokovic's next target: Roger Federer's record of 310 weeks as World No. 1
Novak Djokovic expressed his delight at achieving his goal in a statement to the ATP tour.
“Pete was somebody I looked up to when I was growing up, so to match his record is a dream come true,” said Djokovic. “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.”
Novak Djokovic's next ranking goal is to break Roger Federer's record of most weeks as the World No. 1 in men's tennis (310 weeks). If he remains No. 1 till 8 March 2021, which he is likely to, the Serb will claim that record as well.
Djokovic's next tournament will be the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London which begins on 15 November. He has a chance to gain some additional points at that tournament and extend his lead at the top, thereby guaranteeing the record come March.