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Novak Djokovic's 6 year-end No. 1 finishes vs Pete Sampras' 6 year-end No. 1 finishes: a statistical comparison

Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras
Novak Djokovic and Pete Sampras
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 07 Nov 2020, 21:03 IST
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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.

Pete Sampras in action at Wimbledon in 1994
Pete Sampras in action at Wimbledon in 1994

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.

Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic comparison - Part 1
Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic comparison - Part 1
Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic comparison - Part 2
Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic comparison - Part 2
Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic comparison - Part 3
Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic comparison - Part 3

Notes for the statistics -

# - age at the end of the season

*ATP titles include Grand Slams for all years

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** 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 with the Barclays ATP World Tour No. 1 Award in 2014
Novak Djokovic with the Barclays ATP World Tour No. 1 Award in 2014

Novak Djokovic expressed his delight at achieving his goal in a statement to the ATP tour.

β€œPete was somebody I looked up to when I was growing up, so to match his record is a dream come true,” said Djokovic. β€œI 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.

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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.

Published 07 Nov 2020, 16:10 IST
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