Novak Djokovic has emerged as the unanimous pick to end the 2021 season as World No. 1, in a poll conducted by the ATP tour amongst some of its players.
The 33-year-old Djokovic has finished as the World No. 1 in six different seasons so far - 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2020. By finishing 2020 on top of the charts, the Serb tied Pete Sampras' record for most year-end No. 1 finishes in men's tennis history. Needless to say, if Djokovic manages to remain atop the rankings at the end of the 2021 season too, he will take sole possession of the record.
In the video recorded by ATP, the likes of John Isner, Frances Tiafoe, Miomir Kecmanovic, Hubert Hurkacz, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini, Alex de Minaur and Matteo Berrettini were all asked to name their candidate for year-end No. 1 in 2021. And perhaps surprisingly, every single one of them went with Novak Djokovic.
However, Berrettini did add that Djokovic's reign could be broken the following year, as he feels "something would change in the year 2022".
Novak Djokovic is currently chasing another ranking record - that for most weeks spent as World No. 1. If Djokovic manages to stay on top until 8 March 2021 - as he is expected to - he will overtake Roger Federer's record of 310 weeks as No. 1.
"Roger Federer IS the tennis" - Fabio Fognini can't wait to see the Swiss legend back on court
As part of the same video, the ATP stars were also asked to predict the player who would have a breakout season in 2021. And World No. 17 Fabio Fognini gave a somewhat strange answer, picking 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.
The 39-year-old Roger Federer has not played since last year's Australian Open due to a double knee surgery, and Fognini expressed a desire to see the Swiss back on the court.
"I think the player that is gonna - boom! I would like to see Roger Federer again, because I'm really a huge fan of him. I really enjoy (watching) him play because... sorry for telling u guys, but he is the tennis," Fognini said.
Roger Federer withdrew from the Australian Open after his team confirmed that he would not be 100% ready for the first Major of the season. The Swiss legend is expected to make his comeback in late February or early March.
Federer has spent the past few weeks training in Dubai, which has led some to believe he could make his comeback at the ATP events in Doha or Dubai. The European indoor events in Rotterdam or Marseille could also be alternatives for the Swiss, who is still ranked No. 5 in the world.