Despite the abrupt nature of the 2020 season, Novak Djokovic has asserted his supremacy on the tour with his consistency. Djokovic has won five titles this year, including a Grand Slam at the Australian Open and two Masters 1000s at Cincinnati and Rome.
However, arguably his most remarkable result of the year came in the quarterfinal of the ATP 500 Erste Bank Open in Vienna, where the Serb was demolished 6-2 6-1 by lucky loser Lorenzo Sonego.
Novak Djokovic chose to play Vienna and give the Paris Masters a miss to consolidate his year-end World No. 1 ranking. He had no ranking points to gain in the French capital as the defending champion, while at Vienna he could accumulate up to 500 valuable points.
Djokovic won his first two rounds against Filip Krajinovic and Borna Coric, which all but confirmed the year-end No. 1 ranking (barring some extraordinary heroics from Rafael Nadal). With his major goal from Vienna accomplished, the Serb didn't put up much of a fight in the quarterfinal, which led to a hammering from Sonego.
He admitted as much in a forthright post-match press conference, saying he is not too bothered by the result.
"I came here with the intention to try to earn more points and secure the [World] No. 1 at the end of the year,” Djokovic said. “I’m happy, I’m pleased [that] I’m healthy and hopefully I can have a strong finish in London.
The World No. 1 was also full of praise for his opponent, stressing that Sonego was simply the 'better' player.
"He just blew me off the court, that's all," Novak Djokovic said. "He was better in every segment of the game. It was a pretty bad match from my side, but amazing from his side. He definitely deserved this result."
Novak Djokovic seemed surprisingly calm despite suffering one of the worst defeats of his career, just a few short weeks after losing the Roland Garros final in similarly lopsided fashion to Rafael Nadal.
"I move on completely fine with today’s result and [I am] looking to the next chapter," said the 33-year-old.
Novak Djokovic shifts his attention to the Nitto ATP Finals in London
Having consolidated the World No. 1 ranking in Vienna, Novak Djokovic will now turn his attention to the Nitto ATP Finals at the 02 Arena in London. Djokovic has enjoyed tremendous success at the tournament in the past, having won it five times.
"Looking forward to it (ATP Finals). It’s the final tournament of the year. Obviously I’ll do my best to prepare well and have a shot at the title," the 17-time Grand Slam champion said.
"[The] best eight players in this season are going to be there. After Slams it’s probably the strongest event we have on our Tour, maybe the strongest because of the field of players. Every match that you get to play is against a top eight player in the world," he added.
"I’ve had plenty of success in that arena [The O2]. It’s obviously going to be different without the crowd, but hopefully I can have a strong finish," the Serb concluded.
Novak Djokovic is looking to equal Roger Federer with a sixth title at the ATP Finals this year, a feat that will once again enter his name into the history books. The Serb is also well on his way to beating the Swiss maestro's all-time record for weeks spent at World No. 1; Djokovic currently stands at 292 weeks, 18 short of Federer's 310, which he should surpass by 8 March 2021.