Novak Djokovic has clinched the year-end number one ATP Ranking for a fourth time after he captured the US Open title – which represents his 10th Grand Slam championship – on Sunday. In another stellar season, the Serbian has captured seven titles, including three Majors and four ATP World Tour Masters 1000s, from 11 tour-level finals. The 28-year old previously finished at the top in 2011, 2012 and 2014 and is the sixth player to finish year-end number one on four or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (4).
This is the 12th straight season that the year-end world number one ranking has been held by Djokovic (2011-12, ’14-15), Federer (2004-07, ’09) or Nadal (2008, ‘10, ‘13). Djokovic says: ‘It’s a fantastic feeling to know I will end the year at number one again. This is what we fight for since January 1st. We still have a few tournaments left though and I look forward to competing in Beijing, Shanghai, Paris and London.’
Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman and President, says: ‘Congratulations to Novak on yet another incredible achievement. To secure the year-end ATP World Tour number one ranking this early in the season just goes to show what an amazing year he has had. His remarkable level of consistency throughout the season and on the biggest stages has been quite simply awe-inspiring. He’s in his prime, unquestionably at the pinnacle of the game, and fully deserving of this latest accolade – a true credit to our sport.’
Djokovic, who began his third stint atop the rankings on 7 July 2014, has been number one in the ATP Rankings for 164 weeks and will move past McEnroe’s mark of 170 weeks at the top on 2 November 2015. Only Federer (302), Sampras (286), Lendl (270), Connors (268) and McEnroe have spent more weeks at the summit since 1973. In 2015, Djokovic has become only the third player in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach all four Grand Slam finals in the same season, after Rod Laver (1969) and Federer (2006-07, ‘09).
He won the Australian Open (beat Murray), Wimbledon and US Open (beat Federer both times), but narrowly failed in becoming the eighth player in tennis history to complete a career Grand Slam after a runner-up finish at Roland Garros (lost to Wawrinka) in June. Overall, he has a 21-4 record against Top 10 opponents this year and has won seven titles, including ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events at Indian Wells (beat Federer), Miami Open (beat Murray), Monte Carlo Masters (beat Berdych) and Rome (beat Federer). He also finished runner-up in Dubai (lost to Federer), Montreal (lost to Murray) and Cincinnati (lost to Federer).
He currently has a 63-5 match record in 2015. Later this year, Djokovic will attempt to secure a fourth consecutive ATP World Tour Finals title (and fifth crown overall, following his first win in 2008) at The O2 in London from 15-22 November. Djokovic will be making his ninth straight appearance at the prestigious indoor event, where he will be officially presented the year-end ATP World Tour number one Trophy in an on-court ceremony.
Djokovic first ascended to number one in the ATP Rankings on 4 July 2011, following his maiden Wimbledon triumph, and held the top spot for 53 weeks. He reclaimed top spot from Federer on 5 November 2012, before relinquishing it to Nadal on 7 October 2013. The Serb once again returned to the summit on 7 July last year, when he went on to become only the fourth player — after Lendl, Federer and Nadal (twice) — to hold, lose and regain the year-end number one in the ATP Rankings.
Photo credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laureus)