No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

'One of the two biggest achievements that you can have', Djokovic sets sights on year-end No. 1 ranking

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 9 Nov 2019
  • Novak Djokovic has described the year-end No. 1 ranking as one of the biggest achievements in the sport
  • The Serbian is locked in battle with current No. 1, Rafael Nadal for the year-end No. 1 ranking heading into the Nitto ATP Finals
  • The Nitto ATP Finals is live from London from 10-17 November
Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua)

World No. 2, Novak Djokovic says finishing the year as the No. 1 player in the world remains one of his biggest goals of the season, as he prepares for one last push to secure the ranking at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Djokovic is in a tussle with great rival, Rafael Nadal for the year-end No. 1 ranking, with the Serbian currently trailing Nadal by 640 points. However, there are 1500 points available to an undefeated champion at the Nitto ATP Finals, giving Djokovic a very realistic shot at usurping Nadal by the end of the tournament. 

“It is up for grabs for both of us. This tournament is going to decide [it]. He’s in a better position, but after winning Paris-Bercy I put myself in a pretty good position,” Djokovic said. 
“I think it’s probably in my personal opinion one of the two biggest achievements that you can have as a professional competitive tennis player, winning a Grand Slam and being No. 1 of the world at the end of the season. At this stage of my career obviously in terms of goals and achievements, obviously that’s right at the top".

Nadal still obviously controls the destiny of the year-end No. 1 ranking, and will guarantee the position if he reaches the final without losing a match, while Djokovic must make the final in London if he is to have any chance of regaining the No. 1 ranking.

“Obviously it doesn’t depend only on me, it depends on how he [Nadal] does in the tournament”, Djokovic said. “But I’ll try to focus on my matches and obviously right from the beginning, out of the blocks, you have to start with a real intensity and quality of tennis because it’s the elite eight players of the world. There’s no smoothing your way into the tournament, you have to be very sharp from the start.”

Djokovic is in Group Bjorn Borg, along with Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini.

Should the Serbian wrestle the No. 1 position away from Nadal, he will break a tie he currently shares with Federer and Jimmy Connors, and equal Pete Sampras' record of six year-end No. 1 finishes. That is not the only record that Djokovic is after in London, as the Serbian is also looking to match Roger Federer's tally of six ATP Finals title.

Djokovic currently has five titles, but he hasn't been champion since 2015. He first won the tournament in Shanghai in 2008, before claiming four successive titles in London between 2012 and 2015.

“It’s a great motivation of course. I love this sport. I care about of course doing as best as I can, as anybody else, and trying to make the history of tennis is a huge honour and privilege. So I find myself in the very privileged position to this year fight for a sixth title at the [Nitto ATP] Finals, which would equal Roger,” Djokovic said. “But we all have different paths, we all have different journeys and I’m trying to embrace my journey and get the best out of it.”

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals features three debutants- Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini- and while Djokovic is happy to see some of the young guns breaking through, he is not quite ready to relinquish his position at the top echelon of the sport, and is constantly seeking new ways to improve.

“We (the Big 3) are pushed by new generations that we have to improve on the tennis court. So I do have frequent conversations with my coaches about my game in general, what are the things that make me feel good, what are the things that can be improved, and that changes depending on the year, depending on the surface, and it’s exciting,” Djokovic said. “There is always something to work on.”

Djokovic is on Group Bjorn Borg with Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini. He opens his tournament on Sunday against Berrettini. Read the full match preview of Djokovic vs Berrettini.


Upcoming Events

Share this with your friends

Your comments:

"One of the two biggest achievements that you can have", Djokovic sets sights on year-end No. 1 ranking

Novak Djokovic has described the year-end No. 1 ranking as one of the biggest achievements in the sport, as he prepares to battle for the spot with Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages