LONDON, November 14 2014: Novak Djokovic has clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking for a third time after he completed round-robin play with a 3-0 record on Friday at The O2 in London to qualify for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The 27-year-old Serbian previously finished at the top in 2011 and 2012 and is the seventh player to finish year-end No. 1 on three occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (4) and Rafael Nadal (3).
Djokovic is also only the fourth playerâ€”after Lendl, Federer and Nadal (twice)â€”to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. This is the 11th straight season that the year-end World No. 1 ranking has been held by Djokovic (2011-12, â€˜14), Federer (2004-07, â€™09) or Nadal (2008, â€˜10, â€˜13).
Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, â€œOn behalf of the ATP, Iâ€™d like to congratulate Novak on another phenomenal season. Finishing as the year-end No.1 is the ultimate achievement in our sport. Since the inception of the rankings in 1973, only 16 players can lay claim to that achievement. Itâ€™s been a very exciting end to the season with Novak being pushed all the way by a resurgent Roger Federer. Novak has had another outstanding season and is truly deserving of his place as No. 1.â€
With No. 1 now secured, Djokovicâ€™s focus narrows to winning a third consecutive Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title (and fourth title overall, following his first win in 2008). Ivan Lendl was the last player to win three straight titles at the season finale (1985-87). Djokovic is making his eighth straight appearance at the event.
Djokovic returned to World No. 1 on 7 July this year after capturing his seventh Grand Slam championship title at Wimbledon (d. Federer). Overall, he has an 18-5 record against Top 10 opponents in 2014 and has won six titles, including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (d. Federer), Miami Open presented by Itau (d. Nadal), Internazionali BNL dâ€™Italia in Rome (d. Nadal), Wimbledon, China Open in Beijing (d. Berdych) and the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris (d. Raonic). He also finished runner-up at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).
Djokovic first ascended to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 4 July 2011, following his maiden Wimbledon triumph, and held the top spot for 53 weeks. He reclaimed No. 1 from Federer on 5 November 2012, before relinquishing it to Nadal on 7 October 2013. Djokovic competes in London at No. 1 for the 121st week in his career.
“Definitely he deserves to win,” said Berdych. “There was no question about it. He just secured his spot for the No. 1 player in the world. I think it just shows how great he is, how well he played during the whole season. I mean, there was not many doubts that the match could go the other way. There was no way I can challenge him better than this.”