Novak Djokovic, who is 36 years old, has been a professional tennis player for 20 years and has had problems like injuring his hand. Even with these problems, the driven Serbian keeps setting records, extending his remarkable career with yet another season of success.
If three grand slam titles and a final appearance at the other weren’t enough, the 24-time grand slam champion went on to break the record for most grand slams won, became the oldest player to win the Cincinnati Open, played the longest-ever ATP match and now has added yet another record to his mind-boggling bag of accolades.
ATP finals solidify Djokovic’s position at No. 1
Just a few months ago, Novak was ranked lower than Carlos Alcaraz in the ATP rankings. Thanks to his spectacular victory at the US Open and a win at the Paris Masters, he managed to reclaim the top spot. Additionally, Alcaraz’s performance was unexpectedly below par, which further contributed to his success.
Entering the Nitto ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic knew he needed just a win to cement his place as the year-end world no. 1. And that was accomplished as he battled to a three-set victory over Holger Rune in his first match.
With the win, Novak Djokovic solidified his record-extending eighth-year-end No. 1 ranking. He has held the top spot in 2011, ‘12, ‘14, ‘15, ‘18, ‘20, ’21, and ‘23.
Pete Sampras is second on the list with six, while Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, and Rafael Nadal have five.
“I was very eager to win tonight’s match, get that so-to-say monkey off my back. I’ve won Paris, which put me in a much better position rankings-wise and I knew that coming into Torino all I had to do is win one match. So obviously a big objective, big goal is achieved. Everything else now is a bonus,” Djokovic said following his 7-6(4), 6-7(1), 6-3 victory.
He has also officially held the world no. 1 ranking for a record 400 weeks.
The Serb since went on to qualify for the semi-final, where he beat rival Alcaraz in straight sets. His opponent cut a sullen figure and admitted to needing improvement to beat the ageless Djokovic.
Carlos Alcaraz makes Novak Djokovic confession
After losing 3-6, 2-6 in a tough match in Turin, Carlos Alcaraz admitted that he must improve “a lot of things” to reach the level of Novak Djokovic.
“Well, he’s really, really tough. He plays at the same level during the whole match. I feel like I am not in his level in indoor court obviously. I’ve played great matches in Wimbledon, in Cincinnati, in Roland Garros. I felt in that match that I’m in the level,” Alcaraz said in his post-match press conference.
Novak Djokovic was in sublime form against Alcaraz, despite the Spaniard starting strong. At one point, the first set was level at 3-3. However, Carlos would go on to lose an important service game, and Djokovic immediately pounced on the error by taking a stranglehold of the match.
Alcaraz said that he will use the defeat in his preparations for the 2024 season but will not focus on his previous impressive performances against Djokovic.
“I will forget all the matches that I played against him, the Wimbledon final, the Cincinnati, Roland Garros, and I’m going to focus on this match because I felt like I have to improve a lot of things if I want to stay at his level. That’s what I going to think in the pre-season,” he added.
What are your opinions on Novak Djokovic’s new record as year-end world no. 1 for the eighth time? Let us know in the comments section below.