Novak Djokovic has made history again. The Serbian has secured the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Ranking for a record seventh time, eclipsing the mark previously he shared with American Pete Sampras.

The 34-year-old, who won three of the four Grand Slam titles in 2021 and came so close to completing the calendar-year Grand Slam, first became world No 1 in 2011 and more than 10 years on, he’s still the man at the top.

He went 27-1 at the four major championships with trophies at the Australian Open (d. Medvedev), Roland Garros (d. Tsitsipas) and Wimbledon (d. Berrettini). His bid to match the feat of Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969) ended in the US Open final (l. to Medvedev).

It marks the 17th time in the past 18 seasons (barring Andy Murray in 2016) that the year-end No. 1 has been held by Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (five times: 2008, ’10, ’13, ’17, ’19) or Roger Federer (also five times: 2004-07, ’09).

Djokovic eclipsed Federer’s all-time mark of 310 weeks at No. 1 on 8 March and will finish 2021 having held the top ranking for 348 weeks (as of 22 November). The Serbian’s fifth stint in the top spot began the week of 3 February 2020.

In addition to his three major titles, Djokovic also triumphed on home soil at the Belgrade Open in May. He became the first man since Laver to win each major twice at Roland Garros in June and earned a sixth Wimbledon title in July, drawing him level on a record 20 majors with Federer and Nadal. Djokovic’s career trophy haul stands at 85 (fifth in the Open Era).

Djokovic will attempt to secure a record-equalling sixth Nitto ATP Finals trophy at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November. He will be making his 14th appearance at the season finale, where he will officially receive the year-end ATP Tour No. 1 trophy presented by FedEx.

Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) || 211807_0116 2021 2022 ATP atp1000 fft MASTERS masters 1000 rolex spo sport tennis


2021 win-loss: 48-6 (up to and including Paris Masters semi-finals)
Titles: 4 (at start of Paris Masters)
Grand Slams: 3
Not since Rod Laver in 1969 had any man had a genuine chance to win all four majors in the same year, the coveted calendar-year Grand Slam. But after wins in Australia, in Paris and at Wimbledon, Djokovic got within one victory of achieving the magic four, losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final. He bounced back to secure the year-end No 1 ranking for a record seventh time, though, surpassing his idol, Pete Sampras, in the process.

Missing out was frustrating but also a relief thanks to all the stress that came with talk of the Grand Slam. And Djokovic was also touched by the incredible reception he received from the New York crowd as the match drew to a close.

“Part of me is very sad,” he said. “It’s a tough one to swallow, this loss, I mean, considering everything that was on the line.

“But on the other hand I felt something I never felt in my life here in New York. The crowd made me feel very special. They pleasantly surprised me. I did not know, I did not expect anything, but the amount of support and energy and love I got from the crowd was something that I’ll remember forever. I mean, that’s the reason on the changeover I just teared up. The emotion, the energy was so strong. I mean, it’s as strong as winning 21 Grand Slams. That’s how I felt, honestly. I felt very, very special.”


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