“Have Mixed Emotions” – Novak Djokovic on Attaining Career Milestone

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Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has credited his year-end Number 1 trophy to his family, fans, and all those who believed in him.

Simultaneously, he sympathized with people hit by adversities in the year 2020 owing to the fatal pandemic. The feelings are bitter-sweet for his phenomenal triumph in the year 2020.

Djokovic equaled tennis great Pete Sampras’ feat of finishing Numero Uno for the sixth time in the ATP’s year-end players’ standings.

17-time Slam winner at par with Sampras in year-end number ones

However, Sampras’ achievement still stands out as he finished as the year-end top-ranked player for six consecutive seasons.

The Serb received the glittering trophy from ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi on Sunday.

The award was presented to him at a gilded ceremony ahead of the opening match of ATP Tour Finals in London.

Thrilled to have reached another career milestone, Djokovic tweeted, “Even though I’m standing by myself here, this trophy equally belongs to all my family, #TeamDjokovic, #NoleFam……and people who always believed in me and tirelessly supported me on this wonderful journey. I am very happy to celebrate another big milestone here in London.”

Novak Djokovic
Tennis – ATP Finals – The O2, London, Britain – November 15, 2020 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic poses with the ATP Tour Number 1 trophy Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

“I also have mixed emotions since there are a lot of people going through hardship currently around the world. My heart goes out to all of them with a prayer that everyone is healthy and happy.”

Novak Djokovic in sight of Roger Federer’s record at Tour Finals

The Serb is currently in sight of his sixth Tour Finals title.

If he wins the prestigious season-ender this year, Djokovic would equal Roger Federer for the most number of titles in the tournament.

The Serb would kick off his Tour Finals campaign on Monday evening against Argentine Diego Schwartzman.

Apart from the prospect of tying with Federer for most titles at the event, there’s another source of motivation for the Serb heading into the O2 Arena.

Read More: “Want Players Of All Levels to Be Heard”: Novak Djokovic Explains the Main Objectives of PTPA

Djokovic looks to end 4-year title drought in London

Djokovic hasn’t lifted the Tour Finals trophy for the last four years. His last title-run came in 2015 when he beat Federer in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic in action during the French Open 2020
Novak Djokovic in action during his quarter final match against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The Serb did make the title clash in 2016 and 2018 but fell at the final hurdle.

In 2016, he lost to Briton Andy Murray while his hope of a sixth Tour Finals crown in 2018 came crashing after his defeat to German Alexander Zverev in the final.

Ahead of the season-ending tournament this year, Djokovic ruled out any immediate retirement plans. He said as long as he has the hunger for titles and the desire to compete, he will keep playing.

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