Serbian Sports Minister Pays Tribute to Novak Djokovic For Matching Pete Sampras’ Elite Record

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Serbia’s minister for youth and sports has congratulated 17-time Grand Slam Novak Djokovic for finishing as the year-end World Number 1 in ATP singles ranking.

The Serbian tennis superstar clinched the Numero Uno position in the year-end rankings at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna earlier this year.

His straight-set win over Croatia’s Borna Coric at the last-eight stage in Vienna helped him secure the top position in the year-end ATP rankings.

Djokovic has now guaranteed himself the year-end Number 1 ranking for the sixth time in his career, matching Pete Sampras’ record.

In the process of equalling the feat of the legendary American, Djokovic skipped past eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors as well as peers Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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

“Nothing unattainable when you believe in your dream”: Serbian minister on Novak Djokovic

In his congratulatory message, minister Vanja Udovicic said, “There is nothing unattainable when you believe in your dream, give yourself and everything in yourself for the goal you set.”

“You do not give up when it is most difficult and you know that borders are only where you want to go,” the minister said.

“Pete Sampras’ equal record, Novak Djokovic inviolable for the sixth time on the throne of the ATP list,” the minister said. 

“For pride, respect, motivation and strength! Every part, champions,”  Udovicic said.

Novak Djokovic’s No.1 ranking was confirmed after Rafael Nadal decided not to play Sofia Open

Djokovic’s confirmation as the year-end World Number 1 came after the announcement of the players’ draw for the Sofia Open on Friday.

His position as the year-end Numero Uno was entrenched after it was learned that Nadal won’t play the event in the Bulgarian capital.

Djokovic will compete in the year-end ATP World Tour Finals in London as the top-ranked player.

The Serbian did not play in the just-concluded Rolex Paris Masters, knowing full well that his non-participation won’t affect his standing in the year-end ATP rankings.

At 33, he is hot on the heels of Federer and Nadal in the race for the most number of Major titles and is even tipped to beat them by the time he finishes.

Federer and Nadal are currently tied at 20 Grand Slam titles apiece.

Djokovic won the Australian Open this year but was disqualified from the US Open for accidentally hitting a line judge with a tennis ball.

(All quotes have been translated)

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