TURIN, Italy (AP) — Novak Djokovic received his trophy on Monday after securing the year-end No. 1 ranking for a record-extending eighth time.
Djokovic needed only one match win at the ATP Finals to be sure of keeping the top spot and the 24-time Grand Slam champion secured it in his opener, beating Holger Rune 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-3 in a match spanning more than three hours on Sunday and into Monday morning.
On Monday afternoon, ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi presented Djokovic with the trophy for his achievement. Djokovic then posed for pictures with his team of coaches, physical trainers and family members.
“It’s obviously the crown of the season, finishing the year as No. 1 in the world is a dream of every tennis player,” Djokovic said. “It’s one of the most difficult things to do in our sport. Winning Grand Slams and being No. 1 in the world are probably the pinnacles of the sport.
The 36-year-old Djokovic had already moved ahead of previous record holder Pete Sampras (six years at No. 1) two years ago.
Carlos Alcaraz took the honor last year.
But Djokovic bounced back this year by winning three of the four major titles and finishing runner-up to Alcaraz at Wimbledon.
“This is a tremendous success and achievement and I’m very proud of it,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic next faces home favorite Jannik Sinner of Italy on Tuesday.
The top two finishers in each four-man group advance to the semifinals.
AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis