Novak Djokovic Clinches ATP No. 1 Ranking For A Third Time
by Tom Gainey | November 14th, 2014, 11:15 am
  • 60 Comments

Congrats to Novak Djokovic who today clinched the ATP’s year-end No. 1 ranking for a third time. The Serb secured the spot after blowing out Tomas Berdych 62, 62 to reach the semifinals at the Barclays.

“Being No. 1 in the world is probably one of the most difficult and biggest challenges that a tennis player can have, so it’s incredibly fulfilling and I’m very happy with this achievement,” Djokovic said.

“It’s been a long year and it’s one of the ultimate challenges and I’m just glad to be standing here with the trophy knowing how many legends of the sport have done the same before. It’s an extreme honour to have them with me here.”

The 27-year-old Serbian previously finished at the top in 2011 and 2012 and is the seventh player to finish year-end No. 1 on three occasions, following in the footsteps of Pete Sampras (6), Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (5), Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe (4) and Rafael Nadal (3).

Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “On behalf of the ATP, I’d like to congratulate Novak on another phenomenal season. Finishing as the year-end No.1 is the ultimate achievement in our sport. Since the inception of the rankings in 1973, only 16 players can lay claim to that achievement. It’s been a very exciting end to the season with Novak being pushed all the way by a resurgent Roger Federer. Novak has had another outstanding season and is truly deserving of his place as No. 1.”

Djokovic first ascended to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 4 July 2011, following his maiden Wimbledon triumph, and held the top spot for 53 weeks. He reclaimed No. 1 from Federer on 5 November 2012, before relinquishing it to Nadal on 7 October 2013. Djokovic competes in London at No. 1 for the 121st week in his career.


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60 Comments for Novak Djokovic Clinches ATP No. 1 Ranking For A Third Time

elina Says:

I believe Stan will qualify just by winning at least two games even if he loses in straight sets this afternoon.


jane Says:

congrats! it really has been a wtf of lopsided matches this year. i read that nole broke some kind of record by losing only 9 games in 3 matches, but i read that on twitter so who knows?


rogerafa Says:

Novak has shown great consistency across different surfaces and different parts of the season. A very well-earned reward for his dedication and commitment to the entire season. Some Roger fans had unrealistic hopes and some Novak fans were needlessly jittery. Novak virtually shut the door in Paris and sealed it here in some style. Congratulations to him, his team and his fans on this significant achievement.

Ajde Nole!


contador Says:

Ajde Nole, indeed!

He’s a great no.1


madmax Says:

He certainly is a great!

Congrats to Jane and Conty.

Rogerafa,

It was certainly a legitimate hope, but to be honest. Am pretty certain I speak for a large majority of fed fans here. We are pleased he is playing so well. He is no. 2 in the world, oh my. I won’t go on. :)


brando GOAT poster Says:

“oh my. I won’t go on”: and who said Christmas cannot arrive in November? Thanks Max, a great gift! 😜


madmax Says:

brando,

why don’t you do yourself a favour and hide somewhere where you can’t be seen.

Oh, I forgot, there isn’t anyway low enough or dark enough.

I used to love reading your posts. You were so objective and well, nice.

You have turned the opposite. Your posts are too long and too boring now. You keep repeating the same old crap.


Okiegal Says:

@Jane……Congratulations to one of Novak’s nicest fans! Three years in a row……WOWZER!! I know you are busting your buttons right now, and rightfully so. There are other nice fans on here that I can’t recall to single out atm, but I think Contador is….so congrats 2 u 2!!


Okiegal Says:

Pot and kettle……..


DC Says:

@rogerafa Says:
Novak has shown great consistency across different surfaces and different parts of the season. A very well-earned reward for his dedication and commitment to the entire season. Some Roger fans had unrealistic hopes and some Novak fans were needlessly jittery. Novak virtually shut the door in Paris and sealed it here in some style. Congratulations to him, his team and his fans on this significant achievement.

Ajde Nole!
———————————————
congrats to Nole. However i would disagree with some of your comments. Nole sealed the deal in the last tournament of the year and an early exit from WTF could have been disastrous. Nole had to immediately start playing after he became a father fro the first time, so it does show that he was concerned about the ranking and wasn’t sure whether he would end up being #1 without putting in the extra effort.


jane Says:

rogerafa, skeezer too mentioned nole’s consistency on all the surfaces. you’re right. that’s an important factor in nole’s success in the past few years. i know the surfaces are more neutral than before, but still, you don’t see the consistency in all the players nevertheless – the ability to win on clay, grass, indoor hard, outdoor hard – so it must still take special skills even with less differentiation.

madmax, thanks. very happy and less jittery. :) a lot of nole’s fans were concerned (a couple at this site but many who i talk to elsewhere) because fed was playing so well and came so close to securing the #1 himself. also we just didn’t know if/how nole would bounce back after fatherhood as he seemed kind of out of sorts after the wedding for a few tournaments. anyhow, it’s nice to know that he was able to keep the motivation, and maybe fed can keep giving him advice on traveling and balancing home/career. it can’t be easy. btw, didn’t margot say she was going to the o2 arena? i think she wrote that the other day on here, so i doubt she is hiding if that’s the case. she’s usually here whether andy wins or loses.


jane Says:

awww, thanks okie.

dc, yes, it was close!


Felipe Says:

Djokovic will dominate 2015. The guy is on a mission, since he wants to be putted in the same league with Nadal (accomplishments wise), so double digit slams (French open included), at leats 65 titles, 200 weeks as world number 1, 4 year end World number 1 and at least 25 master series will definitely put him in the the conversation with Borg, Sampras and Nadal, and i really believe that he already has 2 years of top notch tennis left in him


elina Says:

As good as Novak is in best of three tournaments, it is still not translating into multi-slam years, his only one being in 2011.

So the jury is out on who will step up in 2015 to significantly increase their respective slam totals.

The opportunity is there for any of the top guns to take advantage.


TennisVagabond.com Says:

I’ll echo Okie and congratulate Jane- one of my favourite posters.

The effort it took for Novak to hold off a suddenly resurgent Federer was tremendous, when he must have been emotionally exhausted and might otherwise have cruised through the last month. That aside, he had a tremendous year on all surfaces, and has stomped his foot down this fall against the tide of youth: Not yet! Novak says, as he bars the door.

In the bigger picture, this is one more credit towards separating him from the Becker, Edberg, Wilander and Emerson tier and moving him into the echelon of Agassi, Lendl, Macenroe, Borg and Connors. And there’s just one level after that!


brando GOAT poster Says:

Crystal ball is already out I see lol. I think folks should know by now: we suck at making predictions. Fail time after time and again. Mankind just ain’t up to snuff when predicting the future. All I’ll say is…. Appreciate the here and now. As far as Novak is concerned he’s just wrapped up year end no1. That should be annoyed and commended since it ain’t happening every year for him or others. So appreciate it. Why waste the moment writing about the future when it could quite easily end up as being utter nonsense?…


jane Says:

thanks tennisvagabond! and if other’s here haven’t been to “tv’s” blog, you really should stop in. it’s funny and insightful. and he canoes too. this is a great piece for fedal fans in particular:

http://tennisvagabond.com/tennisblog.php/2010/05/28/classic-vagabond-post-revisited-the-apol


jane Says:

others. no damn apostrophe!


brando GOAT poster Says:

McEnroe > Emerson TV? 7 > 12? I’m calling that a typo! Where does Novak rank at this moment? I think many agree that he’s a very likely slam away from > McEnroe, edberg, wilander, Becker. Then its in the league of lendl, Connors and agassi and to be honest: if records mean much- and tennis is a statistic centred sport- then really Ivan is the top dog there. 280 plus weeks at 1, 5 year end, 8 slams (perfectly distributed at: 3 FO, 3 USO, 2 AO), 2 Wimbledon RU when courts where fast, 80 plus titles and recognition as a player who genuinely shaped the game. That’s hardly a given to past! And oh there’s still: Federer, nadal, Sampras, laver and Borg. Word on the street has it that they don’t exactly have a weak standing in the game lol. Let’s just see how it unfolds: one does not know what lies ahead and all that is pure speculation. As for the present: he’s an all time, but there a fair few others, let’s respect his and their records accordingly. Congrats to him once again.


elina Says:

Agassi holds the open era record for oldest player to be No. 1 at 33 yrs and 3 months.

Fed can break that record soon.


brando GOAT poster Says:

@madmax: great post! I’m keeping a copy since it will be handy the next time you speak on all matters rafa. Match that post with your drivel you post on that front and bingo: it’s a match made in heaven! I like you as a poster though, I consider you to possess the quality of honest objectivity in great amounts, since after all: who would flaunt their acknowledged madness in the manner you do? Lol, a appropriate moniker for a blatantly out of touch poster. I’ll let you continue in your ways to stalk other posters with your self admitted brand of ‘mad’.


DC Says:

Nole has proved that he is the best of the best.
The problem is that he doesn’t have the stats to show that hes truly the best.
Hes consistently had the upper hand over Fed and Nadal over the past 4 years now (2011 – 2014).

He probably has nother year or two before his form dips. But hes lucky that he doesn’t have any young guns chasing him down (Fed had nadal intially, then nole and murray), so even with a lower level of play, he can collect a few more slams and #1

Hopefully he will end up with 10-14 slams with 4-5 years at number 1.


brando GOAT poster Says:

Eh- fedal over the last 4 year’s: should that be a surprise? Is it even a achievement? Let’s look at the FACTS: Federer: he turned 30 in 2011 so essentially he’s been playing in his 30′s in this period. He’s also won 1 mere slam in this time, the same as cilic. Only a fool would consider this period a prime, vintage, peak Federer period. He’s done great for his age, no doubt about it. But he’s been nowhere what made him federer. Then there’s Nadal: in this 4 year period he’s missed 3 grand slams, 2 slam matches completed with obvious fitness issues (wawa, ferru at so) and been consistently dismal on grass. Missed 2 wtf also….. And oh: he’s spent 14 months off tour injured in this time. So I ask: exactly how hard is it to outperform a player who’s either off the tour or battling his body for most of the time and plain poor at one slam consistently (wimby)? Not much tough at all many would say. Especially when some even speculated not too long ago that: it would be Andy Murray who challenges Novak now. And we all saw what happened to him yesterday. Lol, let’s get it straight: Novak has done excellently, kudos to him. But to say Fedal have been operating like the force that made them fedal during this period is utter nonsense. And when you have Andy Murray being cast as your likely rival for top spot not so long ago then: all of a sudden you know ain’t all too tough out there as the hyperbole is painting it to be.


elina Says:

Consistently? He’s 0-4 in his last four slam meetings vs Rafa.

Since 2011, Nole leads Rafa slam titles 6-5 and h2h 12-7.
Since 2012, Rafa leads Nole slam titles 4-3 and h2h 7-6.
Since 2013, Rafa leads Nole slam titles 3-2 and Nole leads Rafa 5-4 h2h.

It is not really fair to compare Nole to Roger since 2011 after Roger turned 30, is it? Fed was dominating Nole prior to 2011 equally if not more so when he was in the same age range Nole is today! And Fed at 33 has certainly held his own vs Nole this year!

It all depends on the window of time chosen and the metrics used.

Agreed though that Nole has proven to be the best of the best by a significant margin this year.

However a win by Roger over Nole on Sunday will tarnish that margin by a significant degree.


Polo Says:

If you don’t have the stats to show that you are “the best of the best, then maybe you are not truly the best? Djokovic is unequivocably a great tennis player. Don’t rain on his parade by making exaggerated claims. Allow him to accumulate the stats first. But for now, a hearty sincere applause would be the best compliment for what he has accomplished so far.


brando GOAT poster Says:

Question open to all: is the tour in a weak state right now in comparison to former year’s? Think about it: Federer: he’s 33. Sure he’s playing well but in 4 year’s he’s only won 1slam: that ain’t Federer. Nadal: injured, beleaguered and fighting his body seemingly 24/7. Like wawa said at wtf: it’s sad how much he’s been injured since another one seems to arrive after overcoming one! Murray: 6-0 6-1, tennis seemingly in regression and he’s never been Mr consistent anyhow. Forget the rest since really they don’t stack up to the top names and their status making operation level on the tour. And then look at the present number 1: winner of only one slam this year, nothing on us series the main HC swing on tour and ONLY a liar would not admit: in all the grand slams this year he’s had a strange vulnerability about him in certain big moment s. And he’s number 1. Deservedly so but the question arises: well is it all that tough to be number one now in compared to recent past? Is it a good thing that the MainChallenger is a 33 year old who’s greatest years have long gone? That a hyped wtf has turned into a damp squib that everyone wishes to fast forward to an inevitable final? No harm or foul intended but just musing some thoughts. Personally speaking: I think there’s is ONLY one dominant force on tour- nole- and a bunch of names. And he ain’t superior to the rest like Fed 2004_2007 but because the rest: are all ridden with issues of their own (ageing, injury, mental demons, not possessing top level talent, inconsistency). I think the tour has ALOT of hype but little substance at the moment at the top. When a guy with apoor year largely spent of tour or either injured_Nadal- will finish 3, it says a lot about the strength of the tour at the moment!


elina Says:

In the four year period from 2007-2010 when Fed was 26-29 and Nole was 20-23, Fed was 11-6 vs Nole overall, 4-2 in slams and lead Nole 7-1 in slam titles.

In the four year period from 2011-2014 when Fed was 30-33 and Nole was 24-27, Nole was 11-6 vs Fed overall, 4-2 in slams and lead Fed 6-1 in slam titles.

Notice the eerie symmetry?


jane Says:

wow that’s crazy elina, in terms of symmetry. but then fed vs. nole has often felt like a 50-50 affair, esp after nole broke through in late 2007. nole lost more in those early years; fed was playing great tennis and for a while nole had racquet and coaching issues, not to mention some physical ones. and then nole won more as fed’s level dropped for similar reasons: coach switches, ageing, etc. but even this year, when both are playing so well, it’s very even; their matches are exciting because of that. you never know what’s going to happen or who will win. we’ve been blessed with some amazing rivalries over the past decade.


elina Says:

Yes brando, we are at the cusp of a tennis dark age.

A good article for you…

http://www.changeovertennis.com/atp-dark-age-still-coming/


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal has a poor year by HIS standards. Winning a slam and a Masters event is not an overall bad year. So finishing number 3 isn’t OMG WHAT considering he played 3 slams with a F, W, R16 result.


elina Says:

Yes jane agreed. Fedole is an amazing rivalry and here is a great argument for it being even better than Fedal (at least from a statistical standpoint)…

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-greatest-rivalry-in-mens-pro-tennis-history-is-happening-now/


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Wow, Elina, very interesting!

Brando, great series of posts here. Just quickly, Emerson’s Slams only get pennies on the dollar, you know that!

That outa the way, that was a very eye opening look at the tour today. You’re right, we keep hyping this as a great time of tennis but only b/c of the names involved. But the 2nd and 3rd fiddles are, as you say, a part time player, and one years past his prime.

Interesting thought.


elina Says:

Ben, being on the DL for half the year is a poor year by any great’s standards.

However, he had a pretty good half year that almost any great would be satisfied with!


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Ben, I think the point is that as great a player as Rafa is, he’s gone for huge chunks at a time, which certainly helps Novak’s cause.


jane Says:

elina thanks for the link. i think rafole is actually pretty amazing too, in terms of sheer numbers and how they drive each other to alter their game plans. it’s pretty cool to follow too, although sometimes exhausting!


brando GOAT poster Says:

@elina: a most excellent post. Fed cannot be measured against in this period (2011 onwards) as the player he formerly was. He’s great still and a great player down the line but nowhere The Fed we knew. Fed’s a winner and he measures himself with biggest measuring mark: in this sport that’s slams, and he’s only won 2 slam in this period! Heck: he’s also spent less than 20 weeks at number 1 and only won 2 MS in over 2 tests! So to consider fed as the force of old in this period is pure and utter fantasy! A fallacy. And then there’s nadal: you painted the picture best. All I’ll add is: 2011- nole > nadal, not even a question about it. 2012: nadal went off tour in June: Roger Federer said in November that year that one can argue Nadal was even the best that year since on tour his results and performance was stellar (thanks RF for always having rafas back, props and love for that!), 2013: nadal. And then there’s this year: we all have seen have beleat Nadal has been: how hard is it to outperform him this year. And yet despite all this and all the drama Nadal had gone through in the biggest yardstick of the game- grand slam wins- he’s only 6-5 to nole in slams, and post 2011: 4> 3 over nole. And that with missing 3 Slams and having 2 Injury induced slam ending performances (AO 11′ and 14′). Which raises the question: how great has nole TRULY been when a injury ridden nadal has almost matched him- outperformed hum post 2011- on thé biggest stage of our sport: Grand slams. I want to end on the fact that I think nole is all time great and deserved year end number 1, and if do ask questions here well they are malice free and supported by FACTS and I feel hardly the most unreasonable thinking. It is Slams after all that are the biggest prize in our sport and when a player whose missed almost a year during your peak and is almost matching you then Surely it’s natural to ask: why?


jane Says:

great excerpt from an article i read that puts nole’s achievements in context with fedal and compares him to john mcenroe. so proud of nole! :)

—————

That is quite a statement in an age that includes Federer, with his record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, and Nadal, with his 14, including a record nine French Opens.

“They’ve been so consistent with their results,” Djokovic said. “I know how difficult it is. It’s why I’m proud of this achievement.”

John McEnroe, who emerged as a great player in the wake of Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors, can relate to the challenge.

“We come from a totally different time, but it reminded me a little bit of myself trying to break through to Connors and Borg,” McEnroe said Friday. “That was my Nadal-Federer and to get that respect and sort of be in that mix was something I took a lot of pride in. And I think he’s clearly done that.”

—————


brando GOAT poster Says:

I’d like to end on the note that: I think Novak is an equal with fedal as a champion. Those guys- fedal- respect him greatly. But I cannot help thinking that when your 2 main foes are either off the tour 25% of the time and the other is in his 30′s and long past his havoc raising peak years then surely: it’s not all that tough to rule the domain no? Surely so when not so long a ago the media painted a picture which has your main rival in this period to be a player who yesterday avoided a 6-0 6-0 loss since the other guy felt uncomfortable doing such a thing. That’s a damning reality which really exposes the media’s claim of a golden age on tour right now as a pure fallacy. A lie even. It has to be when the 2 names that add the glitter to it- Federer and Nadal- quite blatantly are not the force that made them the players so universally respected and touted as the greatest ever. Right now: we are strong on star names but short in truly consistent powerhouse Champions who are operating at the peak of their powers. My 2 cents and bid you a goodnight on that night.


brando GOAT poster Says:

Note> night lol, but good night all anyhow and hope you sleep well after enjoying a charmed, joyous day!


FedExpress Says:

hello, how on earth fed lost to cilic? at least wawrinka challenges the top and deserved his GS, but cilic is so useless. the 2 luckiest week he will ever get.


Hippy Chick Says:

Congrats Nole and fans,Jane,Contador,Wogboy,Mat4,Courbon,Patson etc,without doubt the best player finished the year at number 1,as for Federer it was a fantastic achievement in itself to be challenging for that poistion at the age 33,and hes played amazing all week,as for my two favorites well Rafa won his 14 GS this year,and a GS for the 10th consecutive year,and a 9th FO title,and is still ranked number 3,so injuries aside IMO i dont think its been a bad year overall,and Andy well he made the semis of all the GS,and ended up qualifying for the WTFs when it was looking unlikely at one point,so all in all i choose for my glass to be half full rather than half empty….


FedExpress Says:

Group A doenst make any sense

wawrinka could lose this (break down in the third) and is in the semi finals with one win. hahahhahahah


Hippy Chick Says:

YAY Stan Cilic is whitewashed….


RZ Says:

I’m surprised it’s only the 3rd time, but I guess 2011 really wasn’t all that long ago.


RZ Says:

^Congrats to Nole and his fans


Wog Boy Says:

By the look of it I don’t think Cilic will ever again play WTF and yet we have a poster telling us that his tennis is/will be level above Nole/Nadal level!


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks to all for congrats, agree, Nole did pretty good job this year, on the tennis court and private life..and he mixed it up nicely:)


Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy said poster was predicting a Fed/Cilic final,i suppose some people will never learn?the only thing we can predict is that we cannot predict anything?….


Wog Boy Says:

HC,

Correct, that is why I keep saying to my Nole fans, “no prediction, please”.

BTW, I can see Federer in final, that is done deal but Nole has to stay focused, Nishikori is tough cookie.


jane Says:

^ agree wog boy; kei is a tough cookie!

hippy, thanks for the nice words; very much appreciated and your optimism – glass half full – is admired. indeed, rafa’s cup may over-floweth, no? ;)


Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy nothing wrong with predictions,its when fans start to state them, as bona fide facts,like they have some sort of monopoly that the rest of us dont,its happened with Nole,Rafa and Roger,not using names,but said posters dissapeared in a puff of smoke never to be seen again,probably scraping all the egg off their faces i shouldnt wonder?….


Hippy Chick Says:

Jane thanks as i said a GS for the 10th consecutive year,a 9th FO,and still ranked number 3,im only dissapointed with all the injuries this year,but all in all still a year to be proud of,sorry for repeating myself lol,but all the top guys have made history in one way or another,no need to knock any of them ;))….


Polo Says:

I think Djokovic is focused on Nishiikori now.


Goose Egg Says:

@elina

Great links – I read FiveThirtyEight every day and love it when they do tennis analysis. But I had never heard of Changeover Tennis… Thanks for posting. Great find


michael Says:

Hearty congratulations to Novak. A great year indeed. Both personally as well as professionally he must be the happiest man. I wish him all the best for the future.


skeezer Says:

Its awesome to see, the tennis world talkng about the best rivalry TODAY, and Fed, 33, is in it.
Maestro!


Michael Says:

I am also happy for Novak with the way he has been able to balance the commitment to his sport and the interest of his family. Initially, there were some apprehensions as to how his marital commitments would affect his professional life and there was also a slide in his fortunes which coincided with his marriage. But, after the birth of his child, he has been able to turn a new leaf and has been able to disappoint his skeptics (including me). Hope this good spell continues for Novak and he becomes another example to learn from and get inspired apart from Roger.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Not sure who would win the WTF. But I believe the difference between Novak and Roger had finally boiled down to one set at Wimbledon. If Roger had won the 5th set, maybe he could have closed down with No 1. Strange it was this close in the end.

Kudos to Novak, though he has not been the most dominating player of the year, he has won enough to end the year as No 1.


Noonen Says:

Novak, the London crowd was rooting for Stan over Roger too as the underdog. With Roger it does mystify me. I think it must be because he represents all that sinners are While neither of you is born again, he is more the poster child for sinners.

Top story: Djokovic Reaches SFs Stage At ATP Finals, Cilic Beats Isner; Federer-Anderson Rematch