Novak Djokovic follows Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 1402
Wrapping up the season inside the top-5 is always challenging. The task becomes even more difficult if a player tries to remain there for over a decade! Since the start of the ATP ranking in 1973, only five players have accomplished at least 11 year-end top-5 honors.
Jimmy Connors stopped on 14 before Ivan Lendl delivered 11 notable seasons to join him on the list. We had to wait until the 'Big 3' to get more players on the list. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal stand on 16 year-end top-5 seasons, with Novak Djokovic following them with 15.
Thus, Novak passed Connors and moved one season behind his greatest rivals. Djokovic wrapped up the year ranked 5th after missing 2000 points at Wimbledon, two Majors and four Masters 1000 events! The Serb experienced a ten-day saga in Australia in January and stole the headlines of the world's media.
Novak returned from Melbourne and kicked off the season in Dubai and Monte Carlo. The results were not there due to the lack of form and matches. Novak failed in the Belgrade final to Andrey Rublev after losing steam in the decider before raising his level in May.
Djokovic lost a thriller to Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid after over three and a half hours and conquered his 38th Masters 1000 trophy in Rome. The Serb dropped an epic Roland Garros quarter-final clash against Rafael Nadal in over four hours, losing the crown and turning his focus to Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic has collected 15 year-end top-5 finishes.
Novak claimed his seventh Wimbledon crown and the 21st Major title following a win over Nick Kyrgios, lifting the trophy but missing 2000 points on his tally. Thus, he stayed outside the top-5 despite and lost a chance to fight for the ATP throne.
Novak could not play Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open due to his vaccination status, missing more titles and points. Djokovic lost to Felix Auger-aliassime at the Laver Cup before embracing an indoor winning streak. Novak's third ATP title in 2022 came in Tel Aviv over Marin Cilic.
A week later, the Serb conquered the ATP 500 event in Astana after beating Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas to extend his run. Novak was the favorite at the Paris Masters, seeking his seventh crown in the French capital.
Djokovic advanced to his 56th Masters 1000 final and faced the young gun Holger Rune in a battle for the trophy. The Dane ousted the Serb 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in over two and a half hours to secure his first Masters 1000 title and end Novak's streak of 13 wins.
Djokovic missed opportunities in sets two and three and experienced a late break in the decider to finish runner-up. Novak was a player to beat at the ATP Finals in Turin, seeking the record-equaling sixth title at the premium ATP event.
The Serb delivered five top-10 triumphs to wrap up the season in style and lift his 91st ATP trophy, moving one behind Rafael Nadal. Djokovic should be the favorite at the upcoming Australian Open, seeking his tenth crown at Melbourne Park.