Novak Djokovic qualifies for the ATP Finals, matching Ivan Lendl's 13 appearances



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Novak Djokovic qualifies for the ATP Finals, matching Ivan Lendl's 13 appearances

On Friday, the ATP has released the official calendar for the rest of the 2020 season, adding 13 tournaments to the post-coronavirus period, crowned by the ATP Finals in London that starts on November 15. The ATP Finals will gather eight best singles players from the current season, probably behind the closed doors but still with hopes for at least some amount of tennis fans in the stands.

The premium ATP event had moved to London's O2 Arena in 2009, staying there until this season and finding the new home in Turin from 2021. The ATP has confirmed three players who have qualified for London, propelling the leading stars from the ATP ranking list to the season-finale event.

World no. 1 and the Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has clinched the ATP Finals berth for the 13th time, becoming the sixth player in the Open era to achieve that after Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Novak is one of the most decorated players at the ATP Finals, making a debut in 2007 and winning five titles so far, the last one in 2015. After lifting the trophy in Shanghai 2008, Djokovic had to wait until 2012 to find the winning formula in London, rattling off four straight titles to enter the history books, always meeting Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the final.

In 2016, Andy Murray toppled Novak Djokovic in the final, with the Serb missing the event a year later after an elbow injury. Returning in 2018, Novak was the finalist again, suffering a loss to the young gun Alexander Zverev and failing to pass the group stage last November.

Novak should be among the favorites in London, winning all 18 matches this season before the coronavirus outbreak and seeking more titles in New York in the upcoming weeks. Finishing the previous season behind Rafael Nadal, Novak kicked off the 2020 campaign with six singles triumphs at the ATP Cup, leading Serbia towards the inaugural title.

Novak Djokovic has qualified for the ATP Finals for the 13th time.

Djokovic toppled Kevin Anderson, Gael Monfils, Cristian Garin, Denis Shapovalov and Daniil Medvedev en route to the final, defeating world no. 1 Rafael Nadal there to keep Serbia alive ahead of the doubles encounter.

With 665 points in his bag, Novak came to Melbourne as the player to beat, overpowering Diego Schwartzman, Milos Raonic and Roger Federer to advance into the title match. Dominic Thiem stood between Novak Djokovic and the eighth Australian Open crown, giving his best and leading two sets to one before the Serb performed the comeback to lift the crown and reduce the deficit in the GOAT race with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

After a well-deserved rest, Djokovic won the first Dubai title since 2013, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to add the 79th ATP trophy to his collection and remain unbeaten in 2020. Novak will lead the field in New York, entering Cincinnati and the US Open as one of the favorites to go all the way and make the season even better before returning to Europe.