Novak Djokovic follows Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer on ranking milestone

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Novak Djokovic follows Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer on ranking milestone

The ATP ranking started in 1973, with 26 players on the year-end top-2 list. Seventeen of those have managed to reach the honor twice, producing a couple of great seasons or standing strong for a more extended period. There are only four players with ten seasons between the first and last year-end top-2 award, proving their game at least for a decade and joining the exclusive list.

Jimmy Connors earned his place on it with year-end top-2 seasons in 1974 and 1984, leading the field before Roger Federer passed three decades later. The Swiss achieved the first year-end top-2 season in 2003, repeating that in 2017 to grab the record that stood in his hands until this season.

Rafael Nadal is the new leader of the pack, with 16 years between two year-end top-2 honors, earning a record that will take some beating in the future. The fourth player on the list is Novak Djokovic, securing the tenth season with a marvelous 2020 campaign, looking good like in 2011 when he entered the charts for the first time.

That was Djokovic's first dominant season, barely losing a match before September and claiming three Majors and no less than five Masters 1000 crowns. Novak is the most accomplished player of the previous decade, winning more notable titles than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to punch the GOAT race ticket and challenging their records.

In 2020, Djokovic received the sixth year-end no. 1 honor to join Pete Sampras at the top, ten years after that first brilliant performance in 2010. Djokovic was the most consistent player of the reduced season behind us, passing Nadal on the ATP throne after Melbourne and never looking back.

Novak Djokovic joined Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors on record list.

The Serb melted the deficit with a brilliant ATP Cup run, scoring six singles victories and beating Rafa in the final to lead Serbia towards the inaugural title.

Novak lifted the eighth Australian Open trophy following a tight five-setter triumph over Dominic Thiem and claimed the Dubai title before the coronavirus outbreak. Continuing where he left in the opening two months, Novak won the 35th Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati and entered the US Open without losses.

Djokovic's first mistake came in New York, getting defaulted after hitting the lineswoman with a ball, missing the opportunity of chasing the 18th Major crown. The Serb secured the 36th Masters 1000 title in Rome to move in front of Rafael Nadal, who bounced back at Roland Garros, toppling the Serb in straight sets in the title match.

Entering Vienna to secure the record-tying sixth year-end no. 1 award, Novak reached the quarter-final, skipped the Paris Masters and losing an epic ATP Finals semi-final battle against Dominic Thiem, wasting a 4-0 advantage in the deciding tie break.