Novak Djokovic targets Pete Sampras' year-end world No. 1 record in Vienna

Novak Djokovic targets Pete Sampras’ year-end world No. 1 record in Vienna


Djokovic needs to win just two matches at this week’s Vienna Open to end the year as world No. 1 for the sixth time, equaling Pete Sampras’ record set between 1993 and 1998. The Serb is currently tied with Federer, Nadal — whom he lost to in the final of the French Open earlier this month — and Jimmy Connors on five year-ending No. 1 accolades, securing them in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.”Sampras had been one of my idols when I was a kid and of course I want to finish the year as No. 1 to tie his record,” Djokovic told reporters. “That’s one of the toughest achievements in world sports.”READ: Nadal swaps tennis racket for golf clubs and finishes sixth in tournamentDjokovic, the top-seeded player in the tournament, faces Filip Krajinovic in the first round on Tuesday as he bids to win his fifth ATP Tour title this year. He surpassed Sampras’ record in the leaderboard of total weeks at No. 1 this September and has now spent 292 weeks at the top of the rankings. Only Roger Federer has more at 310. In his first appearance in Vienna since 2007, Djokovic’s main competition for the title will come from defending champion Dominic Thiem, who is playing on home soil, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who recently took Djokovic to five sets in the French Open semifinals. Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev complete the top five seeded players in the tournament.Thiem revealed on Monday that Djokovic had delivered his prize money from the Belgrade event of the ill-fated Adria Tour that was canceled after a number of players, including Djokovic, tested positive for Covid-19. The Austrian said he would donate the money to charity.

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