London, England (SportsNetwork.com) – For the third time in four years
Novak Djokovic will finish as the No. 1 player in the world.
The top-seeded Serbian star blitzed sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-2 in 69
minutes in Friday’s round-robin action at the season-ending ATP World Tour
Finals to clinch his No. 1 status.
The 27-year-old Djokovic also secured a berth in Saturday’s semifinals at the
Tour Finals after capturing his round-robin group with a perfect 3-0 record
Djokovic is the seventh player to finish as a 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).
Djokovic is also only the fourth player — after Lendl, Federer and Nadal
(twice) — to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 ranking. This is the
11th straight season that the year-end No. 1 ranking has been held by Djokovic
(2011-12, ’14), Federer (2004-07, ’09) or Nadal (2008, ’10, ’13).
The two-time reigning and three-time overall Tour Finals champion Djokovic
beat Nadal in last year’s final here in London and the super Serb has now
won his last 30 indoor matches.
The Wimbledon champ spearheaded Group B, which also features third-seeded
Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka (1-1), Berdych (1-2) and eighth-seeded
U.S. Open champ Marin Cilic (0-2). Wawrinka and Cilic will meet in the final
round-robin match of the week on Friday night at The O2.
There have been 11 matches so far this week and 10 have ended in straight
The two semifinalists from Group A were established on Thursday, when the Tour
Finals king Federer (3-0) and fourth-seeded U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori
marched on in London. The other players from that group were fifth-seeded Andy
Murray (1-2) and eighth-seeded Milos Raonic (0-2), who was replaced by first-
alternate David Ferrer (0-1) on Thursday. Ferrer was forced into action on
Day 5 when the Canadian slugger Raonic withdrew from the exclusive eight-
player event due to a quad injury.
The 17-time Grand Slam titlist Federer holds the record for the most
titles at this prestigious season-ending tournament with six.