Novak Djokovic Surpasses Rafael Nadal In Another Elite Record

Published 11/07/2020, 8:13 AM EST
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Runner up Novak Djokovic of Serbia alongside French Open winner Rafael Nadal of Spain as they are presented with their trophies after the final REUTERS/Charles Platiau


The year 2020 will go down in history as an eventful year. This goes not only for the situation around the globe but for the tennis world as well. With records breaking at every step, the enthusiasm of the game is running tall. Recently, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic became a record sixth-time year-end top spot holder, equaling Pete Sampras. On top of that, the Serbian also become the oldest player to do so, surpassing Spain’s Rafael Nadal.

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From 1993 till 1998, the American legend Pete Sampras secured the year-end-Number 1 rank. With the 17 times Grand Slam winner, he found his match after two decades and 2 years. Previously held by the Spanish great, Nadal was also the oldest player to become year-end Number 1.

Novak Djokovic exceeds Nadal’s record with 11 extra days

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Spain’s Rafael Nadal on the court before the final REUTERS/Charles Platiau

After taking a safe route through Austria, Djokovic met his year-end goals in just two games. Losing the third-game without any fight, the Serbian expressed no concern at all. However, Rafael Nadal put a seal on his year-end top position, when he declined the Sofia wildcard.

The Spanish confirmed his top position in 2019 when Roger Federer won against Novak Djokovic in the ATP finals. His age (on December 31, 2019): 33 years old, 6 months, 28 days. Presently, the Serbian confirms the same after Nadal’s denial to participate in Sofia Open. His age (on December 31, 2020): 33 years, 7 months, 9 days.

It is incredible to watch the old legs in tennis to still be the best. In the 2020 season, Djokovic and Nadal both have won a major title, Australian Open, and French Open respectively. And, at the finale of the season, they will face each other in London.

The Top 5 oldest Year-end Number 1 achievements

Tennis – ATP 500 – Erste Bank Open – Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria – October 27, 2020 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his first round match against Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

‘Age is just a number’ is a phrase that defines both Nadal and Djokovic. Even at the age of 34 and 33, they are still delivering their best. Of the 5 times, the year-end top spot has met its oldest player, the couple share four.

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Only outside the two is the Czech-American legend Ivan Lendl. The list goes Ivan Lendl, 29, in 1989. Rafael Nadal, 31, in 2017. Novak Djokovic, 31, in 2018. Rafael Nadal, 33, in 2019. Novak Djokovic, 33, in 2020.

Both of them equally share the drive to be the best at every event. It will be thrilling to see these two compete in the ATP Finals. Nevertheless, the Serbian star remains the oldest year to take the year-end number 1 spot.

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Purav Joshi

785 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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