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Novak Djokovic Eyes “Amazing” Pete Sampras Year-End World Number One Record In Vienna




Novak Djokovic mentioned it will likely be “amazing” to equal childhood idol Pete Sampras’s all-time file of ending the yr as world primary on six events. Djokovic will ensure he matches the good American by successful two matches at this week’s Vienna ATP event. The 33-year-old Serb has been the top-ranked participant on the finish of a season 5 occasions: in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018. He shares that mark with profession rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Sampras achieved the feat six years in succession between 1993 and 1998.

“Sampras was my childhood idol growing up and it will be amazing to tie his record by being the year-end world number one six time,” Djokovic instructed a information convention on Sunday.

Djokovic has one other goal — beating Federer’s all-time better of 310 weeks spent on high of the rankings.

On Monday, Djokovic will start his 292nd week in whole as world primary.

Should he keep in pole place, he’ll go Federer in early March 2021 though he admits that within the present local weather every thing within the sport stays “unpredictable”.

“It’s my great goal to achieve that and it’s something I am working towards,” mentioned Djokovic.

“I hope it happens in March, but let’s see. So many unpredictable things can happen and things change week by week.”

Djokovic will play in Vienna for the primary time since he received the title there in 2007.

He opens in opposition to fellow Serb Filip Krajinovic with a second-round conflict in opposition to both Borna Coric of Croatia or America’s Taylor Fritz.

It would be the 17-time Grand Slam title winner’s first event since his straight sets loss to Nadal in the Roland Garros final two weeks ago.

However, his path to a fifth title of 2020 will seemingly run into defending Vienna champion and residential star Dominic Thiem within the ultimate.

Djokovic and US Open winner Thiem are two of six high 10 gamers within the draw within the Austrian capital.

“The quality of matches from the first round will be very, very high,” mentioned Djokovic.

Djokovic mentioned he was stunned when he noticed the draw, which revealed he’ll play countryman Krajinovic within the first spherical.

They are tied 1-1 of their head-to-head collection, with Djokovic beating Krajinovic in straight units final month on the Rome Masters.

“I practised with Filip for a few days in Belgrade before coming here and we joked around that we might draw each other and that’s what happened,” Djokovic mentioned.

“The odds of this occurring are very slim. But it’s what it’s. We are nice mates, I’ve identified Filip for a very long time.

“He’s a really gifted man, arduous courtroom is his most popular floor. He can play very fast tennis. We have comparable video games often because we form of grew up collectively.”

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Thiem faces Japan’s Kei Nishikori within the first spherical.

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, the ATP Finals champion, is the third seed with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev taking the fourth seeding.

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