For the fifth time in his career, Spanish great Rafael Nadal will finish the year as world number one.
Nadal becomes oldest ever Year end World number One at 33.He also becomes the first to finish Year end world number one in 5 non consecutive seasons.
Federer’s 6-4, 6-3 win over Djokovic ensures that Nadal will join the 200 week Club on 25th November
THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Novak Djokovic took the court against Roger Federer on Thursday knowing that he needed to win to keep his faint hopes of securing the year end world number one ranking for a record tying sixth time alive.
At 8945 points, he was 640 points behind the ATP live Race leader Rafael Nadal (9585) and needed to win the event and hope that his arch nemesis Nadal fails to reach the final, to retain the year end world number one ranking for himself.
The stage thus was set. Quite symphonic, that Nadal’s fate was to be sealed in a bout involving his two greatest compeers. In the 49th Djokovic-Federer match up, Federer improved 23-26 vs the iconic Serb in 73 minutes. The scoreline read 6-4, 6-3.
And in the process they ensured that the third musketeer joins them in the 5 time Year end World Number one club.
THE FIVE TIME CLUB
Nadal (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019) is the FIFTH member of the esteemed five time club. Led by the heralded American, Pistol Pete Sampras (1993-1998) who was the undisputed world number one for six consecutive years, this iconic club was inaugurated in 1978 by Jimmy Connors (1974-78) who finished at the pinnacle of the rankings for five consecutive years.
Nadal’s fellow musketeers joined the club in 2009 (Federer) and 2018 (Djokovic).
Federer has had two streaks at the top of the mountain (2004-07, 2009) interrupted by Nadal in his magical 2008, the same year where Nadal and Federer duelled for nearly five hours at the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon, what many regard as the greatest match in history.
While Djokovic has had three streaks as the top dog, bettered only by Nadal’s five such streaks. The Djoker finished as the numero uno in 2011-12, 2014-15 and 2018.
Thus the three musketeers have finished 15 of the last sixteen years as ATP number one.
Also Nadal’s 11 year gap between first and latest number one reigns is the maximum in ATP history.
|Name||Country||Year as number one|
STREAKS AS NUMBER ONE
Other than the three musketeers, Ivan Lendl (1985-87, 1989) is the only player in history to have multiple streaks as ATP World number one.
|Rafael Nadal||Spain||Five||2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019|
|Novak Djokovic||Serbia||Three||2011-12, 2014-15, 2018|
|Ivan Lendl||USA||Two||1985-87, 1989|
|Roger Federer||Switzerland||Two||2004-07, 2009|
OLDEST YEAR END NUMBER ONE
At 33, Nadal also reclaimed his record of being the oldest year end World number one that he lost to Djokovic last year. With this latest feat, he also becomes the first man to end world number one twice in his thirties.
200 WEEK CLUB
Federer’s win also ensures that Nadal will become just the sixth man in the 200 week club on 25th November. This is a club of men who have held the world number one rankings for at least 200 weeks. He joins the elite company of Federer (310), Sampras (286), Djokovic (275), Lendl (270) and Connors (268) littlein the club.
|Name||Country||Week at number one|
*on 25th November
Will the big three continue their dominance in 2020 and will one of the three join Pete Sampras as a 6 time year-end world number one? Or will 2020 finally see a changing of the guard. Over to the likes of Zverev, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov, Medvedev and maybe even Nishikori to step up and take the mantle forward.