ATP HERITAGE PROGRAMME
ATP Heritage: Novak Djokovic, 2011-12
by ATP Staff|
On 23 August, ATP celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. We continue our countdown with a look at Novak Djokovic, the 2011-12 year-end No. 1. #ATPHeritage
Novak Djokovic ensured that a childhood goal to be the world's best player became a reality in 2011.
His childhood coach, Jelena Gencic, once said, "I knew that Nole would be the best in the world. Somebody asked him on the practice court: 'Hey, boy! What do you want to be when you grow up?' He replied, 'Be the first in pro tennis.' He was six years old."
On 4 July 2011, his dream was achieved when, aged 24 years, one month, Djokovic was the 25th player to attain No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings following victory over the incumbent, Rafael Nadal, for his first title at The Championships, Wimbledon. The Serbian had won his first 41 matches that year.
"I couldn't ask for a better stage for all of my dreams to come true," said Djokovic. "From that moment, my life on the court changed because I realised that nothing is unachievable.
"I know how much effort it takes and how many people around the world compete for that place. Being No. 1 is the pinnacle of all the ambitions of every player."
Djokovic spent 53 weeks at No. 1, until 9 July 2012 when Federer added a further 16 weeks to break Pete Sampras' record of weeks at the summit of men’s professional tennis.
Djokovic, who has been No. 1 since 5 November 2012, has won 37 titles to date. A winner of six major titles from 11 finals, he also won the 2008 and 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crowns.
Today, he stands just four weeks shy of being No. 1 for 100 weeks in his career. Only eight players have achieved that milestone, including Federer (302 weeks), Sampras (286), Ivan Lendl (270), Jimmy Connors (268), John McEnroe (170), Bjorn Borg (109), Nadal (102) and Andre Agassi (101).
Read more about Djokovic in "No. 1", our special commemorative coffee table book, celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. Buy Online Through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe
This year, the ATP pays special tribute to 25 former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.