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Novak Djokovic ‘a bit torn’ after equalling Pete Sampras’ record

Djokovic picked up his year-end No. 1 trophy on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic admitted he felt ‘a bit torn’ in celebrating his sixth year-end finish as world No. 1 given the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Djokovic equalled Pete Sampras’ record haul of finishing a season as the top-ranked male player, while he broke Rafael Nadal’s record – set a year ago – to become the oldest year-end finisher in the men’s game.

While the prize was secured as soon as Nadal opted against playing in Sofia last week, Djokovic collected the year-end No. 1 trophy before the opening singles match – between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem – at the ATP Finals.

‘Obviously very fulfilling, I’m very proud and overwhelmed with joyful and happy emotions,’ Djokovic said to an empty O2 Arena after receiving his award.

‘It’s a team effort, I probably couldn’t have done it without the team, the support and trust I have from them, the love and support I have from my family. I try not to take that for granted.

‘I’m very grateful to all of them. I am happy but at the same time I have a bit of a mix of emotions.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia wears a face mask / covering as he poses with his trophy after being announced as ATP Tour end of year world number one during Day one of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 15, 2020 in London, England.

Djokovic held the trophy aloft (Picture: Getty)

‘This year has been very different. There was a six-month gap between tournaments because of this virus and a lot of people around the world have been experiencing hard times so my heart goes to all of them.

‘That’s why I’m a bit torn with being happy and also being sad.’

Djokovic will take on Diego Schwartzman in his first match in London this week on Monday lunchtime.

It’s the final time the event will be held at the O2 before it moves to Turin next year.

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