ATPTour.com continues its Best of 2020 series with a look at some of the biggest milestones that were reached this year. Tomorrow we will complete the series by reviewing the charity work done by players and tournaments this year.
Rafa Eclipses 1,000 Wins
At the Rolex Paris Masters, Rafael Nadal earned his 1,000th tour-level win with a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 victory against Feliciano Lopez in the opening round. That triumph made the Spaniard the fourth player in the Open Era to accomplish the feat, joining Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl.
“[Winning 1,000 matches] means that I am old. That means that I played well for such a very long time, because to achieve that number is because I have been playing well for a lot of years,” Nadal said. “[That] is something that makes me feel happy.”
The legendary lefty finished No. 2 in the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings for the seventh time and in the Top 2 for a record 12th time. Nadal also claimed a record 13th Roland Garros title, tying Federer’s record of Grand Slam singles trophies with 20.
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Novak Claims Record-Tying Sixth Year-End No. 1 Finish, Passes 900 Wins
Novak Djokovic tied his idol Pete Sampras this year by earning a record-tying sixth year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings. The Serbian has now spent 299 weeks at World No. 1 and he is continuing to chase Federer’s record of 310 weeks atop tennis’ mountain.
“Pete was somebody I looked up to when I was growing up, so to match his record is a dream come true,” Djokovic said. “I will also keep striving to be a better player, hopefully have more success and break more records in a sport I love with all my heart.”
This year, Djokovic also became the third active player to surpass 900 tour-level wins, doing so at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory in the third round against Jan-Lennard Struff.
50th Anniversary Of The Nitto ATP Finals
This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the Nitto ATP Finals, as well as the event’s final edition in London. To commemorate the milestone, the singles round-robin groups were named Group Tokyo 1970, after the event’s first edition, and Group London 2020, for its 50th anniversary.
Daniil Medvedev won the trophy with an incredible run during which he became the first player in tournament history to beat the top three players in the FedEx ATP Rankings en route to the title.
ATPTour.com also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Nitto ATP Finals with a series of exclusive content with current and former champions from the event as well as deep dives into the tournament’s history, including a look at The O2 era, when tennis players were rock stars at Madison Square Garden and more.
Roger Hits 900 Weeks In The Top 10, 100 Wins At The Australian Open
Roger Federer only played one event in 2020 due to a knee injury, but the Swiss made his mark this year. The 103-time tour-level titlist in January became the first player to spend 900 weeks in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings (310 weeks at World No. 1). He broke into the Top 10 for the first time on 20 May 2002 after claiming his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Hamburg.
Federer also earned his 100th match win at the Australian Open with a memorable five-set triumph against John Millman in Melbourne. The Swiss rallied from 4/8 down in the fifth-set tie-break (a Match Tie-break to 10) in the third round to oust the home favourite. The 39-year-old owns more victories at the Australian Open (102) than any other tournament, with his 101 wins at Wimbledon right behind.
Three Top 10 Breakthroughs
Three players cracked the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time this year: Denis Shapovalov, Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman.
Shapovalov became the 19th lefty to break into the Top 10 and only the fourth to do so this millennium, joining Nadal (25 April 2005), Fernando Verdasco (2 February 2009) and Jurgen Melzer (31 January 2011). Rublev became the eighth Russian to crack the Top 10, and Schwartzman was the first Argentine to make his Top 10 debut since Juan Monaco on 23 July 2012.
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