LONDON – World No 1 Novak Djokovic has become the first player to win three straight season finale titles since Ivan Lendl from 1985-87. The only other player to win three straight year-end titles was Ilie Nastase from 1971-73.
Djokovic won his fourth season finale crown overall (also 2008 in Shanghai) when World No 2 Roger Federer withdrew due to a back injury ahead of Sunday's final at The O2 in London. He has a 14-match winning streak at the tournament.
"We always give 100 per cent," said Djokovic. "I'm sure that if he could've played, he would've done. So I wish him the best in his recovery.
"I'm not one of those players that celebrates these particular wins, but I have to reflect on the whole season. This trophy is definitely the crown for all the achievements that I had this year. I owe the credit to my team, to all the people who supported me all the way through, and plenty of joy. I'm very happy to be able to stand here and finish with this trophy."
The 27-year-old Serbian, who has finished as year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the third time (also 2011-12), ends his season with a 61-8 match record. He has won seven titles from 11 finals.
Djokovic admitted that he learned of Federer's plight during the doubles final. "I did my warm-up, obviously prepared for the battle, prepared for a great match as it was anticipated, as the people expected it to be.
"I [then] spoke to him – as I understand, he retired a match maybe three times in his career in over a thousand matches. You cannot blame him. You never like to win, especially these big matches against big rivals, with a retirement. But that's the way it is." Djokovic will now rest ahead of the 2015 ATP World Tour season with his wife, Jelena, and baby son, Stefan.
"I'm glad during the stay in London for these 10 days I got a lot of sleep, because that will not be the case from now," said Djokovic. "I'm looking forward to it. It's the most beautiful feeling that my wife and I experience – holding a baby in your arms. There will be a lot of that without the racquet in next couple weeks for me." — AFP