LONDON — Novak Djokovic has joined Spain’s Rafael Nadal as a qualifier at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, after the Serbian captured his fifth crown on Sunday at The Championships, Wimbledon.
The World No. 1 secured his 12th qualification for the season finale as a result of beating long-time rival Roger Federer in the final at the All England Club for his 16th Grand Slam championship trophy. Djokovic will be bidding to earn a record-equalling sixth title at the season finale — and draw level with Federer — in south-east London later this year.
“It is always one of the main goals to qualify and to do it so early in the season is great,” said Djokovic. “I look forward to returning to London in November to compete against the best players in the world at The O2.”
The 32-year-old Djokovic made 10 straight appearances at the Nitto ATP Finals from 2007-2016, prior to missing 2017 with a right elbow injury. The Serbian returned to The O2 last year where he reached the final before losing to Alexander Zverev of Germany. He has compiled a 35-12 tournament win-loss record with titles in 2008 and four consecutive years between 2012-15. Djokovic also contested the 2016 final, finishing runner-up to Andy Murray in a match that decided who finished year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.
Having finished 2018 as the oldest year-end No. 1 in ATP Rankings history (since 1973), Djokovic, who has spent 260 weeks to-date in top spot, has continued to perform at the highest level this season with a record seventh Australian Open (d. Nadal) in January and a 33rd ATP Masters 1000 crown at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Tsitsipas) in May, in addition to Wimbledon. The 75-time tour-level titlist also advanced to his ninth Internazionali BNL d’Italia final (l. to Nadal). His remarkable consistency at Grand Slam events saw him compile a 26-match winning streak, which ended in the Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Thiem in five sets).
Six-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Federer is next in line to qualify in third position in the ATP Race To London, followed by three-time qualifier and Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem, 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Kei Nishikori, Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut and Daniil Medvedev. Fabio Fognini, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters titlist, defending champion Zverev, 18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime and Matteo Berrettini feature in the Top 12 places, with less than four months to go in the regular ATP Tour season.
The ATP’s crown jewel event is to be held at The O2 in London through to 2020, where it has been staged to wide acclaim since 2009. The event has successfully established itself as one of the major annual sporting events worldwide, broadcast in more than 180 territories with global viewership figures reaching an average of 95 million each year.