Novak Djokovic’s return to the world number one spot, just five months after slumping to his lowest ranking in 12 years, leaves little doubt that he is one of the sport’s greats.
The Serb is back on the top of the pile for the first time in two years, at the end of a roller-coaster season for the 14-time major winner.
Djokovic, 31, underwent elbow surgery in January and slipped to 22nd in the world after a depressing quarter-final exit at Roland Garros in June, which left him briefly threatening to skip Wimbledon.
But he regrouped, romped to a fourth Wimbledon title the following month, a 32nd Masters in Cincinnati and then a third triumph at the US Open in September.
Despite his loss in the final of the Paris Masters to Karen Khachanov on Sunday – which ended a 22-match win streak – his record since the start of Wimbledon stands at 31-2.
“Reflecting on what I’ve been through in the last year, it’s quite a phenomenal achievement,” said Djokovic, who has knocked RafaelNadal from the world top spot.
“I’m very, very happy and proud about it. Five months ago, it was highly improbable considering my ranking and the way I played and felt on the court.”