Djokovic will finish the year at No. 1

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's final of the...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 12, 2011. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:01 PM ET

LONDON, ENGLAND - Novak Djokovic will finish 2011 as the No. 1 player in the world, as he becomes the 16th different man to finish atop the rankings, which began back in 1973.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal's third-round loss at the Shanghai Masters on Thursday assured the Serbian star of the top ranking come the end of the season.

The 24-year-old Djokovic is the first Serbian man to finish No. 1 and this also marks a record eighth straight year a European is the No. 1 player on the ATP World Tour.

Djokovic is the first player other than Roger Federer (2004-07, '09) or Rafael Nadal (2008, '10) to finish No. 1 since American Andy Roddick turned the trick back in 2003.

The Belgrade native Djokovic ascended to No. 1 for the first time on July 4 after capturing his first-ever Wimbledon title. He opened his '11 campaign with an incredible 41-match winning streak, which gave him a 43-match overall winning streak, dating back to last season.

Djokovic has already won a career-high 10 titles in 11 finals this year, including his second Australian Open and first U.S. Open crowns.

En route to a 64-3 match record, he has captured a record five Masters titles in a season and compiled a 20-2 record against Top-10 opponents, defeating rivals Nadal six times and Federer four times so far in 2011.

Djokovic has been sidelined for the last few weeks due to a back injury.


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