Djokovic wins Vienna opener to close on Sampras record

By: AFP      Published: 10:33 PM, 27 Oct, 2020
Djokovic wins Vienna opener to close on Sampras record
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns a ball to Serbia's Filip Krajinovic during the Erste Bank Open ATP tennis tournament in Vienna.

Novak Djokovic defeated Filip Krajinovic in the first round in Vienna on Tuesday to edge closer to Pete Sampras's all-time record of ending the year as world number one on six occasions.

Djokovic beat compatriot Krajinovic 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 and needs to win his next match in Austria against Borna Coric to ensure he equals the achievement of his childhood idol.

The 33-year-old Serb has been the top-ranked player at the end of a season five times: in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

He shares that mark with career rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Sampras achieved the feat six years in succession between 1993 and 1998.