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Novak Djokovic at No.1 again as tennis icon shows no signs of slowing down

Novak Djokovic has once again ended the year as the world number one and, at the grand old age of 36, the Serbian star could dominate tennis for a number of years to come.

Confirmation that Djokovic will be crowned the men's season-ending No.1 again - a record eighth time he has managed the feat - came after he beat Holger Rune at the ATP Finals in Turin.

Rune win sealed top spot

The 24-time Grand Slam champion, who overcame his Danish opponent 7-6 6-7 6-3 in his opening Green Group match at the end-of-season event on Sunday, has now won his last 19 matches overall in what has been a typically dominant campaign for the seasoned star.

His victories in the Australian, French and US Opens in 2023 secured him the new world record of 24 major titles, edging ahead of long-time rival Rafael Nadal, who has 22, in the process. 

Djokovic, who won his first major title in Melbourne in 2008, certainly continues to defy anyone who may be thinking of questioning that his lengthy stay at the pinnacle of the men's game is beginning to draw to a close.

Glittering career

Looking back on his career and his achievements are breathtaking. Not only is he the record Grand Slam champion, he's been ranked No.1 for a record total of 399 weeks in a record 13 different years. 

His 10 Aussie Open titles are also unmatched and overall he has won 97 singles titles, which includes another record 40 Masters titles.

He also has a joint-record six ATP Finals crowns - which he can make seven this week in Italy. 

Furthermore, Djokovic is the only man in tennis history to be the reigning champion of all four majors at once across three different surfaces. In singles, he is the only man to achieve a triple Career Grand Slam, and the only player to complete a career Golden Masters, a feat he has achieved twice. 

There's glittering careers, then there's Djokovic's.

Famed as being a key part of the golden era of men's singles as he regularly battled it out with other storied players like Nadal, Roger Federer - who has won 20 Grand Slams - and Andy Murray over the past 15 years, Djokovic will once again be the player the rest have to beat next year.

So good is the senior Serb that he is already the 11/10 favourite to win the Australian Open for what would be the 11th time at the start of next year, and he's also 9/4 second favourite behind Carlos Alcaraz to triumph at the 2024 French Open. 

Next summer he will likely be focused on trying to win Wimbledon again, for which he's available at 7/4 after losing this year's final, while he will have ambitions too, of course, to triumph in the fourth Grand Slam of the year in the US next autumn.

Steely focus remains

Djokovic, despite his advancing years, retains the same work ethic, determination and professionalism that has served him so well throughout his glittering career so far and he should challenge for all the big tournaments once again next year.

In fact, he's an appealing 7/4 to win two Grand Slams in 2024, 5/2 to win just one and 6/1 to pick up three major titles again. 

It may prove beyond him considering the likes of Alcaraz will have their eyes on the top prizes, too, but Djokovic is 18/1 to do the near-impossible and win all four majors in one year and complete the calendar grand slam next year - something he has yet to achieve despite holding all four major titles at once previously.

Another Turin title the immediate focus

His immediate focus, however, after getting past Rune in his Turin opener, will be to go on and win the ATP Finals event for the seventh time, and it's no surprise to see him at the top of the market for the tournament in Italy, at 11/10 - ahead of 3/1 Jannick Sinner and 4/1 Alcaraz. 

Because Djokovic, in typical Djokovic fashion, will not be content ending the year just as No.1, but will want to be seen holding aloft yet more silverware.

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