Novak Djokovic makes history after being crowned ‘World Champion’
Novak Djokovic has been named ITF World Champion for a record eighth time, with the 24-time Grand Slam champion moving ahead of Steffi Graf.
The International Tennis Federation chooses a World Champion based off performances each year, emphasising the Grand Slam tournaments.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) September 11, 2023
This enabled the Serb to become year-end No.1 for an eighth time, after holding off closest rival Carlos Alcaraz.
The first time that Djokovic was crowned ITF World Champion was back in 2011, winning it five years in a row up to 2015, before receiving the honour again in 2018, 2021 and now 2023.
Djokovic already had the record for most men’s ITF World Champion titles, with Pete Sampras (6) sitting in second spot.
However, the 36-year-old was level with Graf, who leads the women’s table, before this victory took Djokovic to the top of the charts on his own.
Djokovic is joined by Aryna Sabalenka, who won her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year and has gone onto reach the final of the US Open and the semi-finals of the other two majors.
Aryna Sabalenka is an ITF World Champion for the first time ?
— ITF (@ITFTennis) December 14, 2023
Inside the baseline…
There was nobody else that could be named men’s singles World Champion this year other than Novak Djokovic, whose only Grand Slam defeat came in a five set classic against Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final. The women’s singles award would have been a more closely run race, but in terms of the Grand Slam tournaments Aryna Sabalenka has had a better year than Iga Swiatek.
Novak Djokovic and the other 2023 ITF World Champions
The first ITF World Champions were named back in 1978, and have since expanded to include doubles, junior and wheelchair players.
Here is the full list of 2023 ITF World Champions:
Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic
Women’s Singles: Aryna Sabalenka
Men’s Doubles: Rajeev Ram & Joe Salisbury
Women’s Doubles: Elise Mertens & Storm Hunter
Girls’: Alina Korneeva
Boys’: João Fonseca
Men’s Wheelchair: Alfie Hewett
Women’s Wheelchair: Diede de Groot
Quad Wheelchair: Niels Vink
Back-to-back @ITFTennis World Champions ?
Joe Salisbury & Rajeev Ram win the award again after a standout season ⤵️
— LTA (@the_LTA) December 13, 2023
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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.