Novak Djokovic all-but secures year-end No 1 spot after reaching Vienna Open quarter-final

Novak Djokovic celebrates

Novak Djokovic all-but guaranteed the year-end No 1 spot for the sixth time in his career, equalling the record held by Pete Sampras, after battling into the Erste Bank Open quarter-finals.

Only Rafael Nadal can now overhaul Djokovic but it would involve the Spaniard taking a wild card as a late entry into the Sofia Open in Bulgaria next month.

If Djokovic wins the title in Vienna, he cannot be surpassed.

The Serbian took another stride towards doing that with a hard-fought win over Borna Coric in the second round, with the Croatian spurning four set points in a tense tiebreak before going down 7-6 (13-11), 6-3.

“It was very tiring and very challenging,” Djokovic said in quotes on the ATP’s website. “Obviously Borna is a great fighter.

“He’s a very good friend of mine. Off the court we’ve known each other for quite a long time.

“I’m just really glad to stay focussed and play my best at the right time.”

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