Novak Djokovic returned to action last week for the first time since Daniil Medvedev dashed his dreams of a Calendar Slam in the US Open final in September. And the world No 1 did so in style at the Paris Masters.

He was even worried about the lack of match play and took part in the doubles to get ready for the final two events of the season. And his aim of playing the Paris Masters after a seven-week break from tennis was simple – finish the year as world No 1, breaking Pete Sampras’ record for most season-ending world No 1 finishes. The 34-year-old, who already broke Roger Federer’s record for most weeks as world No 1 (310) earlier in the year, was within touching distance of Sampras’ record.

But Djokovic not only finished as the world No 1 for the seventh time, he also reclaimed the record for most Masters 1000 titles by winning the trophy in the French capital... fittingly beating defending champion Medvedev in a thrilling final.

Against the Russian world No 2, as in the semi-final against Hubert Hurkacz and Marton Fucsovics in the opener, Djokovic had to fight from a set down to win. And he dug deep to ensure he clinched the record before playing the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin.

Djokovic had not been too concerned when he went a set down against a man he considers “the complete player” and who he expects to be world number one in the future.

“It was a very close match decided by small margins based on a few points here and there,” he said.

“I was very pleased how I held my nerves at the end and took the match point.

“I wanted to finish the end of season with a trophy and did not want to lock myself mentally and physically in stressful mode.

“I knew things would come together and I would work my way into the match.”

Djokovic said he had felt no hangover from the US Open defeat.

“I mean, I already closed that chapter,” he said.

“I am not regretting it or spending days suffering because I did not take the calendar slam this year.

“I have moved on from that and focussed on Masters event and came here and achieved what I wanted to do.”

It was a week where he broke records once again in what has been a stunning calendar year.

Here’s a look at some of the big numbers from Djokovic’s 37th Masters title and seventh season-ending top finish:

Most Year-End No. 1 Finishes in ATP Rankings:

Novak Djokovic: 7 (2011-12, 2014-15, 2018, 2020-21)

Pete Sampras: 6 (1993-98)

Jimmy Connors: 5 (1974-78) 

Roger Federer: 5 (2004-07, 2009) 

Rafael Nadal: 5 (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019

Djokovic improved his record to 6-4 against Medvedev and now owns winning record against all 30 players whom he’s met at least 10 times. He also improves to 15-8 as No 1 vs No 2.

Most ATP *Masters titles

Country Name Masters Titles
 SRB Novak Djokovic  37
 ESP Rafael Nadal  36
 SUI Roger Federer  28
 USA Jimmy Connors 20
 AUS Rod Laver 18
 USA Ivan Lendl 18
 USA John McEnroe 17
 USA Andre Agassi 17
 GBR Andy Murray  14
 GER Boris Becker 12
*The series of nine events established in 1990.

Most ATP Masters finals

Country Name Masters Finals
 SRB Novak Djokovic  54
 ESP Rafael Nadal  52
 SUI Roger Federer  50
 USA Jimmy Connors 29
 USA Ivan Lendl 28

The 37th Masters 1000 title on Sunday secured Djokovic’s second record in as many days after he was confirmed as season-ending world number one for a seventh time. Already, the Serb is the only man to win all nine ATP Masters and he has done it twice. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who won the first three Majors in 2021, is the undisputed leader when it comes to the big titles.

Tally of *significant ATP titles

Country Name Grand Slams + Masters + World Tour Finals + Olympics
 SRB Novak Djokovic  62
 ESP Rafael Nadal  57
 SUI Roger Federer  54
 USA Ivan Lendl 33
 USA John McEnroe 32
 USA Pete Sampras 32
*Combination of Grand Slams + Masters 1000 + World Tour Finals + Olympics

Djokovic’s next possible milestones: 

Season-ending Masters/ATP Finals titles: 5, along with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. Roger Federer holds the record with six.

ATP titles: 86, behind Jimmy Connors (109, record), Roger Federer (103), Ivan Lendl (94) and Rafael Nadal (99)

Most weeks as ATP World No 1

Country Name Weeks At No. 1
 SRB Novak Djokovic  345
 SUI Roger Federer  310
 USA Pete Sampras 286
 USA Ivan Lendl 270
 USA Jimmy Connors 268
 ESP Rafael Nadal  209
 USA John McEnroe 170
 SWE Bjorn Borg 109
 USA Andre Agassi 101
 AUS Lleyton Hewitt 80

With AFP inputs

Stats courtesy ATP Media Info and Ultimate Tennis Statistics