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.
Djokovic was playing in Vienna for the first time since he won the title there in…