Novak Djokovic has completed the season as the top-ranked men’s player for a record-tying sixth period, and he was awarded the annual ATP World No. 1 trophy on Sunday. Upon getting it Djokovic stated he was pleased with having fulfilled one of their biggest career goals, but added a note of commiseration for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Djokovic has now tied Pete Sampras’ record of ending as World No. 1 in six different decades, making this his many historic No. 1 end so far. The Serb had finished as the planet’s top-ranked participant in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018.

But the shadow of the worldwide crisis was quite observable as Djokovic accepted the trophy before the start of the first match of this Nitto ATP Finals, which will be held behind closed doors at London’s O2 Arena.

“I’m very happy,” Djokovic told ATPTour.com. “It’s been a strange year for all of us with a six months’ gap for all of us. We restarted the season in August, and I continued where I left off before lockdown and had a terrific run. I’m very pleased with the way things went.”

Novak Djokovic also gave a shout-out to his team for supporting and trusting him throughout his career. The Serb’s team includes long-time coach Marian Vajda as well as former Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic and physio Ulises Badio.

Huge thanks to my team who supported me in the hard time and trusting me. This is the crown for all achievements in the year and it’s like a dream that I’ve managed to finish the year at No. 1 for a sixth time,” Novak Djokovic said.

Obviously I am super proud of it, but I have mixed emotions because of what is going on in the world,” he added. “I can’t be ignorant to that, although I have achieved one of the biggest goals in sport. I feel for many people in the world going through hardship and my heart goes out to them.”

The 33-year-old Novak Djokovic will start his campaign for a sixth title at the ATP Finals when he takes on Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman. Djokovic has conquered Schwartzman in all their five previous encounters and is now a huge favorite to emerge with the win on Monday.