“[Being defending champion] adds a little bit of extra expectation and pressure,” said Djokovic. “Knowing that I can play that well on the centre stage gives me enough reason to believe that I can do it again. That is something that inspires me to prepare well and perform my best.”
The 26-year-old Serbian joins Spaniard Rafael Nadal as the first players to qualify for the event, having amassed sufficient Emirates ATP Rankings points to secure himself a place among the world’s Top 8 singles players in London. He has captured titles this season at the Australian Open, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, and also finished runner-up at Wimbledon.
Djokovic won the season-ending title in 2008 (d. Davydenko), when the event was held in Shanghai, and again last year with victory over Roger Federer. “My favourite memory is winning the title in 2012, when I won all five of my matches and I played some of my best tennis,” said Djokovic. “It was the best way to finish the season.”
Djokovic has ranked No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for 95 weeks, including the past 44 weeks. He first became No. 1 on 4 July 2011, following his first Wimbledon title.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than a million fans to The O2 arena over the past four years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009.