Roger Federer has reclaimed his spot at the top of the tennis world, securing the year-end No 1 ranking for the fifth time in his career.
The record 15-time Grand Slam champion is now closing in on Pete Sampras' all-time mark of six.
"It means a lot to have returned to No 1 and to finish the year again at No 1," Federer said yesterday after accepting a trophy on court at the ATP World Tour Finals. "It was an incredible year for me both on the court and off the court and to be able to break the all-time Grand Slam record and finish the year on top is amazing."
Federer earned the top year-end ranking after winning his opening two matches at the season-ending tour finals at the O2 Arena. Rafael Nadal, who ended Federer's five-year run as the end-of-season No 1 last year, had a mathematical chance of overtaking Federer for the top spot but lost his opening match at the tournament for the top eight players in the world.
Federer bounced back from an off season in 2008 by reaching all four Grand Slams finals yet again in 2009, and winning two of them. The first championship came at the French Open, making the Swiss great only the sixth man to complete a career Grand Slam. The next one was at the All England Club, where he reclaimed the Wimbledon title by beating Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set and also surpassed Sampras with his 15th major title.