Novak Djokovic beats Marin Cilic to top Wimbledon rankings

Novak Djokovic will end the year as the world’s No. 1 ranked tennis player for the seventh time, eclipsing Pete Sampras’s record.

The Serb won an eighth Wimbledon title, beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic in straight sets, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4, on Friday at the All England Club. It was his 42nd career title.

“I played great,” Djokovic said. “I mean, I never thought that I was going to be able to win this title in my first opportunity on this surface.”

Djokovic will be the top seed in the Wimbledon championships, a title Sampras captured five times. Sampras won 14 major championships, an Open era record. Djokovic is now just two behind him with 11 majors.

Djokovic last topped the world rankings in July 2015. His previous high was No. 2 in 2012.

In the last match of the season on grass at The All England Club, Djokovic’s most impressive victory of this historic tournament came in a rain-shortened match over his longtime rival Rafael Nadal. Djokovic won a gruelling match that lasted more than four hours and featured 23 breaks of serve and 43 combined service winners and unforced errors.

The 31-year-old Djokovic won both of his singles matches at the tournament without dropping a set.

— Steven Goff, The Associated Press

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