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    Djokovic aims to equal Sampras world no.1 record this week

    SHOWS: VIENNA, AUSTRIA (OCTOBER 25, 2020) (ATP MEDIA/IMG - NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SAYING: "Yes, of course. I mean that was, you know, opportunity to win new, extra points in the race for the ranking to finish the year as number one this season but also for that historic number one race. Of course, that was one of the big reasons why I came to Vienna. And I'm going to try to obviously win as many matches as possible. I know I need a couple of matches to end up as number one of the world this season and hopefully I'll be able to do that. That's definitely one of the big goals and we'll see how it goes. It's a very strong field. You have six out of the top 10 players playing here at a (ATP) 500 event. I think this must be if not the hardest or the toughest men's draw of all time of 500 category events then definitely one of the hardest ones that we have ever seen that I was ever apart of. So, the quality of matches from the first round will be very, very high. " 2. WHITE FLASH 3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, SAYING: "No, absolutely. I mean, Pete (Sampras) was someone I was looking up to when I was growing up and to match his record would definitely be a dream come true. I'm hopefully going to get there and keep striving to be a better player and to hopefully make more success and write more records in the game and in this sport that I truly love with all my heart. " 4. WHITE FLASH 5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER THREE, DOMINIC THIEM, SAYING: "It's been a really phenomenal 18 months but also a tough 18 months for myself because I really put a lot of pressure on myself, especially the time from the Australian Open finals until the U.S. Open was tough because I was so close there. I mean it was a great match, a great final but I lost again and then I had a great momentum. Probably, I was playing the best tennis of my life and the tour stopped all of a sudden. So, nobody knew when it continues and then the U.S. Open with the very special circumstances and then after Novak went out of the tournament, like all the pressure was on us remaining players. It was clear that there was going to be a new Grand Slam champion so, all of that was not easy and of course, I'm super happy that I ended up winning the tournament. That my biggest dream, biggest goal that I ever had in my tennis career became reality. So, things are a little bit easier. I'm a little bit more relaxed since that and I'm happy and excited for everything what's coming up now." 6. WHITE FLASH 7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER THREE, DOMINIC THIEM, SAYING: "I would say after the U.S. Open that's my second personal and most important title that I have because I'm coming here since I'm a 4 or 5-year-old kid, first of all just a fan who doesn't know anything about tennis. Then, like a super tennis interested kid, then playing the qualifiers for the first time, getting wild cards for the main draw, winning the first ATP main draw match here, then seeded for the first time kind of being the local hero for the first time and then I mean ending up winning the tournament last year with every match sold out here and a tremendous atmosphere was until the U.S. Open, definitely my most important title and will always stay and have a very special place in my heart. " 8. WHITE FLASH 9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER EIGHT, ANDREY RUBLEV, TALKING ABOUT CLAIMING ONE OF THE TWO REMAINING PLACES AVAILABLE IN THE ATP FINALS, SAYING: "I mean, of course, I will be really happy especially knowing that it's going to be the last year in London and at least to play there once on the ATP tour would be a really special feeling for me. So, we'll see. I mean this year I didn't even think that I will have the chance. So, I want to keep thinking the same way because in the end if I don't make it nothing is going to change for me. In the end I still have an amazing season. So, if I make it then perfect. So, we'll see. In a couple of weeks we will find out." 10. WHITE FLASH 11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER 12, DENNIS SHAPOVALOV, TALKING ABOUT CLAIMING ONE OF THE TWO REMAINING PLACES AVAILABLE IN THE ATP FINALS, SAYING: "Yes, it definitely, definitely would mean so much to me. Of course, it's going to be very tricky. Some tough draws in the last couple of weeks of the year and course Andrey (Rublev) has pulled away and so, it's really one slot left so it's going to be very tricky to get it but of course it would just mean the world to me." STORY: Novak Djokovic has two records in his sights as the world number one prepares to play in the Erste Bank Open - an ATP 500 event in Vienna. Djokovic will equal Pete Sampras'' record of finishing the year as world number one six times if he wins two matches in Vienna this week. The Serb is currently level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on finishing the season as world number one five times. That achievement would also boost Djokovic's hopes of overtaking Federer's record of the number of weeks being world number one. Djokovic started his 292nd week as world number one on Monday (October 26) and he's now just 18 weeks behind Federer's record of 310 which he'd be able to surpass in March if he remains top of the pack. However, it will be a tough ask in Vienna with six of the top 10 players taking part including U.S. Open champion and local favourite, Dominic Thiem. The Austrian is looking forward to playing in his home tournament having won it last year and returning as a Grand Slam champion having claimed the U.S. Open in New York last month. It's also an important week in the race for the ATP Finals in London. Six of the eight places have already been claimed with Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Gael Monfils and Dennis Shapovalov all playing in Vienna to try and get some crucial points and secure their place at the ATP Finals in London which begin on November 15.

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