Novak Djokovic has finished the best season of his life in fitting style as the world number one crushed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4 to win the ATP Tour Finals title for a record fourth successive year.Djokovic is the first player in the tournament's 46-year history to take home the trophy four years in a row and he joins Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl on five victories at the season-ending event.
Djokovic's incredible year in numbers
- Grand slam titles: 3. Australian Open (beat Andy Murray), Wimbledon (beat Federer), US Open (beat Federer)
- Masters Series titles: 6. Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Shanghai, Paris.
- Became the first player to win the Indian Wells/Miami double three times.
- ATP World Tour Finals: Beats Federer to become first player to win the season-ender four years in a row.
- Match win/loss record: 82-6 (first player to win 80 matches in a season since Rafael Nadal (82-11) in 2008
- Has been ranked number one by the ATP since July, 2014.
- First player to top the rankings every week of the year since Federer in 2007
- Since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-finals in Doha at the start of the year, Djokovic has reached the final of every tournament he has played in, 15 in all.
- First player to reach all four grand slam finals in a season since Federer in 2009.
- Percentage of service games won in 2015: 90
- Prize money this year: $A25.95 million
The 11th title of Djokovic's astonishingly dominant campaign served as the perfect finale to arguably the best run by any male player in the Open Era.
Playing in a record 15th consecutive tour-level final on Monday (AEDT), Djokovic delivered another masterclass to record his 82nd victory from 88 matches this year and bank the winners' cheque for $A1.45 million.
"I'm very proud, together with my team, for the achievements of the season. It could not have been a better finish. It's been a long season, but the best of my life," said Djokovic on the day that coach Boris Becker celebrated his 48th birthday.
In dispatching Federer with such ease after an equally imperious semi-final win over Rafael Nadal, Djokovic showed why he has been able to move so far ahead of his rivals in a year in which he also won Wimbledon and the Australian and US Opens.
Meanwhile, Federer's defeat means Andy Murray is guaranteed to finish second in the year-end world rankings for the first time.
"I tried my best, I thought I played some great tennis all week and in the final, but Novak deserves the win today like so many times this year," said 34-year-old Federer.
Djokovic and Federer have been the gold standard at the Tour Finals for over a decade, lifting the trophy 10 times between them in the last 12 years and making it to the final a combined 15 times.
Federer had ended Djokovic's 23-match winning run earlier this week with an impressive straight sets success in the group stage.
But although Federer held a 22-21 lead in his head-to-head record with Djokovic, ominously the 28-year-old Serb had taken the silverware in 10 of their 16 career final meetings, including at Wimbledon and the US Open this year.
Federer gifted the trophy to Djokovic last year when the 17-time Grand Slam winner pulled out of the final just hours before the scheduled start to protect a back injury ahead of the Davis Cup final.
'Almost unbeatable' Djokovic
Djokovic had to work harder to take the title this time, but even so he gave the impression of hardly breaking sweat.Nadal described Djokovic as "almost unbeatable" after he failed to earn a single break point against the Serb in the semi-finals and Federer did not fare much better.
After both players squandered a break point in the first two games, Djokovic started to click into rhythm in the third game.
He unfurled a sublime backhand crosscourt winner to bring up a break point that he converted thanks to another Federer miscue.
Federer could ill-afford to be so generous and the world number three was scowling in frustration again in the sixth game when another sloppy forehand let Djokovic off the hook on break point.
That kind of profligacy had cost Federer dearly in the US Open final and it was the same story this time.
Djokovic, so consistent on his groundstrokes, earned two set points when he put Federer in an awkward position with a searing backhand that the Swiss could only prod into the net.
Djokovic seized the opportunity with in typically ruthless style, driving a winner down the line to seal the set.
The Serb remained untroubled in the second set and stepped up the pressure in the eighth game to bring up three break points.
This time the crisis brought out some of Federer's best tennis and clawed his way back from the brink with a string of big serves and booming winners.
But it was too little too late.
At 4-5 down, Federer found himself under seige again and crumbled with a double fault on match point giving Djokovic one more memorable moment in his golden year.