RAFAEL NADAL may have secured the No 1 ranking for this year but Novak Djokovic looks set to be right on his tail in 2014.
Victory for the Spaniard over Stanislas Wawrinka at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday meant Djokovic was unable to overtake him during the closing days of the season.
But the Serbian is undoubtedly the form player in tennis right now and he extended his winning streak to 19 matches with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro.
That also guaranteed his place in the semi-finals at London's O2 Arena as the winner of Group B while Del Potro and Roger Federer will fight it out for the second qualifying spot tomorrow. Asked about his ultimately fruitless pursuit of Nadal this time around, Djokovic said: "It's not frustrating for me. Actually, it's very encouraging circumstances I am in over the last two months.
"I'm playing the best tennis I think I played throughout the whole season. That's something that I take as a positive for this moment and for next season. I'm definitely feeling confident, more confident than I was a few months ago.
"Nadal has ended as world number one in 2013, and he deserves that. No question about it. He won two grand slams. He played the best tennis this year."
The second semi-final spot in Group A will be decided today between Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych.
Nadal has already qualified and victory over the world number one tonight would be enough to put Berdych through with him.