World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is in Turin (November 14-21) to complete a year 2021 of records, matching that of victories at the Masters, this competition that brings together the eight best players of the season and where he aims for a sixth title like Roger Federer.

The 2021 Masters, which will be held for the first time in Turin (Italy) after twelve editions in London, will be for the first time since 2016 without the two legends Federer and Rafael Nadal.

During a particularly successful year in 2021 (5 titles, including 3 Grand Slams, out of 11 tournaments played), Djokovic broke the records for weeks spent as world No. 1 (347 on Monday), seasons completed at the top of the world rankings (7).

He equaled the record for major titles (20) by winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, before failing to win the calendar Grand Slam in the US Open final against Russian Daniil Medvedev.

Winning his 37th Masters 1000 on Sunday in Paris, he broke the record for most wins in this category of tournaments. Yet he hasn't won the Masters since 2015.

- Question of energy -

"In the first part of my career, it was one of the tournaments where I was most successful, I even won it three times in a row (actually four, from 2012 to 2015 after a first title in 2008, ed.), recalled Friday the 34-year-old player. Now, I may not have the energy reserve needed at the end of the season.

This explains, according to him, why the last editions of the Masters were won by younger players.

"Dimitrov, Tsitsipas, Zverev, who have won the Masters in recent years, won their first major title there. It was maybe the first, second or third time they qualified, they were fresh, motivated, didn't have much to lose unlike some of us who had been there for a while," the Serbian said.

This year, he has certainly played fewer tournaments than in the past, but those he has played have been "exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally, especially those of the Grand Slam (...) because of the possibility of making history.

- New wave -

While he dominated the season, the next generation of players was increasingly pressing: Daniil Medvedev (25), winner of the 2020 Masters, won his first Major in New York, Alexander Zverev (24) won two Masters 1000 (Madrid and Cincinnati) as well as the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Stefanos Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 (Monte Carlo) and led two sets to nil against Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros.

"I've been playing well this year, I've won five tournaments and I'm the only one who has won multiple Masters 1000s. So I didn't come here just to participate!" warned Zverev.

Unlike the London crowd, which had no homegrown kid to support since 2016 and Andy Murray's coronation, the Turin crowd will be behind Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini.

"I feel pressure, but it's good pressure. I know the public will be on my side," he commented.

Rounding out the field is 24-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev, a finalist in Monte Carlo and Cincinnati this year, who has qualified for the second year in a row.

Making their debut in this "Masters' tournament" will be Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, 24, winner in Miami and who defeated Federer in the quarters at Wimbledon, defeating him 6-0 in the third set, as well as Norway's Casper Ruud, 22 and winner of five titles this year.