It was fitting that Nadal and Djokovic squared off in the final final of 2013, with Djokovic taking a 6-3, 6-4 decision over Nadal to defend his ATP World Tour Finals title.
It was the seventh championship for the year for Djokovic, who ended 2013 with a 22-match winning streak. He was 72-9 on the year. He was a runner-up twice -- to Nadal at the U.S. Open and to Andy Murray at Wimbledon -- and only twice didn't advance as far as the quarterfinals.
Nadal's year was even more amazing as he went 75-7 overall and won 10 tournaments. Four of the losses were in championship matches -- three to Djokovic.
Nadal and Djokovic split their six matches this year and have played each other an Open Era-record 39 times. Nadal owns a 22-17 edge in the rivalry.
"We are in a special moment of the history of tennis," Nadal said Monday. "I won't say that it is a better moment than others but it is special for this fact. ...
"Yes, I think it is amazing playing 39 times [against Djokovic]. What's happening the last five, six years, four years, is just amazing that the same players have been competing for every tournament, every single important tournament of the year. So that's something that didn't happen very often in the history of our sport."
Nadal will end the year No. 1 for the third time in his career. He also ended 2008 and '10 atop the rankings.
The ATP schedule is complete for 2013 but there is one piece of unfinished business. Djokovic is to lead Serbia against Berdych and the Czech Republic in this weekend's Davis Cup final.
The ATP Top 10, listing player's name, home country and ranking points:
1. Rafael Nadal, Spain, 13,030
2. Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 12,110
3. David Ferrer, Spain, 5,800
4. Andy Murray, Great Britain, 5,790
5. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina, 5,255
6. Roger Federer, Switzerland, 4,205
7. Tomas Berdych, 4,180
8. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, 3,730
9. Richard Gasquet, France, 3,300
10. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 3,065
Boston schools pull out free condoms over wrapping complaints
Ray Liotta sues skin care company over use of likeness