Novak Djokovic can now add the "Comeback Player of the Year" award to his vast collection of honours and the Serb can complete his remarkable resurgence by winning a record-equalling sixth title at the ATP Finals next week.
"I'm extraordinarily happy to have won 99 (titles) - I'm happy I won the amount of matches and tournaments this year to get me there".
The players had not withdrawn, though, saying the invitations were made at least one year ago. He quickly became a player with a burning desire to be amongst the best players in the world.
Perhaps the match most indicative of this was his straight-set demolition of Federer on the high-speed courts at the Cincinnati Masters in mid-August.
Federer will begin his ATP Finals against Nishikori on Sunday while Djokovic faces Isner on Monday.
Here are the profiles of the singles players who will be taking part.
Federer hits with pinpoint accuracy, but Djokovic, at his best, can nullify it like none other.
But just like his Argentine counterpart, it has been a career of niggling injuries.
'But it's been great here, I've enjoyed playing here. Even in his breakthrough year in 2014 a groin injury halted his progress.
'I personally have had phenomenal success and I should be the last one talking about moving it anywhere. In fact, this is his third consecutive year qualifying for the event.
'I'm confident that if he does feel 100 per cent it's not going to be a problem for him to play at the very top. Federer won his first in Milan in 2001 at age 19 and his most recent in Basel at 37 at last month's Swiss Indoors. "Honestly, the thought that my tennis career is over crossed my mind".
Since then Wayne Ferreira and Amanda Coetzer have reached Slam semi-finals but never a final, while Liezel Huber and Wesley Moodie have won major doubles titles.
At the US Open Nishikori was about to announce to the world that he was well and truly back. He went on to reach the semifinals at the U.S. Open, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. He has been drawn in Group Lleyton Hewitt alongside Switzerland's Roger Federer, Thiem and Japan's Kei Nishikori. I always have, ever since I qualified for the very first time back in 2002.
He sported a poppy, the symbol the British wear at this time of year to honour those who died in the world wars, and exalted in being a tourist in London, though his hotel room opposite the Houses of Parliament offers a view onto scaffolding and cladding round Big Ben, rather than the clock itself.
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