Novak Djokovic breaks Roger Federer's all-time record for most weeks ranked No. 1 by The ATP
- Novak Djokovic broke the record for most weeks ranked No. 1 by the ATP rankings.
- Djokovic reached 311 weeks when the rankings were released on Monday.
- The previous record belonged to Roger Federer, with 310 weeks ranked No. 1.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic broke Swiss tennis player Roger Federer's record for most weeks ranked No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) when rankings were released on Monday.
-Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) March 8, 2021
Djokovic's latest top ranking is the 311th of his career, while Federer held the previous record at 310. Djokovic has now held the ATP's top ranking for 36 consecutive weeks dating back to February, 2020, and is in his fifth separate stint as world No. 1.
"It really excites me to walk the path of legends and giants of this sport," Djokovic said per the ATP Tour."To know that I have earned my place among them by following my childhood dream is a beautiful confirmation that when you do things out of love and passion, everything is possible."
Djokovic first achieved a No. 1 ranking in July of 2011 when he was just 24 years old. At that point, Federer had 285 weeks ranked No. 1 under his belt, but Djokovic has outpaced Federer 310 to 25 since then.
However, at 33 years of age, Djokovic has surpassed Federer's record at a much faster pace than Federer was able to set it. Federer, who was ranked No. 6 in the recent rankings, would now face an uphill battle in an attempt to take back the record at 39 years of age.
Federer was last ranked No. 1 in June of 2018. Since then, Djokovic has been ranked No. 1 on 14 separate weeks, including each of the last five to tie and now surpass Federer's record.
"Novak's many achievements in tennis are nothing short of extraordinary," said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi. "Among them, this record may stand as his single most impressive. Reaching No. 1 is something many players dream of and very few ever accomplish, and to have held the top spot for longer than anyone is testament to the levels of sustained excellence that Novak has redefined in our sport."
Djokovic is not done chasing Federer's records yet either. Djokovic currently has 18 Grand Slam titles, two less than the all-time record shared by Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Federer has no intention of letting Djokovic take those records without making some attempt to add on to them, however. Federer is set to make his return to tennis this week at an ATP tournament in Doha, Qatar, after a pair of knee injuries kept him away from the game over the last 13 months.
"I feel like there's still something left," Federer said about his return at a virtual press conference, according to Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal. "Retirement was never really on the cards ... If the knee keeps bothering me for months and months to come, then we have to look at it. That's normal, because when you realize that you can't play at the top level anymore, and the knee doesn't allow you to do that, then you have to have that conversation. But this is not the time to think about that."