Novak Djokovic hones in on outright record for most weeks as world no. 1. Who else makes the list?

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Novak Djokovic is on the brink of history after entering his 377th week atop the men’s tennis rankings, bringing him level with German legend Steffi Graff.

The Serbian first rose to no. 1 in 2011 and has since ended the year in first place in the rankings a record seven times.

He returned to the top of the ATP rankings at the beginning of 2023 following his victory at the Australian Open where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6. He now sits 590 points ahead of Carlos Alcaraz on 7070 points in the current rankings, with the Spaniard currently on 6480.

Now, as Djokovic moves closer to the all-time record for the most weeks at no. 1 in tennis history, looks at how he stacks up against the other players on the list.

Novak Djokovic and the all-time list of most weeks at world no. 1

1 – Novak Djokovic (377 weeks as world no. 1)

Joint first on the list, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is a history maker through and through. The 35-year-old now has a slew of records to his name, including the joint record for most-ever men’s Grand Slam singles titles (22), the most-ever Australian Opens (10) and the record for most Masters titles (38).

He is also the only man ever to have completed a double Career Grand Slam – winning all four Grand Slams in a single calendar year twice.

For someone who has enjoyed such a brilliant career, Djokovic’s record at the Olympics isn’t as impressive as his tour record. His only Olympic medal is the bronze he won at Beijing 2008, the same year in which he won the first of his Major titles at the Australian Open.

1 – Steffi Graf (377 weeks as world no. 1)

With 377 weeks at world no. 1, Steffi Graf had been in a league of her own until Djokovic equalled her record on 20 February. Graf first rose to no. 1 in the world in August 1987, holding the position for a record 186 consecutive weeks. During a glittering career, she won 22 major titles and remains the only tennis player to have won each major on at least four occasions.

Graf also holds the distinction of being the only player in history to have achieved the Golden Slam – which includes triumphing in all four majors plus winning Olympic gold in the same year. Her singles victory at Seoul 1988 saw her defeat Argentina’s Gabriela Sabatini in straight sets (6-3, 6-3), while she also added doubles bronze to her trophy cabinet at the same edition of the Games.

3 – Martina Navratilova (332 weeks as world no. 1)

Martina Navratilova’s 332 weeks at the top of the world singles rankings place her third on the all-time list. She also holds the distinction of being the only player to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks, following her 237 weeks atop the doubles world rankings.

In 1983, she set a record for the highest winning percentage in a single season, recording 98 victories and just a single loss in the calendar year.

The Czech-American only competed at one Olympic Games, partnering Lisa Raymond in the doubles competition just two years before her retirement from the game.

With 18 singles Majors to her name including 9 Wimbledon titles won between 1978 and 1990, Navratilova remains one the greatest players in tennis history.

4 – Serena Williams (319 weeks as world no. 1)

Having spent 319 weeks at the top of the ATP tennis rankings, the USA’s Serena Williams is fourth on the list for most weeks at no. 1.

The American won 23 major singles titles over a stellar career, beginning with her victory in the US open in 1999.

But it wasn’t just her singles titles that made Williams such a prolific winner on the ATP Tour. Along with sister Venus, Williams won 14 major doubles titles and is the only player in history to have won the Career Golden Slam in singles and doubles.

Williams retired in September 2022 having won three Olympic doubles golds. But her crowning Olympic achievement was the singles title she achieved at London 2012 adding to the doubles godl she won at the same Games. 

5 – Roger Federer (310 weeks as world no. 1)

Rounding off the top five is Swiss legend Roger Federer whose 310 weeks as world no. 1 included 237 consecutive weeks – a run that lasted from 2 February 2004 until 18 August 2008.

Federer retired in 2022 with 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, including a record eight men’s Wimbledon titles, six Australian Opens, five US Opens and one French Open.

His five consecutive victories in the US Open is a record in the Open Era, while he also won five Wimbledon titles in a row between 2003 and 2007.

On the Olympic stage, the 41-year-old won two medals, including gold in the doubles at Beijing 2008 and silver in the singles at London 2012.

Top 10 all-time list of most weeks at World No. 1

1 – Roger Federer/Steffi Graf (377 weeks)

3 – Martina Navratilova (332 weeks)

4 – Serena Williams (319 weeks)

5 – Roger Federer (310 weeks)

6 – Pete Sampras (286 weeks)

7 – Ivan Lendl (270 weeks)

8 – Jimmy Connors (268 weeks)

9 – Chris Evert (260 weeks)

10 – Rafael Nadal/Martina Hingis (209 weeks)

Novak Djokovic and the current ATP Men’s World Rankings 

(list accurate in the week of 20 February 2023)

  1. Nokac Djokovic, Serbia, 7070 points

  2. Carlos Alcaraz, Spain, 6480 points

  3. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece, 5940 points

  4. Casper Ruud, Norway, 5515 points

  5. Andrey Rublev, Russia, 3860 points

  6. Rafael Nadal, Spain, 3815 points

  7. Taylor Fritz, USA, 3660 points

  8. Daniil Medvedev, Russia, 3250 points

  9. Felix Auger Aliassime, Canada, 3200 points

  10. Holger Rune, Denmark, 3161 points

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