Novak Djokovic Breaks Record for Most Weeks at No. 1
Novak Djokovic has broken yet another record in his illustrious tennis career. As of February 2022, he is now ranked as the No. 1 tennis player in the world for the 378th week, surpassing Steffi Graf’s previous record. This achievement comes after Djokovic won his 10th Australian Open title, which is also a record in itself. With this win, Djokovic tied Rafael Nadal with 22 Grand Slam singles titles, making them the two players with the most titles among men.
Since 1996, Graf had held the top mark among women or men for the most weeks spent at No. 1. Djokovic’s accomplishment is made all the more remarkable considering how long it took him to ascend the ATP rankings and the fact that he did not earn rankings points at several recent Grand Slam events. He spent four years ranked second, third, or fourth before breaking through in July 2011 at 24 years old. In contrast, Federer and Nadal were both 22 when they first reached the top of the ATP list.
Djokovic’s personal best is 122 consecutive weeks between 2014 and 2016, while Federer holds the ATP and overall mark with 237 straight weeks at No. 1. Djokovic spent all but two weeks at No. 1 between February 2020 and June 2022 before a tumble caused in part by his inability to compete at last year’s Australian Open. Djokovic was barred from traveling to that tournament and the 2022 U.S. Open because he was not vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2022, but he garnered no rankings points from that victory after the ATP and WTA removed them in response to the tournament’s decision to bar players from Russia and Belarus amid the invasion of Ukraine. Fifth in the rankings going into this year’s Australian Open, Djokovic used his win to vault over defending U.S. Open champion Carlos Alcaraz, who was No. 1, as well as over Nadal, Casper Ruud, and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Nadal slipped to sixth, with Andrey Rublev moving into the fifth spot. Alcaraz remains second in the rankings this week.
In comments shared on social media, Djokovic hailed Graf as “one of the greatest, most legendary tennis players” and said he was “extremely, extremely proud and happy for this achievement.” Djokovic’s success is a testament to his hard work, determination, and skill on the tennis court. He has become a dominant force in the sport, and his reign as the No. 1 player in the world is unlikely to end anytime soon.
Djokovic’s next challenge is an ATP 500-level tournament in Dubai. Having won a tune-up tournament just before the Australian Open and not having competed since his triumph in Melbourne, Djokovic takes a 12-0 record this season into the tournament. He hopes to continue his winning streak and further cement his status as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
In conclusion, Djokovic’s record-breaking achievement is a testament to his incredible skill and longevity in the sport of tennis. He has surpassed some of the greatest players in history, and his reign as the No. 1 player in the world is a testament to his hard work and determination. While there may be challenges ahead, Djokovic has proven time and time again that he is up to the task and is a force to be reckoned with on the tennis court.