Novak Djokovic Begins Incredible Eighth Year As World No. 1

Novak Djokovic Begins Incredible Eighth Year As World No. 1

by Nurein Ahmed

Novak Djokovic is celebrating another landmark achievement for staying at No. 1 for a 416th week.

Djokovic owns the record for the most weeks at No. 1, sitting ahead of longtime rivals Roger Federer (310) and Rafael Nadal (209). He broke their hegemony for the first time in 2011 by winning a maiden Wimbledon title and thrust his name into the main event.

The Serb is also the ultimate record holder, eclipsing WTA legends like Steffi Graf (377), Martina Navratilova (332), and Serena Williams (319). His 416th week at No. 1 is the equivalent of eight calendar years.

To put into context Djokovic's extraordinary longevity and dominance, no man has had six years at the top of the rankings. Both Federer and Pete Sampras are below the six-year threshold.

There have been over 600 weeks of ATP rankings since Djokovic got there for the first time over a decade ago. And he has sat at the summit for a mindboggling 416 weeks, nearly two-thirds of weeks spent there.

Additionally, Djokovic doesn't defend many points until the start of the clay swing. In fact, he is assured of remaining as No. 1 until mid-April at the very least, despite succumbing to a shock defeat in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters to Italian lucky loser Luca Nardi.

Djokovic has a healthy cushion over closest challengers Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, who defend plenty of points during the Sunshine Swing and won't overhaul the gap in March, guaranteeing Djokovic to become the oldest No. 1 in ATP history at the start of April

It is also very likely that Djokovic won't be toppled before Roland Garros as he only defends 315 points from Monte Carlo, Banja Luka, and Rome. By contrast, Alcaraz and Sinner, who are best placed to become No. 1 at some point this season, are defending 2,905 and 1,500 points, respectively.


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