Novak Djokovic: New king surpasses previous rankings royalty

Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic has broken Steffi Graf’s record for the most weeks as tennis world No 1.

Djokovic tweeted that he felt “blessed” to spend a 378th week at the top of the rankings, breaking the record held since 1995 by Graf and having passed Roger Federer’s men’s record almost two years ago.

Here, we look at how he compares to former rankings rulers.

All-time leaders

Graf beat Martina Navratilova’s previous record of 332 weeks at world number one and added another 45 before her retirement in 1999.

Navratilova remains third on the all-time list, with Serena Williams fourth, her 319 weeks at the top keeping her ahead of Djokovic’s nearest rival on the men’s tour – Federer, who finished with 310.

No other player has topped 300, with the next three places held by ATP players as Pete Sampras managed 286 weeks, Ivan Lendl 270 and Jimmy Connors 268.

Chris Evert spent 260 weeks atop the WTA tour rankings, while 10th place is shared by Martina Hingis and Rafael Nadal on 209.

Djokovic has spent more weeks at number one after the age of 30 than any other male player, 155, with only Williams ahead of him across both tours.

The American spent 196 weeks at the top in her 30s and she and Djokovic are the only players to reach three figures – Nadal is next at a distant 68.

His longest stretch as world number one encompassed 122 consecutive weeks, until displaced by Britain’s Andy Murray in November 2016. Only nine players have spent over 100 weeks consecutively as world number one, the same as the top nine in the cumulative list.

Djokovic was already 24 the first time he claimed the number one ranking in July 2011. Only one other player has racked up even 100 weeks having first hit number one at an older age – Andre Agassi, who was almost 25 when he spent the first of his 101 weeks at the top in April 1995.

With 22 grand slam titles, Djokovic ranks alongside Graf in the all-time record books – behind only Margaret Court and Williams, with 24 and 23 respectively, and with Nadal alongside them on 22.

Graf won 107 titles in all, with Djokovic currently on 93 as he bids to join Federer as only the second centurion on the ATP tour. Graf’s WTA tally is exceeded by Navratilova (167) and Evert (157).

Djokovic has 1,043 match wins in his career compared to Graf’s 900, though her 88.7 per cent win rate is significantly higher than Djokovic’s 83.5 per cent.

Graf completed a season Grand Slam in 1988 – adding the Olympic title to make it a Golden Slam – and went within one match of defending all four titles as only a French Open final defeat to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario dented her perfect record in 1989.

She again held all four slams simultaneously after winning the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 1993 and then the 1994 Australian Open. Djokovic matched that feat when he won Wimbledon and the US Open in 2015 and the Australian and French Opens the following year.

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