The 14 countries who have produced ATP world No 1 singles players

Pete Sampras Rafael Nadal
The USA - led by Pete Sampras - and Spain - led by Rafael Nadal - have produced the most ATP No 1 players.

It is one of the achievements that every aspiring tennis player dreams of.

There is perhaps no greater challenge in tennis than becoming a world No 1, with a huge mental and physical effort required over 52 weeks of the year to reach the summit of the sport.

In the five decades since the ATP was first launched, only 28 men have ever climbed to the top spot, spread across 14 countries.

We look at every country that has ever produced an ATP world No 1 singles player.

United States – six players

Perhaps the most dominant nation in tennis history, the US has produced a staggering six ATP world No 1 singles players – two more than any other nation.

With 286 weeks in the top spot, only two players have ever spent more time as men’s singles world No 1 than 14-time major winner Pete Sampras.

Not too far behind him is eight-time Grand Slam winner Jimmy Connors, who spent 268 weeks as world No 1, while his great rival John McEnroe reigned for a total of 170 weeks.

Tennis icon Andre Agassi spent 101 weeks as No 1, while Jim Courier held the top spot for 58 weeks, and Andy Roddick reigned for 13 weeks.

Spain – four players

Another nation with a huge tennis history, Spanish tennis success has been defined by one man in recent times: Rafael Nadal.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has spent a total of 209 weeks as world No 1, with only five men reigning longer than him.

However, it hasn’t always just been about Nadal – particularly in recent times, with Carlos Alcaraz having already spent 36 weeks as the youngest male No 1 in tennis history.

Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spent eight weeks at the top spot during his career, while Carlos Moya also made it to No 1 for two weeks.

Read More: Carlos Alcaraz shares fitness update as he names his four main challengers for Madrid Open title

Sweden – three players

Sweden has been comparatively starved of tennis success in recent times, but the nation has produced three of the greatest ATP players in history.

The most famous is arguably Bjorn Borg, a true tennis icon who won an astonishing 11 Grand Slam singles titles – and spent 109 weeks as world No 1 across the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Borg was quickly followed by seven-time major winner Mats Wilander, who held the No 1 ranking for 20 weeks during his career.

And Wilander was in turn followed by Stefan Edberg, a man who coupled his six major titles with 72 weeks in the top spot.

Australia – three players

Another nation that has produced countless great champions over the years, Australia has produced three world No 1 players in the ATP Tour era.

The longest-reigning of those was two-time Slam winner Lleyton Hewitt, formerly the youngest No 1 in ATP history who held that ranking for a total of eight weeks.

Seven-time major singles champion John Newcombe spent eight weeks at the top towards the beginning of the ATP era, while Pat Rafter was No 1 for a solitary week in 1999.

Russia – three players

One of the defining storylines of tennis over the past 25 to 30 years has been the rise of Russian tennis, with the nation producing multiple Slam winners across the men’s and women’s games.

And their first-ever No 1 on either tour was Yevgeny Kafelnikov, a two-time Grand Slam winner and Olympic gold medallist who held the top ranking for six weeks in 1999.

He was swiftly followed by another two-time major champion, Marat Safin, who himself reigned for nine weeks across three different spells.

In recent years Daniil Medvedev has followed in their footsteps, with the former US Open winner having spent 16 weeks as world No 1 to date.

Czechia/Czechoslovakia – one player

Czechia has well and truly punched above its weight when it comes to producing tennis talent, and few could match Ivan Lendl during his prime.

The most successful male player of the 1980s in terms of the number of Grand Slam singles titles won, Lendl swept eight majors during his career, reaching a further 11 finals.

His dominance saw him spend a staggering 270 weeks as the world No 1 throughout his career, a total that only three other men have ever been able to beat.

Germany – one player

Germany is another country that has consistently produced tennis talent but in the men’s game, one man has stood above them all during the ATP era.

One of the most popular and revered players of his generation, few have ever been able to emulate the achievements of Boris Becker.

Playing in one of the most competitive eras in tennis history, Becker claimed an impressive six major titles – and also spent 12 weeks as number.

Read More: Boris Becker explains why he sees Jannik Sinner as a younger version of himself

Great Britain – one player

One of the greatest British sportspeople of all time, what Andy Murray achieved in an era defined by the ‘Big Three’ deserves huge acclaim.

The Brit will likely be celebrated for his most memorable triumphs, notably his two Wimbledon triumphs, two Olympic gold medals, and his groundbreaking US Open win.

But Murray also managed to break the ‘Big Three’ stranglehold and reach the world No 1 ranking, holding that position for 41 weeks.

Switzerland – one player

There are no prizes for guessing who Switzerland’s one ATP world No 1 is.

One of the greatest players of all time, Roger Federer become one of the most beloved sportspeople of his generation throughout his extraordinary career – winning 20 major titles.

And he spent a staggering 310 weeks as world No 1 throughout his career, with his run of 237 consecutive weeks at the top during the 2000s the longest run of anyone in history.

Read More: Roger Federer makes brutally honest admission when asked if he misses tennis

Austria – one player

One of the best clay court players of the 1990s, few could match Thomas Muster on the dirt when he was at the peak of his powers.

The Austrian is perhaps best remembered for winning the 1995 French Open, though also won multiple Monte Carlo Masters and Italian Open titles during his career.

And he also spent time as the world No 1 during the peak of his career, holding that ranking for six weeks.

Chile – one player

A pioneer of Latin American tennis, Marcelo Rios became the first player from South America to be ranked world No 1 when he reached the top spot for six weeks in 1998.

An Australian Open finalist in 1998, Rios is the only man in history to reach world No 1 and not win a Slam title, though he did win 18 ATP titles throughout his career.

And, at 5’9, he has also made history by being the shortest No 1 player in ATP history.

Serbia – one player

Arguably the greatest player in the history of men’s tennis, it is sometimes hard to find the words to sum up what Novak Djokovic has achieved during his career.

The Serbian has won a record 24 Grand Slam titles, 40 Masters 1000 titles, and seven ATP Finals titles during his dominant career.

But it is perhaps his astonishing 422 weeks – and counting – as world No 1 that may be his greatest achievement.

Djokovic is now the oldest No 1 in history, and has more weeks at No 1 than any other male or female player.

Read More: The 9 oldest No 1s in men’s tennis: Novak Djokovic breaks Roger Federer’s record

Brazil – one player

One of the most popular tennis players of all time, Gustavo Kuerten is beloved in all corners of the tennis world – particularly in Brazil, and in Paris – where he won three French Open titles.

Kuerten was unseeded and had never won an ATP title when he claimed his first Roland Garros crown in 1997, following that up with victories in 2000 and 2001.

His success in the late 1990s and early 2000 was capped off by reaching the world No 1 ranking for the first time at the end of 2000, ultimately holding the top spot for 43 weeks across three spells.

Romania – one player

Ilie Nastase will forever stay in the history books as the first-ever player to be an official world No 1 on the ATP Tour.

A US Open and French Open champion during his prime, the Romanian was the first man to hold the top spot when the rankings began on 23 August 1973.

And in total the Romanian held that top ranking for 40 weeks, to this day remaining the only man from his country to reach the highest peak of the ATP Rankings.

Read More: The 13 players who have reached a career-high No 2 before Jannik Sinner and how long they stayed there