Analysis: How good is Novak Djokovic’s milestone and how long before he passes Roger Federer?
Novak Djokovic has reached a significant milestone as he enjoys his 250th week on top of the ATP rankings, but just how good is it and what can we expect to happen next?
Well there are only four players who currently boast longer as the world’s top male player, and three of them are very much within Djokovic’s immediate sights.
Jimmy Connors, 268 weeks
Connors has found his record 109 ATP titles under threat from Roger Federer, but Djokovic usurping him from this top four is by far the more immediate threat.
Djokovic currently holds all Grand Slam titles bar one, as well as the ranking points that come with them, and he’ll get a chance to add the last to the set before he risks losing any.
It’s hard to see anyone knocking Djokovic off top spot before September 16, and should that prove the case the Serb will pass Connors on this illustrious list.
Ivan Lendl, 270 weeks
Lendl is also in pretty immediate danger of being surpassed by Djokovic here.
The Czech won eight Grand Slams in the 80s, although Wimbledon eluded him.
That peak time included a streak of 157 weeks atop the rankings, 35 more than Djokovic’s current streak.
However, Djokovic will pass him before October this year unless something quite remarkable happens.
Pete Sampras, 286 weeks
Sampras has a little more breathing space than Lendl and Connors here, but he’s still in danger.
Djokovic has a lot of points to defend between now and the end of January 2020 when he could surpass Sampras, but it would probably need Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to sweep them while Djokovic has a few flops.
It’s possible, especially given how Federer still has clay points to come to add to his total from last year.
That said, it would still be tough to bet against Djokovic from remaining world number one through to the Australian Open next year.
Roger Federer, 310 weeks
Federer looks pretty safe at first glance and rightly so given Djokovic needs to hold his position at the very top of the game for over a year to challenge him.
However, looking around the ATP right now, the question isn’t so much whether or not Djokovic can maintain his ranking but whether or not anyone is in a position to deny him.
Federer is still brilliant but not quite what he once was, and Rafael Nadal is struggling to even get through tournaments right now.
Perhaps Alexander Zverev can find some stunning form from nowhere, but it’s not looking likely.
The BIG but…
… is that it all just looks like a matter of time anyway. Djokovic likely has three more years at the peak of his powers if all goes well.
That’s 156 weeks to catch the rest, assuming Federer doesn’t top the rankings again, not even taking into account anything he does when he’s past his peak years.
It seems absolutely inevitable that Djokovic will finish his career as the most dominant in terms of weeks at the top that the game has ever seen.
More from Tennis365:
Alexander Zverev euphoric after claiming Olympic gold, saying, ‘this is an incredible feeling’
“There is nothing better than this,” says Alexander Zverev.
Alexander Zverev brushes aside Karen Khachanov to secure historic gold for Germany in men’s tennis at Olympics
Gold for Alexander Zverev at Tokyo Olympics.
‘I am shaking all over my body,’ says Casper Ruud after completing unique hat-trick with Kitzbuhel title
It’s a hat-trick of titles for Casper Ruud.
‘It’s the freaking Olympic Games’ – Belinda Bencic not sure whether to laugh or cry after winning gold
Belinda Bencic in dreamland after winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
Comment: Novak Djokovic under fire after controversial final stand at Tokyo Olympics
Novak Djokovic walked away from the Tokyo Olympics without even a bronze medal to soothe his wounded pride.
Olympic glory for Belinda Bencic as she holds off Marketa Vondrousova in Tokyo gold medal match
Belinda Bencic is the Tokyo Olympics singles champion.
WATCH: Novak Djokovic hurls racket into stands and admits ‘it’s not nice but it’s part of who I am’
“It was an emotional outburst and it happens,” said Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic rues missed chances at Tokyo Olympics, but vows to ‘try to to keep going’ for Paris Games
“I didn’t deliver yesterday and today, the level of tennis dropped,” admits Novak Djokovic.
Pablo Carreno Busta wins Tokyo Olympics bronze as he denies Novak Djokovic a medal in the singles
Pablo Carreno Busta is your bronze medallist at the Tokyo Olympics.
Washington Open draw: Rafael Nadal, Cameron Norrie, Nick Kyrgios in same half as young stars headline bottom half
This way for your 2021 Washington Open draw.