Top 10 ATP No 1s by weeks: Novak Djokovic closing in on Roger Federer milestone, but who else features?

Tennis Top 10
Novak Djokovic animated

As Novak Djokovic edges closer to Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks at the top of the ATP Rankings, we refresh your memory with the rest of the top 10 ATP No 1s by weeks.

In case you were wondering, Andy Murray is the only other active player outside of Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to be ranked No 1 in the world, but he “only” spent 41 weeks there.

Novak Djokovic eyes Pete Sampras’ record, explains when he hopes to pass Roger Federer milestone

10 Lleyton Hewitt – 80 weeks

Australian Hewitt is the only player outside of the United States and Europe to feature on the list and he has an eight-week gap over Stefan Edberg in 11th place.

Hewitt first reached No 1 in the ATP Rankings in November 2001 on the back of winning his maiden Grand Slam, the US Open. He spent 75 consecutive weeks at the top before being pushed down, but then returned to No 1 in May 2003 for his final five-week stint.

9 Andre Agassi – 101 weeks

The American was a three-time Grand Slam winner by the time he first ascended the ATP Rankings in April 1995, staying at the top for 30 weeks in a row.

After struggling for form and dropping outside the world No 140 in 1997, Agassi started to rise again in 1998 and in July 1999 he spent another three weeks at No 1 after winning the French Open. A drop down the rankings was followed by success at the US Open, which resulted in a 52-week stint at the top to take his tally to 87.

Andre Agassi 2001 Australian Open champion

Following his success at the 2003 Australian Open, he had a fifth and sixth spell at No 1 between April and September that year to reach 101 weeks at the top.

8 Bjorn Borg – 109 weeks

By the time the Ice Man reached the top of the world rankings for the first time in August 1977, he had already won five of his 11 Grand Slam titles.

His 1977 Wimbledon title helped him to replace Jimmy Connors at the top, but it was a brief stint as after one week the American was back at No 1.

The Swede had a six-week spell and a 34-week stint in 1979 to move to 41 weeks before a 20-week stint between March and August 1980. His longest spell of 46 consecutive weeks came between August 1980 and July 1985.

7 John McEnroe – 170 weeks

The volatile American became the fifth player to top the rankings in March 1980, spending three weeks at No 1 before being pushed usurped by Borg.

After another one-week stint later that year and a two-week spell in July 1981, McEnroe spent 58 consecutive weeks at No 1 from August 1981 until September 1982.

He had 14 different spells at No 1 with the last between August and September 1985.

6 Rafael Nadal – 209 weeks

Nadal became the third Spaniard after Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero to reach No 1 in the world rankings when he replaced Federer at the top in August 2008, which came shortly after he won his fourth Grand Slam title and THAT Wimbledon final against Federer.

He had a 46-week spell until July 2009 before Federer pushed him out of top spot. His second stint started in June 2010 on the back of a fifth French Open title and this time he spent 56 consecutive weeks at No 1 to go past the 100-week mark.

Rafael Nadal 2019 year-end No 1

After a 39-week spell between October 2013 and July 2014, he had another four stints at the top between August 2017 and November 2018 as he regularly swapped spots with Federer.

In November 2019 he started his ninth and, to date, final stint at the top, which ran until February 2020.

5 Jimmy Connors – 268 weeks

The American was the third man behind Ilie Nastase and John Newcombe to clinch the No 1 spot while he was the first player to spend more than 100 consecutive weeks at the top. In fact his first stint at the top of the world rankings was 160 weeks from July 1974 until August 1977.

After being replaced at the top by McEnroe for one week he returned for a second spell from August 30, 1977 until April 8, 1979 to take his tally to 244 weeks.

Between May 1979 and July 1983 he had seven more stints at No 1 for a total of 268 weeks.

4 Ivan Lendl – 270 weeks

The Czech/American edges Connors by only two weeks and he also came close to beating the American’s 160-week consecutive stint as his longest spell was 157 weeks in a row.

His first spell started in February 1983 and lasted 11 weeks and he then had five different periods at the top, but each one was single digits.

He finally broke the single-digit barrier again in 1985 and he did it by some distance as he spent 157 weeks in a row at the top of the rankings with Mats Wilander finally replacing him at the top in September 1988.

However, Lendl had another 80-week period at the top from January 1989 until August 1990.

3 Pete Sampras – 286 weeks

When Sampras retired in August 2003 many felt his record of 286 weeks would not be broken in their life time, but two players have managed to gone past him already.

The American first climbed to the top of the ATP Rankings in April 1993 and stayed there for 19 weeks before being replaced by Jim Courier for three weeks. His second spell lasted from September 1993 until April 1995 and was 82 weeks long.

Pete Sampras Wimbledon trophy

After a 12-week and a three-week spell, Sampras enjoyed a 102-week stint from April 1996 until March 1998 to move to 218 weeks. He had five shorter stints with November 19, 2000 his final week at the top of the rankings.

2 Novak Djokovic – 292 weeks

The Serbian ended the Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer monopoly in July 2011 as he reached No 1 in the ATP Rankings for the first time, remaining on top for 53 weeks.

After being replaced by Federer in July 2012, Djokovic was back at the top for a 48-week stint to move to 101 weeks. His longest spell – 122 weeks – took place between July 2014 and November 2016.

It would take him another two years to return to the top as in November 2018 he started a 52-week stint before Nadal finished 2019 as No 1.

However, Djokovic regained top spot in February 2020 and has remained there since although he probably lost out a couple of weeks due to the rankings freeze from March until August because of the coronavirus.

1 Roger Federer – 310 weeks

The Swiss started his first spell at the top of the rankings in February 2004 on the back of winning his first Australian Open title. And the next thing you know he had spent 237 consecutive weeks at top, which is an ATP Ranking record.

His stint was ended in August 2008 by Nadal, but Federer was back on top in July 2009 for a period of 48 weeks.

He would only return to No 1 again in July 2012 and this time for 17 weeks to move to 302 weeks in total before another six-week spell in early 2018.

Roger Federer with 2017 Wimbledon trophy

In May 2018 he had a one-week spell at the top to move to 309 weeks before being replaced by Nadal for four weeks and his sixth and, to date, final spell came in June 2018.

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