Top 10 oldest No 1 ATP players: Novak Djokovic now the second oldest No 1, but will he catch Roger Federer?

Tennis Top 10
Novak Djokovic blowing kisses

Novak Djokovic this week tied Roger Federer for most weeks at No 1 in the ATP Rankings, but the Serbian has also moved quietly up to No 2 in terms of oldest number one.

The 18-time Grand Slam winner equallied Federer on 310 weeks at the top on Monday and he will set a new milestone when the ATP Rankings is updated next week.

Djokovic admitted that once he betters the rankings record, his main focus will be on Grand Slams as he is now just two shy of Federer and Rafael Nadal’s tally of 20.

The world No 1 is likely to break a plethora of records before he retires and one such achievement is Federer’s milestone for oldest ATP No 1.

The Swiss maestro holds the record as oldest world number one as he set the milestone of 36 years and 320 days on 18 June 2018, but Djokovic recently moved up to No 2 ahead of Nadal and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could beat Federer.

Top 10 Oldest ATP No 1s

10 Thomas Muster – 28 years and 195 days

The Austrian only spent a total of six weeks at the top ATP Rankings with his final stint ending on 8 April 1996.

9 Pete Sampras – 29 years and 99 days

Sampras was only 21 years and 243 days when he first climbed to the top of the rankings in April 1993 and his final spell was 13 November 2000.

The American held the record for most weeks at number one (286) until Federer surpassed it.

8 John Newcombe – 30 years and 66 days

The seven-time major champion competed in both the amateur and Open Eras and first reached No 1 in the Open Era on 3 June 1974. His final spell was on 28 July of the same year. In total, the Australian spent eight weeks at number one.

7 Andy Murray – 30 years and 97 days

The three-time major winner was 29 years and 176 days when he climbed to the top of the ATP Rankings for the first time on 7 November 2016. He was at the top for 41 weeks with his final stretch ending on 20 August 2017.

6 Ivan Lendl – 30 years and 158 days

The Czechoslovakia-born Lendl amassed 94 titles, including eight Grand Slams, during a career that spanned from 1978 until 1994. His last stint was in 12 August 1990 and his tally of 270 weeks was the record for most weeks at number one until Sampras moved ahead of him.

5 Jimmy Connors – 30 years and 304 days

With 109 ATP Tour titles to his name, Connors leads the list in terms of most singles trophies won.

The eight-time major winner hit No 1 on 29 July 1974 for the first time and spent 268 weeks at the top, which included a then-record 160 consecutive weeks, with 20 June 1983 the final No 1 stamp in his book. He was also the first male player to be No 1 for more than 200 weeks.

4 Andre Agassi – 33 years and 100 days

The American started his professional career in 1986 and when he finally called it quits in 2006 he had eight Grand Slam titles and had spent 101 weeks at the top of the rankings.

He was 33 years, months and two days at the time of his final spell on 1 September 2003.

3 Rafael Nadal – 33 years and 244 days

The Spaniard, who was 22 years and 76 days when he first reached No 1 in the world on 18 August 2008, has had eight different spells at the top of the ATP Rankings.

In total he has spent 209 weeks at the top and was second-oldest behind Federer until Djokovic overtook him in January this year. His final spell at number one ended on 20 January 2020.

There is, of course, also a possibility that Nadal, currently ranked No 2, could have another spell at the top of the ATP Rankings.

2 Novak Djokovic – 33 years and 283 days

The 18-time Grand Slam winner was 24 years and 43 days when he was first crowned No 1 on the ATP Rankings on 4 July 2011.

Currently in his fifth spell at No 1, Djokovic’s latest streak started on 3 February 2020 and more than a year and a coronavirus enforced rankings freeze later he is still going strong at the age of 33 years and 383 days.

1 Roger Federer – 36 years and 320 days

Aged 36 years and 195 days, Federer became the oldest world No 1 on 19 February 2018. He spent eight weeks there, trading spots with Nadal on several occasions during the run, to take his record for most weeks at No 1 to 310.

His final day at the top was 18 June 2018 and he currently sits at No 5 in the ATP Rankings after more than a year out.

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