It’s official: there is not a single man to ever walk this earth who has spent more time as world number one than Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic was open and upfront about achieving that feat being one of his major career goals, and he has now delivered on it. Next week, he will take the record for himself outright.
By way of tribute, let’s take a look at some of the incredible numbers behind that success.
Let’s start with the biggy and the only real one that matters.
Djokovic is now able to say that NO MAN in the history of tennis has spent more time as world number one than he has.
At the time of writing he is tied at the top with Roger Federer, but on March 8 he will start his 311th week to take the record for himself.
Aside from Federer and Djokovic, only seven other men have managed to accumulate over 100 weeks at the top. They are: Pete Sampras (286), Ivan Lendl (270), Jimmy Connors (268), Rafael Nadal (209), John McEnroe (170), Bjorn Borg (109), and Andre Agassi (101).
Novak Djokovic is one of 26 men to have been ATP world number one since the start of the rankings in August 1973.
Romanian Ilie Nastase was the first man to top the rankings, holding the position for 40 weeks.
This is Djokovic’s fifth stint as world number one. John McEnroe is the player who has topped the rankings most times with 14. The American had three big battles for the top spot back to back, first with Bjorn Borg, then with Jimmy Connors, and finally with Ivan Lendl.
Djokovic, of course, has had no such problems retaining his position at world number one. As well as McEnroe (14), Borg (6), Connors (9), and Lendl (8), the other players to hold it more often than Djokovic are: Pete Sampras (11), Andre Agassi (6), Roger Federer (6), and Rafael Nadal (8).
Still, much better to hold it fewer times but for longer, we say!
The longest of Djokovic’s stints as world number one was his third.
He toped the rankings for 122 weeks between July 7 2014 and 6 November 2016.
During that time he played an astonishing 26 finals, winning 21 of them.
Only Federer (237), Connors (160), and Lendl (157) can boast longer individual reigns as ATP world number one.
Novak Djokovic has played 52 finals as a world number one, winning 39 nine of them.
In real terms, that means that if he reaches a final as world number one, he wins them 75% of the time.
Djokovic has a career win percentage of 79.6% against top ten opposition whilst he is world number one. That equates to a record of 117 wins from 147 matches.
For the record, his career win percentage overall as world number one is 88% (387-53).
Among Djokovic’s 310 weeks at the top, he has been the year-end world number one six times.
That is a record he shares with Pete Sampras, and you wouldn’t bet against him taking it for himself this year.
One final point is to remember that although Djokovic is claiming the award now, he’d actually already have it if it was not for the ATP rankings being frozen for 22 weeks in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?