A proud owner of 319 weeks as world no. 1, Serena Williams stands third on the WTA list that started in 1975, only behind Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova. Serena conquered the WTA throne in 2002 and stayed competitive for 15 years, spending her final weeks as world no. 1 in 2017 following the 23rd and so far the last Major crown. Roger Federer came close to Serena’s tally, achieving 310 weeks as world no. 1 and standing as the leader of the ATP Tour until this March when he lost the record to Novak Djokovic. On March 8, Novak became the record-holder with 311 weeks as world no. 1, achieving one of his biggest dreams and setting eyes on his “opponents” from the WTA circuit. This week is Novak’s 320th on the ATP throne, leaving Serena on 319 and hoping to catch Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf as his only targets remained.
The Serb has been the dominant figure in men’s tennis in the previous ten years, securing many records and establishing his position in the GOAT race against his rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Despite the pandemic that halted the ranking list between March and August last year, Novak has been waiting patiently to reach those magical 311 weeks and take the record away from Federer, saying it was one of the most essential records he wanted to achieve. Novak started the fifth world no. 1 reign following the last year’s Australian Open, keeping Rafael Nadal and all other opponents behind him.
Novak Djokovic secured the 320th week as world no. 1, leaving Serena Williams on 319.
Djokovic entered the top-3 in 2007 and had to wait until 2011 to conquer the ATP throne after the first Wimbledon crown, establishing himself as the most consistent competitor in the following decade. Between July 2011 and November 2016, Djokovic spent 223 weeks as the world’s leading player, adding more weeks to his tally and moving closer to Federer’s record.
The Serb struggled with an elbow injury in 2017 and the first half of 2018, briefly dropping out from the top-20 before making a marvelous comeback where he belongs. Two years after his previous stint, Novak was the world’s best player for the fourth time at the end of 2018, staying above all the rivals for a year before Rafael Nadal stole the throne in the closing stages of 2019 for a couple of weeks. Novak made a fresh start at the beginning of 2020 after conquering the ATP Cup and the Australian Open, embracing his fifth reign on the ATP throne and counting to enough weeks to leave Federer behind him and secure a massive honor. Djokovic claimed one Major and two Masters 1000 titles in 2020 to forge an enormous gap ahead of Rafael Nadal, cementing it with his ninth Australian Open crown this February and setting eyes on Major trophies for the rest of his career.