The 20-time Major winner Novak Djokovic has stolen almost every notable ranking record, spending over 350 weeks on the ATP throne and securing seven year-end no. 1 honors. Novak is one of five players with over 750 weeks in the top-20 since 1973, cracking the mentioned group at the end of 2006 and staying there ever since except those six weeks in 2018! Novak had been the dominant figure on the Tou between 2011-2016, winning 48 ATP titles (only eight below Masters 1000 level) and spending 223 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. Nevertheless, his career started to collapse after winning that elusive Roland Garros title in 2016. Djokovic decided to take a break after Wimbledon 2017 to heal an injured elbow and find the new motivation to compete against the world’s leading players again.
Novak Djokovic spent six weeks outside the top-20 in 2018.
Novak’s return had been nothing but easy in the opening five months of 2018, scoring six wins in 12 encounters ahead of the Rome Masters and losing ground in the rankings. The Serb started to regain his form at Foro Italico, defeating three rivals from outside the top-40 and Kei Nishikori to advance into the semis. Rafael Nadal stood on the other side of the court in a battle for a place in the final and scored a 7-6, 6-3 victory. Thus, Novak lost more points after playing in the title clash in the Italian capital a year earlier and dropped out from the top-20 for the first time in 11 years and seven months!
Djokovic would spend six weeks outside the top-20 in the next month and a half, but his confidence and motivation were restored. The Serb suffered a terrible Roland Garros quarter-final defeat against Marco Cecchinato, feeling disappointed but making a fresh start during the grass swing. Djokovic lost a tight Queen’s final against Marin Cilic after wasting a match point and went to Wimbledon with high hopes. Starting the All England Club campaign from outside the top-20, Novak scored seven victories to earn the 13th Major crown and return where he belongs. That was a game-changing event for the Serb, who has played at his best ever since to conquer the essential ranking records and set the bar high for all the rivals in the upcoming decades.