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Djokovic sets all-time record for weeks at world No.1
2021-03-09
 


Novak Djokovic set a new landmark of 311 weeks as world No.1 on Monday, one week !longer than Roger Federer whose tally of a record 20 Grand Slam titles the Serb is now "devoted" to breaking.Djokovic, 33, won his 18th major at the Australian Open in February.With Federer turning 40 in August, the Serb has time on his side. He is a year younger than Rafael Nadal who also has 20 majors.The two main goals in tennis are probably the number of Grand Slams won and the number of weeks spent at No.1," Djokovic told Serbian broadcaster RTS. "I am honored to have achieved one of them, now I will devote myself to the second."


Djokovic reclaimed the top ranking from Nadal in February 2020 and finished as year-end No.1 for the sixth time, tying the record set by Pete Sampras.Federer, who returns to action in Doha this week after more than a year out of action to recover from two knee operations, slipped out of the top five on Monday to sixth. His place was taken by Stefanos Tsitsipas. Djokovic made his top-100 debut in July 2005, just weeks after Nadal had won his first Roland Garros.

He was top 50 in June 2006, top 20 for the first time in October 2006 and top 10 by March 2007.He first became world No.1 at the age of 24 on July 4, 2011, the day after winning Wimbledon for the first time, beating Nadal in the final.Only a six-month injury absence in 2017 saw his ranking plunge, all the way to 22 the following summer.It was just a blip - Djokovic was back at No.1 again by November and with the exception of November 2019 until January last year, when Nadal reclaimed pole position, he has been rock solid.Few would bet against Djokovic, who in 2016 was the first man to break the $100 million prize money barrier, ending his career with more Slams than Federer and Nadal. 


Djokovic's record was top news in his native Serbia on Monday, with headlines like "No one was ever like Nole" in daily newspaper Vecernje novosti.Videos of the most important moments of his career were projected onto Belgrade's town hall, with fans invited to gather and honor Djokovic despite coronavirus measures.Messages addressed to the tennis star were also displayed on billboards in the Serbian capital, reading "Bravo Nole," "311," and "the best player of all time."


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