Novak Djokovic Breaks Record for Most Weeks as Men's No. 1 Tennis Player
Novak Djokovic just got another leg up in the discussion around the greatest men's tennis player of all time.
On Monday, the 33-year-old Serbian claimed the record for the most weeks atop the ATP rankings, which lists the best players in men's tennis, internationally.
The record was previously held by Roger Federer, who sat at the No. 1 for 310 combined weeks.
"Big day today," Djokovic wrote on Twitter ahead of the news.
"It really excites me to walk the path of legends and giants of this sport," he added to the ATP of reaching 311 weeks atop the rankings. "To know that I earned my place among them by following my childhood dream is a beautiful confirmation that when you do things out of love and passion, everything is possible."
According to Tennis.com, Djokovic first made the top of the list back in July 2011 after he won the initial of his five Wimbledon titles. Leading up to the breakthrough a decade ago, he spoke about how much being named No. 1 would mean to him.
"If I ever get that No. 1 in the world, that would be a dream come true for me," he said at the time, according to the outlet. "That's always been my life dream."
Breaking the ATP record is not the only milestone Djokovic has accomplished this year.
In February, Djokovic won the 2021 Australian Open after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles finals at Rod Laver Arena. The victory was Djokovic's 18th Grand Slam title, which puts him just behind the all-time record of 20 Grand Slam wins jointly held by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
"Everyone has their own journey and their own way of making history, and they've made history already," Djokovic said after the match. "I'm trying to build that and develop that myself in a very unique authentic way that is suitable to me."
He added, "Whether I think about winning more slams and breaking records, of course I do. Most of my attention and energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed in majors and trying to win more major trophies."
Federer, who Djokovic beat out for the ATP record, has not seen action since early 2020, when he underwent two surgeries to his right knee.
Earlier this month, the 39-year-old officially withdrew from the Miami Open to "work his way back out on tour," as he has other appearances scheduled soon, according to the Associated Press.
He still plans to participate in Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha this month.
"After Doha and maybe Dubai, he will go back and do a training block to continue to slowly work his way back out on tour," his agent Tony Godsick said.
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