Novak Djokovic’s ninth Australian Open title has helped bring the Serbian superstar level with Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks ranked world No.1.
The 33-year-old had made chasing the mark, which he is guaranteed to break next week, one of his major career goals.
He has been helped in his mission by temporary changes to the ranking system because of the coronavirus pandemic that mean players can currently count tournaments from two years instead of one.
But there is no doubt Djokovic remains the world’s best men’s player, as evidenced by his ninth victory at Melbourne Park in February, when he destroyed Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the final.
He has begun 2021 by winning nine consecutive matches while in 2020 he did not lose a completed match until the French Open final in October.
Novak Djokovic ties officially today Roger Federer's record of number of weeks as World No.1! pic.twitter.com/3KN3onokLB
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) March 1, 2021
Djokovic’s fifth spell at the top of the rankings began on February 3, 2020, while he has been world No.1 for all but 32 weeks since Federer set the 310-week mark in June 2018.
His longest stint on top of the pile was 122 weeks between July 2014 and November 2016.
Djokovic sits on 12,030 points, more than 2000 clear of Rafael Nadal, with Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem the only other players with more than 7000 points.
Novak Djokovic today draws level with Roger Federer – World No.1 for 310 weeks.
Next week, he will hold the men’s singles record on his own.
Three women have held it longer.
1. Steffi Graff – 377 weeks
2. Martina Navratilova – 332 weeks
3. Serena Williams – 319 weeks
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) March 1, 2021
Breaking the record is set to mean Djokovic plays only sparingly while restrictions prevent his young family from travelling alongside him, with the Serbian heavily prioritising the grand slams as he chases down his other major goal.
Djokovic’s trophy in Melbourne took him to 18 slam titles, two behind the joint holders of the men’s record, Federer and Nadal.
“After achieving the historic No.1 for the longest weeks at No.1, it’s going to be a relief for me because I’m going to focus all my attention on slams mostly,” Djokovic said.