Sport Tennis Novak Djokovic celebrates record run at the top

Novak Djokovic celebrates record run at the top

Novak Djokovic celebrates with fans in Belgrade. Photo: Getty
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Hundreds of Novak Djokovic supporters have staged street celebrations in Belgrade after the Serb became the sole record-holder for most weeks as the men’s tennis world No.1.

Djokovic topped the ATP rankings for a combined 311 weeks on Monday, surpassing Roger Federer’s tally of 310.

Djokovic and his family joined fireworks in front of their restaurant in the new part of Belgrade to mark the occasion.

“Today is a special day for myself, my family as well as Serbia,” he told fans.

“Thank you for the success which is not only mine but of the whole nation.”

Main buildings downtown in the Serbian capital were lit with his portrait, including a light show displaying the best moments of his career.

Jubilant fans chanted “Nolo, Nolo” and waved Serbian flags, many failing to keep social distancing despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP rankings date to 1973, and Djokovic first topped them in July 2011. He’s in his fifth stint at the top.

His Australian Open victory last month earned him an 18th grand slam trophy, two less than his greatest rivals Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Nadal remains at No.2 but he is set to be leapfrogged by Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev in the next rankings release on March 15.

Medvedev will be the first player other than Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray to be ranked in the top two since July 2005, when Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt held the spot.