Novak Djokovic surpasses Steffi Graf with record 378th week as world No. 1



Novak Djokovic has reached another milestone in his illustrious tennis career, surpassing Steffi Graf to spend the most weeks at world No. 1.

On Monday, Djokovic began his 378th week as No. 1 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the most weeks there since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

A week ago, Djokovic tied Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) leader Graf, who spent 377 weeks in first place in her career.

“With your love and great strength that you have given me over the years, I have achieved many fantastic achievements during my career,” said Djokovic. said in a video message to fans shared by the ATP.

“The most recent broke the record of 378 weeks in the No. 1 ranking, surpassing one of the greatest, most legendary tennis players – both men and women – to ever play, Steffi Graf. So I am flattered, obviously extremely, extremely proud and happy with this achievement.”

Djokovic jumped back to No. 1 when he won the Australian Open last month. It was his 22nd major title, joint with Rafael Nadal for the most Grand Slam titles in men’s tennis.

The 35-year-old returns to the court this week as the top seed of the Dubai Tennis Championships, his first tournament since the Australian Open.

The Serb is out with a hamstring injury but told reporters he has been “pain free” for a week heading into his first game against Czech Tomás Machác on Tuesday.

It remains to be seen when and where Djokovic will play after Dubai, as his participation in next month’s Indian Wells and Miami Open tournaments is in doubt.

The United States is still requiring international visitors to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and Djokovic, who has previously confirmed he remains unvaccinated, has now applied for special permission to enter the country ahead of both tournaments, which will be played on June 6 and 20. start in March. respectively.

“All I can do at the moment is hope because, you know, my position remains the same. There’s not much I can do but wish for a positive result,” Djokovic previously told reporters.

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