The WTA legend Steffi Graf spent her 377th and last week as world no. 1 in March 1997. The record stood for almost 26 years, with no player from the ATP or WTA Tour managing to match it. Well, until Monday! Novak Djokovic started his 377th week as world no.
1, following the great German and preparing to pass her in seven days and hold the ultimate ranking record by himself!
The Serb established his seventh reign on the ATP throne following his 22nd Major title at the Australian Open.
Novak battled against Stefanos Tsitsipas for the no. 1 spot in the final and scored a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 victory in two hours and 56 minutes. Things did not look good for Djokovic after the last year’s Roland Garros, losing the title to Rafael Nadal and missing 2000 ATP points at Wimbledon due to politics.
To make things even worse, Novak skipped Montreal, Cincinnati and the US Open due to his vaccination status and allowed his rivals to build the gap. Djokovic entered Tel Aviv at the end of September, playing his first ATP tournament in over two months.
Novak Djokovic matches Steffi Graf on 377 weeks as world no. 1.
The Serb won the title and added another a week later at the ATP 500 event in Astana. Hungry for more, Novak set his eyes on his seventh Paris Masters crown. Djokovic reached the final and fell to the young gun Holger Rune after a massive battle in the decider.
Novak secured 1350 points at three events and waited for more in Turin. The Serb conquered the ATP Finals for the first time in years, delivering all five wins and collecting 1500 ATP points. Thus, he finished the season on a high note and earned a chance to become world no.
1 at the start of 2023. Djokovic kicked off the new season with the Adelaide title, adding 250 points to his tally and winning his fourth title from the previous five tournaments. Novak injured his left leg during the campaign and did not look good in the early Australian Open stages.
Djokovic battled past Enzo Couacaud and Grigor Dimitrov to reach the fourth round, doing everything to take the pain away. The Serb felt better for the rest of the tournament, which was a bad sign for his opponents. Novak stormed over Alex de Minaur, Andrey Rublev and Tommy Paul to reach the title clash, his tenth in Melbourne.
Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 for his tenth Australian Open and the 22nd Major crown, remaining perfect from the semi-final round at Melbourne Park. With those 2000 ATP points, Novak passed Carlos Alcaraz and started his seventh reign on the ATP throne at 35 years.
If he maintains this form, Djokovic will have a chance to achieve 400 weeks as world no. 1, playing in Dubai next and hoping to enter Indian Wells and Miami.