Record-breaking Djokovic, eighth time number one like Steffi Graf

The Serbian champion has been at the top of the ATP rankings for 400 total weeks

Sunday’s victory at the ATP Finals in Novak Djokovic he consecrated it year-end world number one for the eighth time, a record, and took him to 400 total weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. Djokovic already had the most times as number one in the year-end rankings of any men’s player, but with his eighth year equals the record set by Steffi Graf on the WTA Tour.

The Serb finished top of the rankings in both 2011 and 2012, followed by another pair of seasons in 2014 and 2015. Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal ended his dominance in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but Djokovic is back at the top in 2018, 2020, 2021 and now this year. Pete Sampras is his closest challenger on the ATP Tour with six year-end number one rankings, all in consecutive years from 1993 to 1998, with five each for Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Nadal. Djokovic surpassed Martina Navratilova, who was seven ahead of Graf by one on the WTA Tour, where Serena Williams and Chris Evert are ranked fifth.

Djokovic However, she is the first player, male or female, to spend 400 weeks at the top of her tour’s rankings. Graf was closest with 377 weeks, followed by Navratilova and Williams with Federer the second men’s player in this special ranking with 310 weeks – the last player, male or female, above 300. But perhaps most notable of Djokovic’s dominance is how the 36-year-old has remained at the top for so long. He has 177 weeks at number one by age 30, more than any other male player and behind only Williams’ 196 in total. Nadal is next on the list with just 68 weeks.

Djokovic he is the oldest world number one, male or female, other than Federer. The Swiss star’s last day at the top was June 24, 2018, when he was 36 years and 320 days old: if Djokovic tops the rankings from April 6 next year, he will claim that record too.

In the ATP rankings, number one has changed hands seven times this year as Carlos Alcaraz emerged as a serious rival to Djokovic. The 20-year-old Spaniard beat Djokovic in the Wimbledon final to deny him a Grand Slam in a calendar year and has enjoyed four separate spells at number one. As 2022’s year-end number one, Alcaraz held that spot until January 29. He enjoyed two more weeks in March and April, three from May 22 to June 11 before handing over top spot to Djokovic for two weeks, then another 11 weeks from June 26 to September 10 before Djokovic took over for the remainder of the year.

It was the most changes since 1999, when Sampras had four bouts and Andre Agassi two, with one each for Carlos Moya, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Pat Rafter making eight changes. The ATP record is 10 changes in 1983, with John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl fighting for first place. The WTA Tour has never had more than seven leadership changes in a single year, reaching that mark in 1995, 2002 and 2017.