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Novak Djokovic Becomes the Oldest World No. 1 in ATP Rankings History

Novak Djokovic, the 24-time Grand Slam champion, continues to break records on the ATP Tour. As of this week, he begins his 419th week as the World No. 1, extending his huge record. On Sunday, April 9, 2024, Djokovic will surpass Roger Federer’s record and become the oldest World No. 1 in ATP Rankings history at the age of 36 years and 321 days.

Djokovic, considered one of the greatest players of all time, has proven his near-unrivalled longevity at the pinnacle of his sport even as he enters his fourth decade. Since turning 30 in 2017, the Serbian has won an impressive 31 tour-level titles, including 12 Grand Slams, 10 ATP Masters 1000 victories, and two ATP Finals triumphs.

Dedication to Preparation and Recovery

The Serbian’s famous hard work and professionalism in all aspects of his preparation, training, and recovery have kept him among the finest athletes in the game well into his mid-30s. To supplement his evident on-court skill, he has long practiced yoga and meditation to improve his physical and mental health, and he also maintains a healthy diet.

Motivation from Younger Competitors

Djokovic has frequently discussed how the introduction of younger competition has pushed him to greater heights, and how his ongoing excellence has allowed him to compete with new generations of ATP Tour stars.

Comparison with Federer and Nadal

Djokovic initially achieved World No. 1 on July 4, 2011, at the age of 24. In contrast, both of his major ‘Big 3’ competitors, Federer and Rafael Nadal, reached No. 1 for the first time at the age of 22. Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic’s most recent competitor for the top place, became the youngest No. 1 in ATP Rankings history in September 2022, at the age of 19.

Dominant Reign at the Top

In the roughly 13 years since he initially became World No. 1, Djokovic has spent a significant portion of his time atop the tennis mountain. Monday marked the start of his record-extending 419th week as World No. 1, putting him 109 weeks ahead of second-placed Federer (310 weeks).

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