Novak Djokovic Begins 171st Week At No. 1 On ATP Rankings
by Tom Gainey | November 2nd, 2015, 10:35 am

It’s a special week for Novak Djokovic as the Serb has reached another milestone. This week marks the 171st week that Djokovic has spent atop the ATP Rankings. That moves him past John McEnroe and into 5th all-time on the ranking list.

ATP All-Time Weeks At No. 1
302 Roger Federer
286 Pete Sampras
270 Ivan Lendl
268 Jimmy Connors
171 Novak Djokovic
170 John McEnroe

“You’ve got to have the self discipline and the dedication, devotion, but most of all passion for the sport, for what you do and keep on waking up every day knowing what your big victory is and what you are aiming for,” Djokovic told the ATP.

“Believing in yourself, in your abilities, is something that when you are younger most people are lacking. Obviously, you want everything to come right away and you want to experience success instantly, which is in most cases not possible. You have to work for it.”

To catch Jimmy Connors for fourth at 268 weeks, Djokovic would have to hang on to No. 1 for almost two more years! And he’ll have to stay on top of another 2.5 years (French Open 2018?) to overtake Roger Federer’s record of 302 weeks.

“One thing that I really respect about Novak is that he’s trying to add that little bit more to his game,” McEnroe said. “This year, he has been a bit more aggressive off his return and has been more willing to come forward. That extra five per cent is a huge difference in a big moment against a Federer or [Rafael] Nadal, or other great players.

“I have seen a lot of great things from him, but I didn’t see this high level and this consistency. It has been one of the most magnificent years I have seen since I’ve been watching tennis. It’s remarkable how consistent he has been; he is like a human backboard right now.”

This week Djokovic is the defending champion and top seed at the Paris Indoors. He’ll play Thomaz Bellucci in the second round.

“If I don’t do as well the last two tournaments of course it wouldn’t ruin my season, because I still think it’s the best season I’ve ever had,” Djokovic said. “But on the other hand, it’s true that it also puts some pressure on me. But I always want to go as far as possible. As the No. 1 in the world and defending champion there is an extra responsibility to do well. It’s not just about playing in this tournament, but putting it in perspective.

“People watch you play, pay for their tickets. Just showing up isn’t enough: you have to give it your all, the fans want to see you play your best tennis. The BNPPM is one of the biggest tournaments in the world. Playing here and then in the Masters in London is a great way to end the season. I can assure you that everyone will be giving it everything they’ve got left.”

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28 Comments for Novak Djokovic Begins 171st Week At No. 1 On ATP Rankings

jane Says:

nice words from j-mac. congrats to novak for that.

as for paris, bellucci, for whatever reason, is a somewhat troublesome opponent for novak; this year he took a set in roma and pushed to a 2nd set tiebreak in canada. we’ll see how he fares in this 3rd meeting.

elina Says:

Sampras’ numbers are most impressive all things considered.

Chrisford1 Says:

The 4 in front of Novak are all impressive in their own way, Elina. Sometimes the powers that be, including Jmac in the broadcast booth, do not give Connors and Lendl the credit they deserve. Both illustrate what tennis animals they were in highly competitive eras by number of championships and weeks at #1. Showing how Slam Count can be impacted by competition level. Mac himself was hindered by Borg, Connors and especially his nemesis Ivan Lendl.

(One thing with McEnroe that I hope is not missed in how people see how phenomenal he was, was the 269 weeks at #1 he had as doubles King – and the Davis Cup feats. 439 weeks as the #1 player in singles or doubles. A few years where the US sent MacEnroe and his doubles partner Fleming to DC – and that was enough)

MacEnroe, in his press release complimenting Djokovic also said Djokovic had a trait he envied. While Mac was happy to rest on his game and his life off court once he felt he was on top, Novak does not rest. Always trying to do something better, learn and use new things.

Federer and Sampras are also great worthies that Djokovic can see in front of him, and strive to emulate. To hope he can get close or even exceed those two – in accomplishments Novak is still significantly behind them in.

Brian Burr Says:

The comment about Sampras’ numbers being ‘most impressive’ Struck me odd, as the player with the most weeks as number one IS on top. But when you think about the field that Sampras Had to win against, sIncluding Agassi, Krajecek, Ivanisevic, Becker, Stich, Chang, Edberg, Muster, to mention just a few, in a period where one of a dozen guys could and did win any Slam, it well may be true: Sampras’ being #1 for that many weeks is indeed remarkable.

django Says:

Anything over 210 will be good IMO

elina Says:

Novak’s numbers should almost count as double given the golden era he’s played in for most of his career.

That’s why Pete’s are so impressive goven the likes of Courier, Agassi, Edberg and Becker along with the fact that he had more mandatory events than Connors and McEnroe.

Yes of course every one on that list had incredible longevity at number 1. That’s a given.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Congrats to Novak,quite the achievement,and i cant see him losing it anytime soon 171 weeks and counting….

FedExpress Says:

epic match

paire serving for the match

what a choke from monfils. he led 6-2 4-0. full of chokers this tour

Wog Boy Says:

John McEnroe:
“..he is like a human backboard right now.”

I like John Newcombe’s one about Nole:
“Djokovic is a brick wall that can move.”

elina Says:

You guys,monfils did the same two sets up against Roger at the US Open last year but he’s my favourite!!!

I can’t help it.

Wog Boy Says:

Rafa is playing doubles in Paris..did I hear somebody says Rafa might be tired after Basel?

J-Kath Says:

I love Monfils a lot – one of my favourites.

Gypsy Gal Says:

I also like him,and Jo….

RZ Says:

@Wog Boy – I saw that Rafa is partnering Leander Paes in doubles. That would be fun to watch.

Paes seems to have a new partner each week but I guess he’s a strong enough doubles player that he has no trouble picking up partners for the tournaments that he wants to play.

Michael Says:

Novak has eclipsed the indomitable McEnroe’s record and he is destined for more. I will not be surprised if he surpasses even Ivan Lendl in most number of weeks as No.1, but the real challenge for him lies in overtaking Sampras and probably even Roger (which would be a tall order, realistically speaking) !!

That said, Novak now has earned a reputation for himself that today he is put in the same wavelength as Rafal supremacy and that is a unique achievement in itself. The success of Novak lies in his remarkable consistency, amazing foot work, a wholly complicated game befuddling opponents and a riparte of shots in his arsenal particularly with double handed back hand down the line which are just rippers.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Michael i like your use of the word indomitable,but i dearly hope someone other than Novak wins Shanghai or the WTF,but at the moment i think it seems almost impossible,i dont hate Novak but unfortunatly its looking like he will probably go unbeaten till the end of the year,anyway what do you think about Andy and the DC,on the other thread?….

Gypsy Gal Says:

Sorry Paris not Shanghai DUH….

FedExpress Says:

hahahahaja. karlovic cant win tie breaks in deciding sets.

best server on tour was even serving for the match but got broken to love. choker. mug.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Im begining to think everybody on tour that loses a match is a choker,dear god its all we hear these days Fedexpress….

J-Kath Says:

Cheers to Nole and Stan – onwards and upwards.

Wog Boy Says:

It looks like they were both little bit rusty, Stan got lucky in second set, Tomic had two set points on Stan’s service and blew them and had 5:2 in the TB and blew that too, just finish watching it and about to watch Nole’s match, looking at the stats Nole served awfully in the first set, but because of some reason he always struggles with Belucci.

Wog Boy Says:

5:2 and serving for the set and lost both mini breaks.

FedExpress Says:

the surface in paris just sucks. slower than roland garros. why did they do it? its indoor ffs.

FedExpress Says:

and paire is more mad than gulbis/rosol/Safin combined. only mcenroe tops him

FedExpress Says:

most insane drop shot i have ever seen from paire

Emily Says:

Paire is producing some magic at net. Had to keep it together to get that 2nd set, see if he can keep it going in the 3rd

FedExpress Says:

he couldnt

SG1 Says:

I am quite frankly surprised that it has taken Novak this long to get the credit he deserves. He is one of the all time greats in the history of the sport. Double digit majors, almost 200 weeks at No.1. He’s beaten Federer and Nadal in their prime at slams (…well maybe not Fed in his prime but close to it). He’s the best returner I’ve ever seen and the rest of his game flies under the radar but is so damned good. He may in fact be the most complete player to ever play (…though I think Federer still has claim to this).

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