Tag Archives: Djokovic

Novak on top: Djokovic hailed as he surpasses Roger Federer's record for most weeks spent as world number one

Novak on top: Djokovic hailed as he surpasses Roger Federer's record for most weeks spent as world number one

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has carved out a unique piece of tennis history after he finally beat Roger Federer’s record for the most weeks spent at the summit of the men’s rankings.

On Monday Djokovic marked a total of 311 weeks spent atop the ATP rankings, one more than the long-standing record held by Swiss great Federer. He has enjoyed five different spells as the world’s top-ranked men’s player, most recently seizing the honor from Rafael Nadal just under 13 months ago.
Also on rt.com Yet again, Novak Djokovic rises above the slings and arrows to prove his class on court
The 33-year-old made his first appearance as the world number one back in 2011 and boasts an incredible 18 Grand Slam wins in a career which stands out as one of the finest in the sport’s long history.

It really excites me to walk the path of legends and giants of this sport,” Djokovic said in a statement released by the ATP Tour.

To know that I have earned my place among them by following my childhood dream is a beautiful confirmation that when you do things out of love and passion, everything is possible.

Djokovic opted for a more measured reaction to the start of his reign as the holder of the rankings record, simply writing on Twitter Monday morning that it was a “big day today“.

The ATP Tour, meanwhile, noted Djokovic’s feat as being “nothing short of extraordinary“. 

Novak’s many achievements in tennis are nothing short of extraordinary,” ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi announced. “Among them this record may stand as his single most impressive. 

Reaching No. 1 is something many players dream of and very few ever accomplish, and to have held the top spot for longer than anyone is testament to the levels of sustained excellence that Novak has redefined in our sport.

Speaking after winning the recent Australian Open, Djokovic said that he was now concentrating on bettering the all-time Grand Slam record dually held by Federer and Nadal (20), though the Serb also has a pack of rising stars attempting to keep pace behind him.

Elsewhere, Russia’s Andrey Rublev, 23, has been in imperious form lately and added another tournament win to his impressive resume this past weekend in Rotterdam when he won the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The win for the world number eight means he has now won 20 straight matches at ATP500 events, while also claiming seven successive ATP Tour championship victories.

And while Rublev doesn’t yet have a Grand Slam win to his name, tennis insiders are forecasting that the dynamic Russian’s name could once be etched onto some of the major titles claimed by the irrepressible Djokovic. 

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Roger Federer wades into GOAT debate vs 'extraordinary' Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer wades into GOAT debate vs 'extraordinary' Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer believes he is the “measuring stick” for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as he reflected the ‘Greatest of All Time’ (GOAT) debate in men’s tennis. The trio have won a combined 58 Grand Slams since Federer won his first at Wimbledon back in 2003.
Since the Swiss icon last played on the ATP Tour in the 2020 Australian Open, long-time rival Nadal has matched him on 20 Slams while Djokovic has won another two majors.

Djokovic emerged later than the pair, a year younger than Nadal and six years Federer’s junior, but has racked up 18 Grand Slams since his first in Australia in 2008.

He won his ninth Australian Open last month to move within two of Federer and Nadal and will hope to further narrow the gap later this year at Wimbledon and the US Open, with the Spaniard the overwhelming favourite to win an astonishing 14th French Open.

Victory at Roland Garros in June would see the ‘King of Clay’ become the first male player of all time to reach 21 Slams but world No 1 Djokovic is going as strong as ever.

The Serbian on Monday surpassed 103-time tour-level champion Federer for the most weeks spent ranked No 1 in the world having now enjoyed 311 weeks atop the rankings.

And Federer said his ‘Big Three’ counterparts have enjoyed some “extraordinary” achievements in recent years, insisting he has perhaps acted as the one for his younger rivals to aspire to beat

“I think it’s a great debate to have,” Federer who returns to the court at the Qatar Open in Doha this week having enjoyed almost the entire 2020 season out after two knee surgeries.

“What Novak and Rafa have done lately is extraordinary, they’re not 25 years old either, but they seem at the peak.

“For them I am maybe the measuring stick, like Pete [Sampras] was for me.”

Having defeated Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final, Djokovic insists he, Nadal and Federer are not ready to give up their status as the best in the game just yet.

“I have tremendous respect for anybody that is in the tennis shoes and competing at this level,” the 33-year-old said.
Kyrgios beat Federer in their first meeting in Madrid in 2015 but has lost the six matches against him since.

And he said: “In my opinion, I believe Roger is the greatest of all time. With his skill set, the way he plays the game, I think it’s pure.

“I actually think talent-wise Nadal and Djokovic aren’t even close to Roger. Talent-wise, just purely based on talent the way Federer plays, his hands, his serving, his volleys, untouchable.

“Roger’s chopped me a couple of times.  Roger makes you feel like you’re really bad at tennis sometimes.  

“He walks around, he flicks his head, and I’m, like, ‘I don’t even know what I’m doing out here.’ Roger is the greatest, for me.”

Roger Federer sends Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal warning – 'The story is not over yet'

Roger Federer sends Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal warning - 'The story is not over yet'
Roger Federer is confident his story in tennis is “not over yet” in a pointed message to long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Federer returns to the court for the first time in 14 months at the Qatar Open in Doha, taking on the winner of Jeremy Chardy vs Dan Evans in the second round.
Federer has not played since the 2020 Australian Open semi-finals when he lost in straight sets to Djokovic on the Rod Laver Arena, having since undergone two knee surgeries.

During his time off the Swiss icon has watched Nadal join him on 20 Grand Slams while Djokovic’s third straight triumph in Melbourne moves him on to 18.

Both are expected to surpass Federer’s tally but the 39-year-old is plotting more major success, having not added to his haul since winning in Australia three years ago.

Federer came devastatingly close to a 21st Slam at Wimbledon, where he is a record eight-time winner, in 2019 but wasted two championship points against Djokovic to lose a five-hour thriller.

And it is SW19 where Federer wants to be back at his best this year as he slowly looks to improve his condition to be at 100 per cent for his favoured grass-court tournament.

“At this moment I feel like it’s about: Let’s see how matches go. Let’s how see training goes with all the top guys and professional players, not just sparring partners,” Federer said ahead of his return in Doha.

“I was playing a lot of two-on-ones the last few months and so forth. I know I need to go back to training after here again.

“From this standpoint, it’s still building up to being stronger, better, fitter, faster, all that stuff. So, I hope by Wimbledon I will be 100 per cent and from then on the season really starts for me.

“Everything until then, let’s see how it goes. I might surprise myself, which I have actually already done in practice the last three weeks.

“I was surprised how well it did go. Like we know matches are a different animal. Right now, I take it day-by-day, happy I am back on the Tour again, and see how things go.

“For me, everything starts hopefully with the grass, yeah.

“I just feel like the story’s not over yet. I don’t know how to explain. It’s not like for one particular reason why I wanted to keep on playing tennis other than I enjoy playing tennis, I enjoy being on the road.
“That will all be checked and tested this year with bubble life, quarantine all around. The whole mask situation. Travel is difficult. Rehabbing and all that stuff is not complete yet, you know?

“So I’m still a work in progress. Probably one of the reasons is that I would like to get the high again of playing against the best players, playing the biggest tournaments.

“Winning them, hopefully, and winning the best tournaments. Hopefully I will play long enough to see full crowds again.

“That will be a nice thing as well and we all hope for that. But for me it was just more like the knee was not good anymore, I’m not happy with it and it needs to be fixed.”

Asked about his second keyhole operation on his right knee, Federer explained: “It came about just like that.

“I would go for a walk with the kids and my knee would swell up, which surprised me because training had gone well for the first few weeks. This is a moment when you question yourself a little bit more.”

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Speaking after landing in Doha, 103-time tour-level champion Federer – who is six titles off matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record – spoke of his excitement about getting back on to the court.

“It’s been a year since my last travel to any event and I’m very excited,” the Qatar Open second seed, who could face Dominic Thiem or defending champion Andrey Rublev in the final, said.

“This is the moment where I could maybe thank all the people involved who made this possible. It’s been a long and hard road.

“I know I’m not at the finish line yet, but it’s good. I feel like I’m in a good place, I’ve been practising very well.

“Hope you guys also are going to tune in to watch it and I hope I see you again very soon. Take care everybody.”

Rafael Nadal injury: Daniil Medvedev has Rotterdam Open shot to end Novak Djokovic duopoly

Rafael Nadal injury: Daniil Medvedev has Rotterdam Open shot to end Novak Djokovic duopoly
Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the Rotterdam Open gifts Daniil Medvedev a chance to overtake him in the ATP rankings and break up the long-standing duopoly of Novak Djokovic and Nadal. The Spaniard is currently hampered by a back injury that affected him at this month’s Australian Open and will not play in next month’s tournament.
At the Australian Open, Nadal lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, the Greek then going down to Medvedev in the semis.

Djokovic however dispatched of the Russian in straights sets in the final to claim his ninth Melbourne title in far more routine fashion than was expected at the Rod Laver Arena.

The Serbian kept his full 2,000 points as a result of defending his title and is 2,180 clear of Nadal in the ATP rankings.

Now an 18-time Grand Slam winner, Djokovic ended 2020 as No 1, topping the standings at the end of a calendar year for the sixth time in his career, with Nadal coming second.

That was the third straight year in which the pair have made up the top two of the rankings, with Nadal now on 20 Slams alongside long-time rival Roger Federer.

The ‘King of Clay’ will be expected to surpass the Swiss at the French Open later this year where he is a 13-time winner having reigned supreme in all of the last four successive years.

But before then, the world No 2 could drop down to No 3 – if Medvedev gets to the final of the Rotterdam Open which takes place March 1-7.

Nadal confirmed on Thursday: “It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam. As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne.

“We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week of the tournament.

“Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week.

“I was really looking forward to coming back to Rotterdam and the Netherlands since it’s been a while I played there this was the perfect year for my calendar.
The 25-year-old, a nine-time titlist, won the ATP Finals last year and is looking to continue his ascent, and overtaking Nadal for another new career best ranking would certainly be a significant milestone.

Moving to No 2 would see Medvedev become the first player since Lleyton Hewitt 16 years ago to rank in the top two, outside of the quartet of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray.

Djokovic is unlikely to be caught at the top of the rankings any time soon though and he will overtake Federer for the most weeks as No 1 on March 8.

The field in Holland for the Rotterdam Open elsewhere includes world No 6 Tsitsipas, seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev the world No 8.

British three-time Grand Slam champion Murray is a wildcard entrant but in addition to Nadal, the likes of Milos Raonic, Dan Evans, Gael Monfils, Matteo Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov and Pablo Carreno Busta have also pulled out.

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