Does Novak Djokovic’s latest record confirm he is the tennis GOAT?
Novak Djokovic has been ticking tennis records for the last few years and now he has another massive milestone on his tally.
After reclaiming world No. 1 with his dominant win at the Australian Open last month, Djokovic has now equaled Steffi Graf’s record for most weeks at the top of the world tennis rankings.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has held the record for most weeks as the men’s world no .
The legendary Graf rose to the top of the women’s rankings for the first time in 1987 and ended her career as the best player in the world for an impressive 377 weeks.
Now Djokovic has joined that number after cementing his place at the top of the ATP rankings for another week.
The ongoing debate over who is the greatest player of all time can only be finally answered when Djokovic and his great rival Rafael Nadal hang up their racquets for the last time.
Yet this latest record for Djokovic is another big moment in his history as he is sure to surpass Graf at the top of the game’s world No.1 rankings in the coming weeks.
Djokovic’s longest uninterrupted run at the top was 122 weeks between July 2014 and November 2016. He ranks behind Roger Federer (237 weeks), Jimmy Connors (160) and Ivan Lendl (157).
While he is currently the best player in the world, Djokovic could lose the prestigious world No. 1 next month as he is expected to miss the ATP 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami as he is not allowed to enter America like he has been so far not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Unfortunately, it’s not in our hands,” Djokovic’s anger Djordje told Serbian news agency Tanjug earlier this month.
“Novak needs a special permit to enter the country considering the US still doesn’t allow unvaccinated foreigners into the country, which is incredible considering we’ve seen major sporting manifestations involving unvaccinated athletes around the world.
“There are still a few days until the decision, we hope for a positive outcome.”
Djokovic is expected to hold a press conference in the coming days where he is expected to discuss his likely absence from Indian Wells and Miami, with former player Tommy Hass (who is also tournament director at the Indian Wells event) suggesting his absence is a shame .
“It would be nice to see if maybe we could lift those[restrictions]a little sooner and let him come over to play Indian Wells and Miami,” Haas said.
“I think he wants to play, so we should give him a chance. Hopefully we can have him with us. I mean, I think it would be a shame if he didn’t or wasn’t allowed to come to these events.”
Djokovic’s career has been riddled with controversy, but the mark he will leave on the record books may well see him go down in history as the greatest player to ever hold a racquet.