On this day: Roger Federer moves ahead of Sampras on exclusive ranking list

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On this day: Roger Federer moves ahead of Sampras on exclusive ranking list

After winning the first Australian Open crown in 2004, Roger Federer became world no. 1 for the first time on February 2. Almost 15 and a half years later, only three other players have sat on the ATP throne besides Roger, dominating the world of men's tennis and setting the records that will take some beating by the potential best groups of players in the future.

Roger is the record-holder with 310 weeks as world no. 1, with six stints at the top of the ranking, including the last one a year ago at the age of 36! Between February 2004 and August 2008, Federer was the player to beat on the Tour, accumulating 237 consecutive weeks as world no.

1 and setting eyes on Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras who were still bove him at that moment. Rafael Nadal took charge in 2008 to overcome Roger in the standings after winning the Olympic gold medal in Beijing, staying at the top until Wimbledon next year.

Due to an injury, the Spaniard was unable to defend the crown at the All England Club and Roger was there to get the most from that, winning the sixth Wimbledon crown in the last seven years and becoming world no. 1 again on July 6, defending the throne until Roland Garros next year when Nadal got it back.

With another run of 48 weeks, Roger stood on 285 weeks as the best player in the world, just one shy of Pete Sampras' record of 286! Nadal was the player to beat for more than a year and it was Novak Djokovic who joined the party after Wimbledon 2011, kicking off his reign with 53 weeks as world no.

1 and keeping Roger away from the record. Unable to win a Grand Slam since the Australian Open 2010, Roger had to wait for the opportunity to get back at the top and it appeared after a strong run at the end of 2011 (22-1) and the beginning of 2012.

Federer was the semi-finalist in Melbourne and won Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells to close the gap to Novak Djokovic, becoming world no. 2 after lifting the title in Madrid and claiming the 17th Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon that propelled him to the top for the first time in more than two years.

On July 16, Roger Federer celebrated the 287th week as world no. 1, passing Pete Sampras and becoming the record-holder with most weeks at the top of the ATP ranking, the milestone that still stands ahead of Novak Djokovic who is the main rival in that quest.

Federer lost the year-end no. 1 spot in the closing stages of the season and it appeared to be his last run on this list, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray who were always better than him at some point in the next half a decade.

That all changed in February 2018 when Roger conquered the throne again at the age of 36, becoming the oldest world no. 1 in the ATP history and spending two more weeks there in May and June to bring his tally to 310, 41 weeks more than Novak Djokovic who is on an active streak and who has 259 weeks as world no. 1 at the moment, looking to pass Jimmy Connors in September.