Novak Djokovic's Top-3 Legacy: A Place Among Tennis Greats at 36

​​​​​​​Novak Djokovic is the fifth-oldest top-3 player

by Jovica Ilic
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Novak Djokovic's Top-3 Legacy: A Place Among Tennis Greats at 36

Novak Djokovic turned 36 on Monday. A 22-time Major winner is still among the world's best players, seeking another notable crown in Paris in the next two weeks. Djokovic is still ranked in the top-3, 16 years after cracking the exclusive group for the first time.

Thus, Novak became the fifth-oldest top-3 player, joining other legends on the list. Two Australian legends, Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver, were the top-3 players for the last time in 1975. Rosewall did that at 40, remaining the oldest top-3 player since the start of the ATP ranking.

Roger Federer had his last top-3 week at the beginning of 2020, standing there at 38 and occupying second place on the list behind Rosewall. Rafael Nadal added his name to the list, with his final top-3 week coming at the beginning of this year at 36 years and seven months.

Novak Djokovic joined the party on his 36th birthday, standing as the fifth-oldest top-3 player and hoping to pass Nadal and Laver.

Novak Djokovic is the fifth-oldest top-3 player.

Novak became the third-strongest link on the men's Tour in 2007 after winning his first Masters 1000 titles and reaching a Major final.

Djokovic extended his top-3 journey throughout 2008 before stepping out for five months in 2009 following weaker results. The Serb returned to the top-3 in the season's closing stages and remained there until June 2017! Novak collected 399 consecutive top-3 weeks for the third-best streak after Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer.

The Serb struggled with an elbow injury and missed the second part of 2017. He made a notable comeback in the second part of 2018, claiming four big titles and finishing the season as the year-end no. 1 player ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Djokovic returned to the top-3 following the US Open triumph and embraced another notable streak that lasted until the last July, missing a well-deserved 2000 ATP points at Wimbledon and leaving the elite group. Novak missed two Majors and four Masters 1000 events due to his vaccination status in the season behind us.

However, he still finished in the top-5 after conquering five titles and scoring 35 victories from 38 encounters since Rome! Novak wrapped up the season with the ATP Finals crown and got himself in a good position to attack higher ranking positions in 2023.

The Serb conquered the Adelaide title at the beginning of the season after a thrilling final against Sebastian Korda. Djokovic injured his left leg and gathered dark clouds over his Australian Open chances. Novak struggled in the opening three matches before fixing the issue and storming over three rivals to advance into the final.

Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to secure his tenth Australian Open crown and add 2000 ATP points to his tally. Novak missed Indian Wells and Miami, and his clay swing has not been great. The Serb will try to fix that at Roland Garros, losing in the quarter-final a year ago and hoping to add points in the next two weeks.

Novak stands 61 top-3 weeks behind Roger Federer, needing 13 more months to pass the Swiss and take the record.

Novak Djokovic
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