Novak Djokovic Dominates: Building a Two-Year Lead Over Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic is spending his 415th week as world no. 1

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic Dominates: Building a Two-Year Lead Over Roger Federer
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic is enjoying his 415 week as world no. 1, extending the gap over his closest rival, Roger Federer. The Swiss collected 310 world no. 1 weeks by 2018, and the Serb now stands two years above his great opponent, with 105 weeks separating the legends!

Standing tall in the realm of ranking records, it's another incredible milestone for Djokovic, who will become the oldest no. 1 player in April. Novak has conquered every notable ranking record, although it has not been his priority.

The Serb battled for the ATP throne with Carlos Alcaraz last year, breaking the young gun's resistance at the US Open and wrapping up the year at the top for the eighth time.

Novak Djokovic© Mark Kolbe / Staff Getty Images Sport

Novak has been synonymous with consistency since 2011, seizing records from his greatest rivals and solidifying his GOAT status.

Djokovic stood 87 world no. 1 weeks behind Roger Federer in June 2018, struggling with an injury and not thinking about chasing the top positions. However, Novak changed that a couple of weeks later at Wimbledon, returning to his best tennis and finishing the season at the top.

Djokovic stayed there for a year before Nadal passed him for a couple of months. Since February 2020, Djokovic has been a persistent force atop the ATP ranking list, forfeiting the throne only momentarily to Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz while constantly rebounding resiliently.

The Serb stepped down from the top position in June 2022 and did not return for 36 weeks. Novak combated with Carlos in 2023, going back and forth with the young gun before breaking his resistance after the US Open, standing strong at 36.

Djokovic cemented his year-end no. 1 honor with titles in Paris and Turin, lifting two notable trophies and notching his record-extending eighth year-end no. 1 honor.

Novak Djokovic© X - Laureus

Novak Djokovic is 105 No.

1 weeks clear of Roger Federer.

Novak enjoyed a great run in 2023, keeping much younger rivals behind for another year. Djokovic claimed three Major titles from four finals, writing history books and becoming the most successful player ever.

The Serb claimed his tenth Australian Open trophy at the beginning of the season and backed that success in Paris, lifting his third Roland Garros trophy and standing as the only player with three crowns at all four Majors!

The Serb was the favorite to win his eighth Wimbledon trophy, playing in the final against Alcaraz. The Spaniard prevailed in five sets, delivering Djokovic's only loss at Majors in 2023. Novak bounced back in New York, winning his 24th Major title at the US Open over Daniil Medvedev and building the advantage over Carlos in the year-end no.

1 battle. Djokovic cemented his status with indoor titles in Paris and Turin, standing at seven ATP titles in one of his finest seasons. The Serb built a solid advantage over Alcaraz, Medvedev and Sinner ahead of 2024, seeking the 11th Australian Open trophy.

However, the veteran suffered a heavy 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 loss to Sinner in the semi-final, ending his winning streak in Melbourne at 33. Novak headed to Melbourne following the United Cup loss to Alex de Minaur, not feeling 100% and struggling against Dino Prizmic and Alexei Popyrin.

Djokovic beat them in four sets before raising his level against Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Adrian Mannarino, gathering a boost ahead of the quarter-final.

Novak Djokovic, ATP Finals 2023© Valerio Pennicino / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak faced Taylor Fritz in a battle for the semi-final and proclaimed a hard-fought 7-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 triumph in three hours and 45 minutes after a massive battle.

Two rivals played under the sun for almost two and a half hours in the opening two sets, which is never a likable scenario for Novak. They split them after Djokovic squandered all 15 break chances! The Serb raised his level from the third set, breaking the American four times and moving into the last four.

Novak could not repeat that against Jannik, struggling on serve and return and ending his campaign in the semi-final. The Serb failed to create a break point for the first time in completed matches at Majors. Also, he sprayed over 50 unforced errors and lost serve five times from 11 chances offered to the Italian.

Novak was off to a terrible start, getting broken four times in sets one and two and trailing 6-1, 6-2 after 73 minutes. Djokovic saved a break point early in the third set and stayed in touch until the tie break. Novak denied a match point at 5-6 with a forced error and stole the breaker 8-6, extending his chances.

Still, Jannik made a fresh start in the fourth set, breaking Novak from 40-0 down in the fourth game and moving closer to the finish line. Sinner served for the victory in game nine and fired a forehand winner on a match point to celebrate his career-best win and book a place in the final.

Novak took a break after Australia, skipping all the action in February and returning in Indian Wells, seeking his sixth title in the desert.

Novak Djokovic Roger Federer