Competing in only his third pro tournament in a career, the 16-year-old Novak Djokovic had won the first title at Serbia & Montenegro F3 Futures in his hometown of Belgrade, entering the ATP ranking list in July 2003 and finishing the season in the Top 700 as one of the youngest players in that group together with Andy Murray and Mischa Zverev.
Novak made an even bigger jump through the rankings in 2004, winning two Challenger and two Futures titles combined with his first ATP win for the place in the Top 200, cracking the elite Top 100 group after reaching the third round at Wimbledon 2005 and staying there ever since! Between April 2007 and November 2017, Djokovic had been ranked inside the Top 10 before he had to drop out due to an injury, missing the second part of 2017 and struggling to find his form in the first five months of 2018 as well.
Novak was back at his best after winning Wimbledon, returning inside the Top 10 and claiming the ATP throne after Paris, ready to finish the season as the year-end number 1 player for the fifth time. Novak was ranked 22nd in May and June, his worst ranking since October 2006, but his position in the Top 100 was never in doubt, finding his form again after Rome and overpowering all the rivals to complete a stellar season and become world number 1 for the first time since the end of 2016.
On November 26, Novak Djokovic has started his 700th consecutive week in the Top 100, celebrating another huge ranking milestone after spending more than 13 years in the elite group of men's tennis. Thus, Novak has become only the seventh active player with 700 weeks in the Top 100 without leaving, joining Roger Federer who is on 999 and who will count to 1000 in seven days time. Another veteran born in 1981, Feliciano Lopez, has managed to complete another season in the Top 100 to stand on 856 weeks, followed by Rafael Nadal who is the third player who has passed the 800-week milestone, spending his 815th consecutive week in the elite.
Struggling with injuries, Tomas Berdych has won just 11 matches in 2018 but he is still ranked in the Top 100, counting to 774 weeks, five more than Fernando Verdasco. Richard Gasquet is on 711 and he is the last player who stands ahead of Novak Djokovic on this special list.
With his game reaching the old level, the 31-year-old Serb is motivated to continue where he left in the second part of 2018 and dominate in the season in front of us, seeking more ranking records and closing the gap to Roger Federer in the battle for the most weeks on the ATP throne (Roger is currently 83 weeks in front of Novak).
The list of active players with the most consecutive weeks in the Top 100:
999 - Roger Federer
856 - Feliciano Lopez
815 - Rafael Nadal
774 - Tomas Berdych
769 - Fernando Verdasco
711 - Richard Gasquet
700 - Novak Djokovic