Novak Djokovic enters exclusive "600" group with Federer and Nadal


by   |  VIEW 13566
Novak Djokovic enters exclusive "600" group with Federer and Nadal

Novak Djokovic won the first professional title just a month after turning 16 in 2003, cementing his status as one of the upcoming players to watch and finding himself in the top-800 straight away. A year later, the young Serb cracked the top-350 and was marching towards the higher ranking positions, earning a place in the top-200 after conquering Aachen Challenger in November 2004.

Making a Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open 2005, Novak was ready to challenge the rivals from the top-50 that year, clinching wins at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open, playing just two tournaments after New York and still finishing in the top-100 for the first time in a career.

The sky was the limit for the Belgrade native who delivered 40 ATP wins in 2006, advancing into the quarter-final at Roland Garros and lifting the first ATP trophy in Amersfoort in July. In October, Djokovic was the last man standing in Metz as well, carving the way towards the top-20 and preparing an even stronger assault in 2007.

Losing the first Masters 1000 final at Indian Wells in March, Novak collected enough points to find himself in the top-10 for the first time and celebrating that success with the title in Miami, his most significant in a career at that point and still before turning 20.

The rest is pretty much history, with Djokovic securing the place among the best players of all time in the last 12 years, chasing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the most important record lists and staying inside the top-10 for more than ten years, or 555 weeks!

Equipped with incredible consistency and the ability to deliver the best tennis at the biggest tennis stages year after year, Novak had never left the elite group until November 2017, missing all the action after Wimbledon that year due to an elbow injury and needing some time to find his 'A game' again in 2018.

It happened in May and June, shaping up his form and winning Wimbledon to crack the top-10 once again, extending his streak with the weeks spent in the exclusive group and celebrating the 600th week this Monday. Thus, Novak has become only the sixth player since the start of the ATP rankings back in 1973 with at least 600 weeks in the top-10, joining the other legends like Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Ivan Lendl while leaving Pete Sampras and Boris Becker behind.

Novak would catch Ivan Lendl with another year in the top-10 and will have to work hard after that to gain more places on the list, with Rafael Nadal currently standing on 735 and adding more every week, never leaving the top-10 since April 2005!

Roger Federer is the leader of the pack with 865 weeks and Djokovic will have to stay competitive for five more years to stand a chance of catching the Swiss who is still one of the best players on the planet despite turning 38 soon.