World no. 1 Novak Djokovic celebrates the 271st week on the ATP throne, moving ahead of Ivan Lendl and setting eyes on Pete Sampras and Roger Federer who are still in front of him. Novak has made a winning start in Tokyo, returning after that injury he suffered at the US Open and seeking 500 points that would serve him nicely in the battle with Rafael Nadal for the year-end no.
1 spot. Besides that, the Serb has achieved another significant ranking milestone, becoming only the fourth player since 1973 with at least 550 weeks in the top-3 after Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors and Rafael Nadal. Roger is miles in front with 729 weeks in the top-3 and Nadal is close to Connors, looking to pass the American in two and a half months.
Djokovic is 31 weeks behind the great rival from Spain, joining him and Federer in the elite group in July 2007, just after turning 20. In the years to come, Novak had become one of the most consistent players on the Tour, capable of playing on a high level throughout the season and following the pace of his closest rivals before leaving them behind in 2011.
For five months in 2009, Novak had to linger just outside the top-3, returning there in October and staying among three leading positions until June 2017, struggling with an elbow injury and missing the rest of the season after Wimbledon to drop out from the top-20.
As we all know, Djokovic made a perfect 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 into the top-3 after winning the US Open last year and has stayed there ever since to add more fuel to his ranking achievements and celebrating the 550th week in the top-3 as only the fourth player, with small chances of adding some new name to that list in the next decade or so.