Novak Djokovic continues to drift away on top of one of the great ATP records. For all his disappointing performance at the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Serbian comfortably stayed at the top of the men's tennis rankings. "Nole", 33 years old, woke up for week 317 as the number one in the world, separating himself even more from his pursuers in said classification.
"Nole" is already the tennis player who accumulates the longest time in the position of honor and there is no time when they can move him. His triumph at the Australian Open gives him a margin for him to reach the mini turf tour still as number one in the world.
At the moment he already takes six weeks away from his main pursuer, which is the Swiss Roger Federer with 310. Although the "express" is still active and is currently sixth in the ranking, the possibility that he will return to the top at 39 years of age is very remote.
The third and last place on the podium is occupied by American Pete Sampras with 286 weeks. Further back on the list, come the Americans Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors, with 270 and 268, respectively. On his part, the Spanish Rafael Nadal is in the sixth historic box with 209 weeks being the leader of the ATP circuit.
These are the only six tennis players in history who have exceeded the 200-week barrier as world number one, with Djokovic holding the record with a figure that will continue to increase in the coming months. Novak Djokovic picked up a comfortable win over Kwon Soon-woo in the second round of the Serbia Open on Wednesday.
The Serb will now take on compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarterfinals of the ATP 250 event.
Novak Djokovic on Rafael Nadal
"We have probably convinced many that we can play perfectly every week for the rest of our lives, but that is not possible," Novak Djokovic said.
"There is nothing strange about that, it just happens to be a weak week, the opponent is good and that's it. Rafael Nadal and I, like Roger Federer, have been dominant for the last 15 years." The 33-year-old went on to assert that both he and Nadal have had to adapt to playing against a newer generation of players, which is not easy.
"You have a new generation of players, we have to adapt, to see how to progress, how to adapt our game to those who are challenging us now," Djokovic added. The Serb also asserted that both of them tend to bring out their best tennis when it matters the most.
"Our goal is to keep the level of the game high, but this is a sport and we both have a tendency and intention to play the best in the biggest tournaments," Novak Djokovic said. "He in Barcelona, I here in Belgrade, we have a strong myth, but it is also extra pressure. The feeling is different, we are not the only ones who play well, you have thousands of them who play well now."