Novak Djokovic reached an all-time record this morning that will remain for a long time in tennis history. The Serbian star surpassed the legendary Steffi Graf, an icon of the 1980s and much of the 1990s, to become the player with the most weeks (378) at the top of the ATP ranking in the history of this sport.
An extraordinary goal for the 22-time Grand Slam champion, which he has pursued for a long time and has finally achieved, even after going through difficult times, especially in 2022, a year that tested his formidable temperament, due to the notorious events related to their position on vaccines.
Djokovic would have celebrated this morning, even if Carlos Alcaraz last night in Rio de Janeiro had beaten Cameron Norrie in the replay final in Buenos Aires. The Spaniard, in case of success, would have equaled the world number one for the lead (6980), but Novak would still have finished ahead thanks to the best results in the four Grand Slams, the ATP Finals and the mandatory events.
Before the microphones of TennisMajors.com Djokovic did not hide all his emotion for this immense achievement, recalling some of the milestones that have allowed him to be where he is: “I couldn’t have imagined it at the time, to be honest,” Djokovic said in Dubai on Sunday, talking about his hopes as a child.
“As a child he dreamed of being a Wimbledon champion, of being number 1 in the world. I realized these dreams (in) 2011. After that, of course, I wanted more. And I still want more achievements. Of course the objectives move me. I dedicate myself to sports like everyone else.
Of course I know they don’t give it to me, that I have to earn it. Of course, it’s surreal in a way to be No. 1 in the world for so many weeks, to match Steffi Graf, who is one of the all-time greats of our sport, both male and female.”
Djokovic’s priority are the Grand Slams
Novak Djokovic acknowledged how “surreal” it felt to overtake Steffi Graf in this respect.
“Of course, it’s surreal in a way to be that many weeks world No. 1, to match Steffi Graf, that is one of the all-time greats of our sport, both men and women. Just being amongst these legendary names is flattering. Of course, I’m very proud of it,” he said.
“I have other priorities, top priorities, which is first of all trying to be healthy and preparing myself in every sense of that word for the tournaments that I’m going to be participating in, particularly building form and trying to peak at the Grand Slams,” Djokovic said.
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