Novak Djokovic needs three more weeks to break the record of 377 weeks holding the world number one set by female legend Steffi Graf since 1996.
Graf first became number one in the world in August 1987. She then had six more times dominating the scoreboard, with the last being November 1996.
In 377 weeks holding the number one, the German tennis player has 186 consecutive weeks – a record the WTA holds with Serena Williams.
“No, no, look, first I have to say that, I am so honoured and privileged to be in this discussion, first,” Djokovic said.
“Second, I truly honour and admire the history and all the greats that paved the way for all of us to be here where we are. I feel like it’s difficult to have a conversation about this because every generation is different.” Djokovic added.
Djokovic is back on top of the ATP Rankings as he has started his seventh stint as world No 1 on the back of winning the 2023 Australian Open.
The 22-time Grand Slams champion is currently only 340 points ahead of Carlos Alcaraz but has the opportunity to earn more points if he attends the Dubai Championship at the end of the month.
He shocked Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals of this ATP 500 tournament last year.
Alcaraz faced the opportunity to take 250 points when for the first time in his career attended the Argentina Open on February 13. But, the Spaniard then had to defend 500 points at the Rio Open.
If all goes well, Alcaraz will also make his ATP 500 debut in Acapulco, which he missed last year due to injury. This tournament kicks off February 27, right before the two Masters 1000s in Indian Wells and Miami.
Not being allowed to enter the US made Djokovic rest almost all of March. This makes it difficult for the Serbian player to hold the number one position when the European clay season begins.
Following his latest Grand Slam triumph, Djokovic declined to declare himself the GOAT, or greatest of all time ahead of the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
_You know, 30, 40 years ago you played three out of four slams on the grass with wooden racquets. Technology has advanced so much. Things have changed. Hard to compare generations.” Djokovic said.
“But I feel like I gave my best really and I’m still doing that. So if the people see me as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, I’m very grateful.” Djokovic added.