Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Novak Djokovic becomes ninth man to spend 100 weeks at No. 1

updated 12:59 PM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
Novak Djokovic remains the world No. 1 but he lost the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal, right, this month.
Novak Djokovic remains the world No. 1 but he lost the U.S. Open final to Rafael Nadal, right, this month.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Novak Djokovic becomes the ninth man to spend at least 100 weeks at No. 1
  • Djokovic achieved the top ranking in July 2011 and has been mostly No. 1 ever since
  • But Djokovic is now in danger of losing the No. 1 ranking to a surging Rafael Nadal
  • Djokovic and Nadal are competing at next week's China Open in Beijing

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic admitted that this year could have been better for him at the grand slams. He won the Australian Open but lost two finals and had clay-court king Rafael Nadal on the ropes at the French Open.

Djokovic, though, had reason to celebrate Monday as he became just the ninth man to spend at least 100 weeks at No. 1 on the tennis tour.

Djokovic achieved the top ranking in July 2011, taking over from Nadal, and has mostly held down the No. 1 position ever since.

When he caught Nadal two years ago, it marked the first time since 2004 that the Spaniard or Roger Federer wasn't at the summit.

"I was taught to dream big and to dream to be No. 1 in the world," Djokovic told the ATP website. "It takes years of hard work and dedication.

Secret to beating tennis' big four
Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion
Djokovic finishes season on top

"It is a long process to become a champion. Tennis is a very specific and unique sport, where you take all the credit or all the blame."

Djokovic's major breakthrough came in 2011, when he claimed three of the four majors and started the campaign with 41 consecutive victories.

Although he only landed one grand slam title in both 2012 and 2013, Djokovic appeared in a 14th straight grand slam semifinal in New York this month, moving him more than halfway past Federer's impressive record of 23.

Read: Nadal gets closer to Federer's 17

Nadal, however, is almost certain to reclaim No. 1 this fall since he trails Djokovic by less than 300 points and has no points to defend until 2014.

Indeed if Nadal reaches the final of next week's China Open -- where Djokovic is the top seed -- he's guaranteed to leapfrog the Serb.

"There are still a lot of tournaments to come," said Djokovic. "Calculations are not on my mind right now. I am trying to feed on the confidence that I have."

Federer holds the men's record for weeks at No. 1 at 302.

Federer is scheduled to return to action at October's Shanghai Masters while the other member of the 'Big Four,' Andy Murray, is set to miss the rest of 2013 with a back injury.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 7:59 PM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
British tennis player Elena Baltacha won 11 ITF Pro Circuit titles during her 16-year playing career.
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
ADVERTISEMENT