Which Tennis Player Has Maintained Their World No. 1 Ranking For The Longest Time?
You guessed it right, it’s Roger Federer with 302 weeks at the top. It’s common knowledge that staying at the top is more difficult than getting there, and the current World No. 1 Andy Murray is learning it the hard way. He has lost a fair bit of steam ever since he hit the top, and the first half of 2017 has been a nightmare for him. Yes, he did reach the semi-finals of French Open and won the Dubai Open, but he’ll know that a lot more is expected from him.
The good thing for Andy is that his closest competitors, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, aren’t clear favourites to win Wimbledon, the upcoming Grand Slam. While Wawrinka’s favourite surface is definitely not grass, Nadal has struggled to get past the initial rounds during his last few appearances. Novak Djokovic is another player who might threaten Murray, but he has been struggling to find form this season.
That said, if Murray continues the way he has in this year, he’ll start losing points real quick and somebody else (probably Rafa if he has a decent Wimbledon) will take his place. To be fair to him, Murray has maintained his ranking for 34 consecutive weeks which is No. 15 on the list of players who’ve had the longest reign as ATP’s No. 1 Ranked Player.
If you look at the top 7, that starts from Federer and ends at Nadal, you’ll know exactly why the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ debate between Federer and Nadal fans needs to be settled.
Another thing that you may notice is the presence of US players on the list. Four of the top seven are Americans namely Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors.
It’s also evident how the World No. 1 ranking is not determined by Grand Slam victories, even though they are the events with the maximum points (the winner gets 2000 points.) Rafael Nadal is joint second on the list of most Grand Slams with 14 titles, with Pete Sampras too having the same number of trophies. Even in Masters 1000 tournaments, Nadal leads the roost with 30 titles (Djokovic has the same number.) So, the only explanation to Nadal being ranked low in this list, could be the fact that he was hampered by both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – two of the greatest players in the history of the game.
Murray doesn’t seem like he is going to come close to these guys, but whatever happens, he’ll still be referred to as a former World No. 1.
Stats image: Screengrab from ATP World Tour Website