Dubai Duty Free begins as Djokovic cements his position as all time great
One of the major tournaments to herald the hardcourt season, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, is officially underway with world number one, Novak Djokovic, leading the list of players looking for ranking points and bragging rights.
Alexander Zverev, returning from an injury layoff and a domestic violence court case, is among the top players, who served off his campaign, yesterday, all leading to the American hard court swing next month.
Meanwhile, Djokovic, yesterday, achieved another historic milestone in his career, overtaking Stefanie Graf’s record for most weeks by a men’s or women’s tennis player as World No. 1. The Serbian already held the record for the most weeks, as number one in the history of the Pepperstone ATP rankings (since 1973) when he surpassed Roger Federer’s mark of 310 weeks in March 2021.
Now he has moved past Graf by beginning his 378th week on top of tennis’ mountain.
Djokovic, currently on 6,980 points in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, returned to number one last month for the first time since last June by winning a record-extending 10th Australian Open crown.
The 35-year-old, who is looking to cement his place when he serves off play today, first rose to number one aged 24 years and 43 days on July 4, 2011 and spent a personal-best 122 consecutive weeks at the summit of the ATP rankings between July 7, 2014 and November 6, 2016.
Djokovic is one of 28 players in the history of the ATP rankings to hold the top spot. He finished 2021 as year-end number one for a record seventh time (also 2011-12, ‘14-15, ‘18 and ‘20).