Tennis

Djokovic: ‘Surreal’ to break Graf record as No. 1

Novak Djokovic is number one in the men’s tennis rankings for 378 weeks, breaking Steffi Graf’s record for most weeks as world number one.

“It’s surreal to be number one for so many weeks to equal Graf, one of the greatest players of all time,” Djokovic said on Sunday. “Very flattering to be among these legendary names. I am proud of this”.

Djokovic has 6980 points in the ATP rankings, 200 points ahead of second-placed Carlos Alcaraz. The 22-time Grand Slam champion returned to number one last month after winning the Australian Open.

Graf, also a 22-time world champion, held the women’s top spot for 377 weeks before retiring in 1999.

Martina Navratilova spent third in the world rankings for weeks at number 332, followed by Serena Williams (319) and Roger Federer (310).

Djokovic, who is recovering from a hamstring injury sustained last month in Australia, said he is in no pain as he prepares for the Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai this week.

“It’s been a couple of weeks without tennis,” he said. “The last few days I really need to practice as much as possible to get back in shape to be able to compete at a high level. I have not felt pain on the court for a week.

“I’m getting close to 100 percent. It’s still not the same in terms of the game and how I feel on the court, but the important thing is that there is no pain. I have no obstacles in the way I move around the court. “

Djokovic, 35, will face qualified Czech Tomas Machak in the first round on Tuesday.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.



Source: www.espn.com

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