Since the early 2000s, the ‘big 3’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have dominated the ATP rankings. They have for the most part have stayed in the top 10. Federer was the first member to reach the top 10 and thus is the leader of an elite record, but now Nadal and Djokovic aren’t too far behind.
Federer first reached the top 10 of the ATP rankings in 2002, and now in 2021 he still finds himself in the top 10. That makes it 19 years apart from the first time he was ranked in the top 10 to the last time.
Nadal and Djokovic aren’t too far behind. Federer took this record from Andre Agassi, who had a difference of 18 years from his first top 10 appearance to his last. Nadal first breached the top 10 in 2005 and has been there for the last 16 years. Rafa is three years behind Federer, two behind Agassi, and level with Jimmy Connors.
Moving over to Djokovic, he is currently the World No.1 and hit his strides on the ATP Tour a bit later than Nadal and Federer. Djokovic first entered the top 10 of the ATP rankings back in 2007 and now he finds himself at the summit of the ATP rankings. So the Serbian’s record stands at 14 years, which puts him in fifth spot.
Well, this is the start of Djokovic’s record-breaking year. The Serbian has set his sights on breaking Federer’s long-standing record of 310 weeks as World No.1. With the ATP announcing that players won’t be losing any points till March, Djokovic is in a prime position to break the record as he is on 304 weeks as World No.1. 8th March is the date when he will start his 311th week as World No.1.
This top 10 ranking record now held by Federer was only possible due to the pandemic. Federer is still trying his best to return from his knee surgery, which sidelined him for a year. But due to the pandemic, several tournaments were canceled and ATP froze the rankings. Thus he remained in the top 10. However, if the ATP rankings weren’t frozen, then Federer would have found himself out of the top 50.