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Sport World No.1 record in the bag, Djokovic focuses on more majors

13:51  07 march  2021
13:51  07 march  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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By Sudipto Ganguly

Novak Djokovic is getting ready to hit a ball with a racket: FILE PHOTO: Australian Open © Reuters/ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE FILE PHOTO: Australian Open

(Reuters) - Novak Djokovic will realize one of his long-cherished goals on Monday when he eclipses Roger Federer's all-time record for most weeks as the men's world number one, holding the top ranking for the 311th week.

The 33-year-old Serbian climbed to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time in July, 2011 and had the Swiss maestro's record of 310 weeks spent as the highest-ranked man in the sport on his radar.

"This is one of my two biggest professional goals," Djokovic said last year. "To reach the record of, (and) surpass Roger's record for longest No. 1 and win as many (Grand) Slams as possible."

Djokovic ties Federer's record for most weeks as world No.1

  Djokovic ties Federer's record for most weeks as world No.1 Djokovic ties Federer's record for most weeks as world No.1Djokovic's ninth Australian Open title last month guaranteed that he would surpass Federer's record on March 8.

Djokovic is currently in his fifth stint as number one, having reclaimed the top spot from Spaniard Rafa Nadal in February last year.

The Serbian finished 2020 as the year-end number one for the sixth time, tying the record set by American great Pete Sampras, and won his 18th major title last month at the Australian Open.

His record-extending ninth triumph at Melbourne Park meant he was just two short of the men's record of 20 Grand Slam titles, jointly held by Federer and Nadal.

Djokovic has made it clear that his only focus will now be on winning more Grand Slams and said he will make necessary adjustments to his playing schedule to achieve that goal.

MORE MAJORS

"Whether I think about winning more slams and breaking records? Of course, I do," the Serbian said after his Australian Open triumph.

Federer 'pain free' ahead of Qatar Open, says never eyed retirement

  Federer 'pain free' ahead of Qatar Open, says never eyed retirement Roger Federer said retirement was never really an option during his battle with injury, insisting Sunday the pain was "completely under control" ahead of his return to competitive tennis at this week's Qatar Open. "The important thing is I'm pain free and injury free.The 39-year-old hasn't played a match since a semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January 2020 and acknowledged it was unusual for a player of his age to return after injury.

"And most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed at majors, trying to win more major trophies."

Federer, who will turn 40 is August, has not played since losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals of the 2020 Australian Open and will make his return in Doha this week after undergoing two knee surgeries last year.

The Swiss said he enjoyed competing against Djokovic and felt they brought the best out of each other.

"Against the best players you know you have to bring your best game. Otherwise, it will not be enough," Federer said during an Instagram Live session with Qatar Tennis on Saturday.

"Especially against somebody like Novak, who can go into a mode where he is not going to miss. He can defend very well and be aggressive, he has a very good balance. That's why he is one of the greatest players ever.

"It has been a pleasure to play against him and he's one of the players who have made me a better player. It's great to have him in the game."

While Djokovic has a firm grip on top spot, there will be a new number two on March 15 in Russian Daniil Medvedev, who will climb one place to his career-best ranking to replace Nadal, who has not played since the Australian Open due to a back injury.

The 25-year-old Medvedev, the ATP Finals winner and Australian Open runner-up, will be the first player outside Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray to be ranked in the top two since Australian Lleyton Hewitt in July, 2005.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Djokovic pulls out of Miami to spend time with family .
Djokovic pulls out of Miami to spend time with familyDjokovic sustained a muscle tear that hindered him during his successful Australian Open title defence last month and the 33-year-old planned to return at Miami before playing the Monte-Carlo Masters and the ATP 250 Serbia Open.

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