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If Novak Djokovic is healthy, Steffi Graf's record is possible: Goran Ivanisevic

Novak Djokovic training under the watchful eyes of Goran Ivanisevic
Novak Djokovic training under the watchful eyes of Goran Ivanisevic
Modified 20 Mar 2021

Novak Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic recently opined that the Serb could eventually surpass Steffi Graf's all-time record of weeks as World No.1. Djokovic recently broke the all-time ATP record of 310 weeks as World No. 1, which was previously held by Roger Federer.

Given that Novak Djokovic is showing no signs of slowing down, many believe he still has a few more years left on tour. And Goran Ivanisevic, speaking on a podcast earlier this week, claimed that the 33-year-old could have a go at the record among both men and women - which is currently held by Steffi Graf.

Ivanisevic believes that if Djokovic remains focussed - like he was during the Australian Open earlier this year - the 'sky is the limit' for him. Djokovic has been the World No. 1 for 312 weeks and counting, and seems likely to add many more weeks to his tally before he hangs up his boots.

It is, however, pertinent to note that Steffi Graf's all-time record as World No. 1 is for 377 weeks and not 372 weeks, as Goran Ivanisevic stated in his comments.

"If he's (Novak Djokovic) healthy, if his mind is clear like he was in Australia and he knows what he wants to do, the sky is the limit," Ivanisevic said. "Steffi Graf, 372, you know… anything is possible. Most important is if he’s healthy, then we’ll see what’s going to happen."

Where does Novak Djokovic's feat of 312 weeks (and counting) rank among the WTA ranking leaders?

Steffi Graf currently holds the record at 377 weeks
Steffi Graf currently holds the record at 377 weeks

Three female players have been the World No. 1 for longer than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams are all ahead of the Swiss and the Serb in this particular statistic.

As mentioned before Graf holds the all-time record at 377 weeks, and she is followed by Navratilova at 332 weeks. Serena Williams is, however, within reach of Novak Djokovic at 319 weeks.

As things stand, Djokovic would rank 4th if he were placed amongst the all-time WTA chart. And he will get to No. 3 in the next couple of months, barring an unforeseen absence from the tour.

The Serb needs to hold his top spot for another 66 weeks to get past Graf's tally. That amounts to 462 days, which seems like a large number on the surface. But with the ATP's revised ranking system extended up to August this year, Djokovic could well hold the top spot for another year or so - bringing him within touching distance of Graf's record.

Published 20 Mar 2021, 15:07 IST
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