Roger Federer’s record of 237 consecutive weeks as World No. 1 is often hailed as one of the most incredible feats in sporting history. But renowned cricketer Tabraiz Shamsi - who regards Federer highly - believes that Dale Steyn’s record of 263 consecutive weeks as the top-ranked Test bowler holds just as much merit if not more.
Tabraiz Shamsi is a left-arm spinner who plays for South Africa. The 30-year-old is ranked No. 5 on the ICC T20 bowler charts, and boasts of Virat Kohli as his maiden T20 scalp. Dale Steyn, meanwhile, is one of the finest fast bowlers of all time, having taken more than 400 Test wickets for South Africa.
In one of his recent tweets, Tabraiz Shamsi showered lavish praise on both Roger Federer and Dale Steyn. Shamsi claimed that the Swiss legend is rightly labeled as a ‘machine’. However, the 30-year-old then suggested that Dale Steyn's abilities are even more impressive given that he dominated cricket longer than Federer dominated tennis.
“This is no joke! If you think Roger Federer is a machine (which he is) just know that @DaleSteyn62 dominated his sport for longer!” Shamsi tweeted.
Roger Federer also holds the record for most weeks as a World No. 1 with 310 weeks. But current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is at 303 weeks at the moment, and is expected to break Federer’s record on 8 March 2021.
Dale Steyn on the other hand was at the top of the Test cricket rankings for 263 consecutive weeks between 2008 and 2014. And in all formats of the game (Tests, ODIs & T20Is) combined, Steyn has spent 2356 days at the top of the charts - a mind-boggling 336.5 weeks.
That kind of dominance hasn't been seen since World War II, and it seems unlikely that any fast bowler will ever match it in the future.
Roger Federer’s feat of 237 consecutive weeks is among tennis' greatest records ever
Roger Federer will probably lose his record of 310 weeks as World No. 1 soon, but it seems unlikely that his feat of 237 consecutive weeks will be broken in the near or distant future.
The 39-year-old spent more than 4.5 years perched at the top spot between 2004 and 2008, after which he was displaced by arch-rival Rafael Nadal.
Next in line on the ATP tour is Jimmy Connors at 160 consecutive weeks, who is closely followed by Ivan Lendl at 157.
Novak Djokovic is fourth on the list at 122 consecutive weeks as a World No. 1 player, while 14-time Grand Slam champion Pete Sampras is fifth with 102 weeks. Interestingly, Rafael Nadal is far behind at 56 consecutive weeks.
Nobody on the women’s tour can hold a candle to Roger Federer’s record either. Both Serena Williams and Steffi Graf finished their best run as World No. 1 at 186 weeks. It's no wonder Tabraiz Shamsi called Federer a 'machine' with regard to this record.Published 14 Jan 2021, 23:32 IST