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1 Mar, 2021 18:02

Novak Djokovic closes in on eclipsing Serena Williams run as Serbian tennis ace admits ‘relief’ at equaling mammoth Federer record

Novak Djokovic closes in on eclipsing Serena Williams run as Serbian tennis ace admits ‘relief’ at equaling mammoth Federer record

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has matched a remarkable feat achieved only by rival Roger Federer in the men's game – and he is targeting Serena Williams and several women's records after topping the ATP rankings for 310 weeks.

Just a week after winning his 18th Grand Slam by beating Russian Daniil Medvedev to retain his Australian Open crown, the sporting legend will break Federer’s record for the longest time as men's number one next Monday and wants to scale new heights.

After becoming the sole holder of the record in the men's game, Djokovic will be just eight weeks shy of catching up with women's great Serena Williams' 319 weeks in top spot.

The Serb champion revealed his "relief" and admitted that he will now tweak his approach as he targets new records beyond the astonishing run of consistency at the summit of the male sport.

“When you are going for number one ranking, you kind of have to be playing the entire season and you have to be playing well, you have to play all the tournaments," the 18-time Grand Slam king explained.

“Now, after achieving the historic number one for the longest weeks at number one, it’s going to be a relief for me because I’m going to focus all my attention on Slams, mostly.

“My goals will adapt and shift a little bit, which means that I will have to adjust also my calendar – not have to, but I will have an opportunity to do that which, as a father and a husband, I’m really looking forward to.”

While Djokovic needed less than ten years to match Federer's record, Williams took around 15 years to rack up as many weeks at the top of the rankings.

Djokovic is almost certain to break surpass her run in May, and he looks likely to equal Federer and Nadal's Grand Slam haul of 20 major titles in the next year or two, with both of his major rivals suffering injury problems and falling short of their usual imperious form at recent tournaments.

His chances of beating two more of the finest champions ever to play tennis is less certain: German Steffi Graf held the top spot for 377 weeks, with Martina Navratilova reaching 332 weeks.

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