Roger Federer celebrates 300 weeks as World No. 1

Roger Federer today begins his 300th week as World No. 1 in ATP Rankings, a milestone that the Swiss believes is "probably one of my biggest accomplishments. I'm very proud of that record, no doubt about it," he says.

So while all eyes are on the Race To London as players battle for year-end No. 1 honours and qualifying berths at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, today is a day to celebrate Federer and his enduring reign as World No. 1.

Pete Sampras, who previously held the record of 286 weeks at No. 1, and Ivan Lendl (270 weeks) were among the first to pay tribute to Federer. Sampras said: "It's an incredible achievement and accomplishment to be ranked No. 1 in the world for 300 weeks. It is a testament to his consistency at the top of the game for so many years."

Lendl said: "Being No. 1 is a special achievement and also an honour. Congratulations to Roger for being there for 300 weeks."

Ever since he arrived on the ATP World Tour as a 17 year old with an elegant all-court game, the tennis world had been preparing to witness greatness. Once Federer lifted his first major trophy at Wimbledon in 2003, which set him on the road to the pinnacle of the sport, his career has been about monumental achievement.

Being World No. 1 is so much a part of him and his game. "I always felt tennis was easier for me playing as World No. 1 than actually getting there," he says. The statistics prove his theory.

In his tenure, which first began on 2 February 2004, Federer has won 417 of his 469 matches (.889) and lifted 46 of his 76 career titles (.605). Without the World No. 1 ranking, Federer has gone 454-143 (.760) and captured 30 trophies.

Incredibly, he has lost no more than 10 matches as World No. 1 in any single season except 2008, when his record streak of 237 consecutive weeks at World No. 1 came to an end on 18 August, at the hands of his great rival Rafael Nadal.

Since February 2004, only two players have been able to wrestle the World No. 1 ranking away from Federer. By comparison, Nadal compiled a 140-22 mark (.864) and won 11 titles in his 102-week total stint at World No. 1, while Djokovic lifted four trophies and went 63-13 (.829) in his 53 weeks, which started on 4 July 2011.

"It's a great reward for me," says Federer at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. "I feel a great sense of satisfaction because of that incredible number and because of all the effort I've put into it. I know how much work it has been. It's not easy to stay at the top for so long and handle all the obligations that go with just playing tennis."

ATP Executive Chairman & President Brad Drewett remarked, "To have held the No.1 ranking on the ATP World Tour for 300 weeks is a phenomenal achievement, and quite simply unprecedented. The fact that Roger has been able to consistently re-write the record books over such a long period of time is a credit to his hard work, dedication and talent. We are extremely fortunate to have such an incredible champion at the top of our sport."

Few performers in any sport have given as much pleasure as Federer over the years.

One of the secrets of Federer’s success is that he learned early on in his career never to under-estimate an opponent, regardless of their aptitude or his self-belief on any given surface. At 31, he continues to hold off his rivals.

Rafael Nadal tweets as "Congratulations to Roger for his 300 weeks at number 1."

Andy Murray, who recently won his first major title at the US Open, says, "It's his consistency that's been the most impressive thing. I hope when I'm 31 I still have a lot of desire and still am trying to compete at the highest level."

"It's such a hard thing to do. He's been doing it now getting close to 10 years. That's very impressive in a sport as physical as this one to have done that."

Federer's enthusiasm for the sport is astonishing. Blessed with majestic movement, balance and a seemingly ageless body, he has managed his schedule carefully to ensure he continues to lead a golden era of men’s professional tennis.

In his 300 weeks at World No. 1, spanning eight of the past nine seasons, he has earned worldwide respect for his genius and as a global ambassador for many causes.

After a decade of record-breaking achievement, it is hard to imagine the tennis world without him. He remains the ultimate scalp for any tennis player.

"It's extraordinary achievement - there is no doubt about it," said Djokovic. "There is no questioning his results and achievements. At 31, he's winning Grand Slams. He's always a favourite at any tournament he plays in."

ATP World Tour Uncovered - Roger Federer 300 Weeks at World No. 1:

Date: 15th October 2012, Source: ATP


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