Federer Smashes Records In Return To No. 1

Federer returns to No. 1 more than 14 years after he first sat atop the ATP Rankings

More than 14 years after he first became No. 1, Switzerland’s Roger Federer today returned to the top of the ATP Rankings for a historic fourth stint at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis. Federer, who began his 302nd week at No. 1 on 29 October 2012, breaks a number of ATP Rankings records by replacing his great rival, Spain’s Rafael Nadal, in top spot.

Just 13 months ago, Federer returned from a knee injury at No. 17 in the ATP Rankings and has since compiled a 64-5 match record — including nine titles from 10 finals — in that period. Today, he now holds records for the longest period between stints at No. 1, as the oldest player to attain top spot and for the longest duration between first and last days at the summit of men’s professional tennis.

"I think reaching No. 1 is the ultimate achievement in our sport,” said Federer. “This one maybe means the most to me [of any achievement] throughout my career, getting to No. 1 and enjoying it right here at 36, almost 37 years old. [It] is an absolute dream come true, I can’t believe it."

Federer is guaranteed to remain at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings through to 18 March, but the battle for top spot between the Swiss and Nadal will resume at the BNP Paribas Open, the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the year, which begins on 8 March.

Federer returns to top spot for the first time since 4 November 2012, five years and 106 days ago – the longest period of time between stints at World No. 1. At 36 years of age, Federer is also the oldest player to become No. 1, eclipsing the record of American Andre Agassi, who last held top spot aged 33 on 7 September 2003.

Federer first ascended to No. 1 in the ATP Rankings aged 22 on 2 February 2004 – a record 14 years and 17 days ago – for a total of 237 straight weeks until 17 August 2008. It breaks the previous record of Nadal, who debuted at No. 1 on 18 August 2008 and started his fourth stint in top spot on 21 August 2017 – a gap of nine years and three days. Federer returned to No. 1 on two further occasions between 6 July 2009 and 6 June 2010 (48 weeks) and from 9 July 2012 to 4 November 2012 (17 weeks).

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said, “Roger has spent his whole career rewriting the record books, but to reach the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis again at the age of 36 is hard to imagine. His longevity at the top of the game is simply remarkable. As he begins a fully deserved fourth stint at No.1 in the ATP Rankings, we congratulate him on yet another incredible record in his glittering career.”

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Since returning from a six-month lay-off for the start of the 2017 season, the Swiss superstar has captured trophies at three of the past five Grand Slam championships (2017-2018 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon), three ATP World Tour Masters 1000s (2017 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Miami Open presented by Itaú, Rolex Shanghai Masters) and three ATP World Tour 500s (2017 Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Swiss Indoors Basel, 2018 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam). Federer also finished runner-up at the 2017 Coupe Rogers in Montreal.

Federer’s return to the summit of the men’s game was guaranteed by beating Dutchman Robin Haase for a place in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals on Friday. Federer went on to beat Grigor Dimitrov in Sunday’s final at the Rotterdam Ahoy for the 97th tour-level trophy of his career.


Total Weeks At No. 1
303 (as of 19 February 2018)
Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA)
Bjorn Borg (SWE)
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) 80
Mats Wilander (SWE) 20
Andy Roddick (USA) 13
Boris Becker (GER) 12
Marat Safin (RUS) 9
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 8
John Newcombe (AUS) 8
Yevgeny Kafelnikov (RUS) 6
Thomas Muster (AUT) 6
Marcelo Rios (CHI) 6


Player Lost No. 1 Regained No. 1 Time In Between
Roger Federer (SUI) 4 November 2012 19 February 2018 5 years, 106 days
Andre Agassi (USA) 12 February 1996 5 July 1999 3 years, 142 days
Jimmy Connors (USA) 9 July 1979 13 September 1982 3 years, 65 days
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 6 July 2014 21 August 2017 3 years, 45 days
Andre Agassi (USA) 11 September 2000 28 April 2003 2 years, 228 days


Player Birthdate Most Recent Date At No. 1 Age
Roger Federer (SUI) 8 August 1981 19 February 2018 36
Andre Agassi (USA) 29 April 1970 7 September 2003 33
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 3 June 1986 18 February 2018 31
Jimmy Connors (USA) 2 September 1952 3 July 1983 30
Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA) 7 March 1960 12 August 1990 30


Player Debut At No. 1 Most Recent Date At No. 1 Time In Between
Roger Federer (SUI) 2 February 2004 19 February 2018 14 years, 17 days
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 18 August 2008 18 February 2018 9 years, 184 days
Jimmy Connors (USA) 29 July 1974 3 July 1983 8 years, 339 days
Andre Agassi (USA) 10 April 1995 7 September 2003 8 years, 150 days
Pete Sampras (USA) 12 April 1993 19 November 2000 7 years, 221 days