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ATP Heritage: Federer Breaks No. 1 Milestone

No. 1 Rankings Record

Federer© ATP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer broke Pete Sampras record of 286 weeks at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on 16 July 2012.

Today marks the first anniversary of Roger Federer breaking Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.

One day after equalling Sampras' record of seven titles at The Championships in 2012, Federer once again became World No. 1 just four weeks shy of his 31st birthday.

On 16 July, he started his 287th week at No. 1.

He had plotted his return to the summit of men’s professional tennis ever since he lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2011 US Open semi-finals.

Federer compiled an astonishing 63-6 mark, which included a sixth title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, his 20 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy at the Mutua Madrid Open in May 2012, plus six other pieces of silverware. 

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This year, the ATP pays special tribute to Federer, Sampras and the 23 other former World No. 1s as part of the ATP Heritage programme, marking 40 years since the ranking system was introduced in 1973.


For a record 237 consecutive weeks, from 2 February 2004 until 18 August 2008, Federer was the man to beat. 

On 6 July 2009, the day after he had edged Andy Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set of the Wimbledon final, the Swiss superstar started a second tenure of 48 weeks as World No. 1.

But, on 7 June 2010, his reign ended again. For the next 109 weeks, he endured an anxious wait.

Federer spent his 302nd week as the World No. 1 on 29 October 2012, before Djokovic usurped him.

When Federer first became No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, the average age of the Top 10 was 24.8 years. Twelve months ago, the average age was 26.6 years. 

Andre Agassi remains the oldest player to have been World No. 1, at 33 years and 131 days in 2003.

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