Novak Djokovic has equalled Roger Federer’s record of 310 weeks ranked world number one.
The 33-year-old had made chasing the mark, which he is guaranteed to break next week, one of his major career goals.
He has been helped by temporary changes to the ranking system because of the coronavirus pandemic that means players can currently count tournaments from two years instead of one.
But there is no doubt Djokovic remains the world’s best player, as evidenced by his ninth victory at the Australian Open last month.
He has begun 2021 by winning nine consecutive matches while last year he did not lose a completed match until the French Open final in October.
Djokovic’s fifth spell at the top of the rankings began on February 3 last year while he has been number one for all but 32 weeks since Federer hit 310 weeks in June 2018.
His longest stint as number one was 122 weeks between July 2014 and November 2016.
Djokovic sits on 12,030 points, more than 2,000 clear of Rafael Nadal, with Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem the only other players with more than 7,000 points.
Breaking the record is set to mean Djokovic plays only sparingly while restrictions prevent his young family from travelling alongside him, with the Serbian heavily prioritising the grand slams as he chases down his other major goal.
Djokovic’s trophy in Melbourne took him to 18 slam titles, two behind the joint holders of the men’s record, Federer and Nadal.
“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,” said Djokovic.