The ATP World Rankings
The Emirates ATP Rankings, colloquially called ‘the world rankings’, is a historical objective merit-based method used for determining entry and seeding in all tournaments for both singles and doubles’ according to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). The ranking takes into account the results of the immediate past 52 weeks. Ranking lists are usually issued each Monday except during the duration of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the events in Miami and Indian Wells.
The tournaments taken into account for the ranking are the four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP 500, ATP 250, the challenger and the futures tournaments. The winner of one of the Grand Slam tournaments, for example, is awarded 2,000 ranking points, while the runner-up gets 1,200 ranking points. The Masters, challengers and futures tournaments are less valuable than the Grand Slam tournaments in regards to the number of ranking points a player can gain.
Since ATP introduced its computerized ranking system in 1973, 25 men have been ranked as the world number one. Roger Federer, winner of a record 19 Grand Slam titles in his career, also holds the record for the most total weeks at number one, with 302 weeks spanning over three separate periods. This achievement bettered the record of Pete Sampras who held the number one spot for 286 weeks over eleven separate periods. Federer’s record of 302 weeks includes 237 consecutive weeks (1659 days) at number one (February 2, 2004 – August 17, 2008), surpassing the previous record of 160 weeks (1120 days) held by Jimmy Connors.
Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors are the only other men to have ranked number one for more than 200 weeks in total. Yet Federer remains the only man to be ranked number one for over 300 weeks, a feat that has also been achieved by female players Martina Navratilova (331 weeks) and Steffi Graf (377 weeks). At the other end of the scale, Pat Rafter is the only man to have the number one position for just a single week, which he achieved in July 1999.
6 players from the United States, including Connors, Sampras, and Andre Agassi, have spent a combined total of 896 week at the top of the rankings, almost three times more than any other country.