With Rafael Nadal's loss in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic is guaranteed of a special piece of tennis history.
Djokovic is now guaranteed to keep his World No.1 until at least March 8, which would give him the all-time record for most weeks atop the rankings (311).
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Roger Federer currently holds the record with 310, with Djokovic trailing by just two weeks.
But with World No.2 Nadal's shock loss in the Australian Open quarter-finals against Stefanos Tsitsipas, no-one can stop Djokovic from breaking Federer's record.
When the officials rankings are updated on March 8, Djokovic will remain on top for a historic 311th week.
The incredible record was something Djokovic said he was targeting as a career goal.
“This is one of my two biggest professional goals,” Djokovic said in December.
“To reach the record of, [and] surpass Roger’s record for longest [time at] No.1 and win as many slams as possible.
"I have been saying that before, so I’m working towards that.
“I’m at a good place right now, in a good position. Hopefully I can stay healthy and continue to play well.”
Djokovic also has the perfect chance to gain on Federer and Nadal's all-time record of 20 grand slam titles.
The Serbian star will face either Tsistipas or Daniil Medvedev in Sunday night's Australian Open final, with a win taking him to 18 majors.
At 33 years old, many believe Djokovic is destined to finish ahead of both Federer (39) and Nadal (34).
World No. 6 @StefTsitsipas rallies from 2 sets down to defeat No. 2 Rafael Nadal and set #AusOpen SF vs. @DaniilMedwed on Friday.
With Nadal's loss, @DjokerNole will celebrate his 311th week as World No. 1 on 8 March, passing Roger Federer for the all-time record.
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) February 17, 2021
Tsitsipas and Medvedev in semi-final showdown
There may have been largely kind words between them in the lead-up to their Australian Open semi-final, but Djokovic didn't miss out on the chance of throwing a little petrol on the Tsitsipas-Medvedev rivalry.
Assessing Friday's match-up which will determine who he plays him in the decider, Djokovic seemed happy enough to open some old wounds.
"I know that these two guys have a history between them on and off the court a little bit - so I'm sure there's going to be a lot of intensity," said Djokovic after qualifying for the final on Thursday with a straight-sets win over Russian Aslan Karatsev.
"It's a great rivalry these guys have. I'm going to watch it and enjoy it."
Medvedev goes in as the clear favourite against Tstsipas, riding a 19-game streak and having won five of their six clashes.
The Greek did, however, win their last clash in 2019 and has pinched a set off the Russian in four of the other five encounters.
Most weeks as men's World No.1 (as of February 19)
310 - Roger Federer
308 - Novak Djokovic
286 - Pete Sampras
270 - Ivan Lendl
268 - Jimmy Connors
209 - Rafael Nadal
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