Federer achieves remarkable new piece of history

Despite being on a break from the ATP tour, Roger Federer is still breaking records and making history.

The 36-year-old recently announced he will not be competing during the clay court season for the second year in a row.

He subsequently relinquished his World No.1 ranking to Rafael Nadal, but is still sitting pretty at No.2.

And despite watching on from home as his rivals battle it out at the Monte Carlo Masters this week, Federer has become the first player in ATP history to spend a total of 700 weeks inside the world's top four throughout a career.

Federer is taking a break during the clay court season. Image: Getty

The Swiss legend is also the first player to spend 300 weeks at No.1, 500 weeks in the top two and 600 weeks in the top three.

Nadal recently poked fun at Federer for being "contradictory" to his previous statement that he'd love to battle Nadal on the clay again.

Federer has enjoyed a renaissance by scaling back his schedule in the latter stages of his career, beating Nadal in a spectacular Australian Open final and in three other meetings on hard surfaces in 2017.

Despite that defeat in Melbourne, the Spaniard backed up his 'King of Clay' nickname by winning his 10th titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros.

Nadal has been troubled by a hip injury this season but, speaking at Indian Wells last month, Federer said he would "love to play Rafa on clay" again, having won just two of their 15 clashes on the surface.

Two weeks later the 36-year-old announced he will not be competing on the dirt this season, prompting a playful comment from his rival.

"He said he'd love to play me again in a best-of-five on clay so I thought he'd play Roland Garros, and two days later he said he's not playing on clay. Maybe a little contradictory," joked Nadal.

with agencies