Roger Federer today becomes the seventh-longest reigning World No.1 in ATP Rankings history (since 1973), surpassing the 80 weeks that Lleyton Hewitt spent atop the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking. Hewitt held the ATP circuit's top spot for all but two weeks from November 2001 through June 2003.
Federer, who rose to No. 1 on February 2, 2004, today begins his 81 st week at No. 1 the same day he returns to the ATP circuit for the first time since his Wimbledon triumph in July. He plays James Blake tonight in the featured evening match at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, broadcast on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. E.D.T.
Federer, who earlier this year also passed the number of weeks at No. 1 held by Stefan Edberg (72) and Jim Courier (58), now targets Andre Agassi (101 weeks) and Bjorn Borg (109 weeks), who are sixth and fifth respectively on the No. 1 leaders list (see chart below).
However, while Federer remains the leader of the INDESIT ATP 2005 Race, his once-commanding lead has been cut to 73 points after Rafael Nadal won the Rogers Masters title in Montreal on Sunday. The winner in Cincinnati earns 100 points; the US Open champion, the next tournament the two will play, reaps 200 points.
Federer and Nadal have been the standout players of the 2005 season and are the only confirmed qualifiers for Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai. Both players have won three ATP Masters Series titles (the two are the only winners of ATP Masters Series tournaments this year) and one Grand Slam title.
Federer today also moves into sixth position for the most consecutive weeks as No. 1 in the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking, surpassing the 80-week streak of Ivan Lendl (who also set a separate 157-week streak). Federer has held the No. 1 ranking since winning the 2004 Australian Open. If Federer holds No. 1 through the US Open, he will notch 85 consecutive weeks at No. 1 ?the fourth longest unbroken reign as No. 1 in history.