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Novak Djokovic earns support in ATP rankings debate as he chases Roger Federer record

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Novak Djokovic laughing

Novak Djokovic will remain as the world No 1 while tennis is suspended.

Novak Djokovic deserves to have his weeks as world No 1 during the suspension of tennis count towards his overall total. That is the view of coach and ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert.

Following last week’s decision to suspend tennis until June 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ATP and WTA announced the world rankings would be frozen with movement.

Novak Djokovic

It means Djokovic will remain on 281 weeks for the foreseeable future with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer rounding out the top four.

Djokovic is currently third in the all-time list, five weeks behind Pete Sampras, who he was set to overtake in April.

Novak Djokovic looking up

Had Djokovic continued his reign at the top into October, he would have given himself the chance to surpass Federer’s record of 310.

The ATP is considering what to do with rankings and the points earned if the hiatus goes beyond June.

But Gilbert feels Djokovic’s dominance means he should be rewarded with the weeks despite not playing.

Novak Djokovic reacts

“Federer fans will get upset,” Gilbert told ESPN.

“But I think Djokovic should get credit for those weeks while the rankings are frozen with him at No. 1.

But Gilbert feels Djokovic’s dominance means he should be rewarded with the weeks despite not playing.

Novak Djokovic no 1

“Federer fans will get upset,” Gilbert told ESPN.

“But I think Djokovic should get credit for those weeks while the rankings are frozen with him at No. 1.

After winning the Dubai Championships last month, Djokovic made clear he was targeting Federer’s record.

Novak Djokovic looked up

“I’ve set what my goals are, they’re very clear to me,” he said.

“The highest goal for this season is to hold on to the No. 1 spot, the Olympics and the grand slams.

“I think every next season that I play – hopefully I still want to play and still like to compete – grand slams will be right up there.”

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