Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Novak Djokovic was recognised after his first-round match for setting another benchmark in his unparalleled career -- 378 weeks at No. 1.
Dubai, UAE – March 1, 2023: The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships recognised Novak Djokovic’s latest record-breaking feat in the sport as tournament organisers surprised the World No.1 with a special gift on Tuesday night.
Djokovic has entered a 378th week at the top of the ATP rankings, breaking Steffi Graf’s 30-year record in the process. The Serbian was duly presented with a commemorative block with the number 378 by Tournament Director Salah Tahlak following his battling victory over qualifier Tomas Machac.
The 35-year-old was then asked to look up at the huge LED screen during the on-court ceremony, where he watched a clip of him as a seven-year-old aspiring professional, confessing his ultimate goal was to become the world No.1 one day.
Upon watching the clip, he said: “I guess he wouldn’t be surprised, because he knew. At that point I dreamt a lot and dreamt big dreams. That was the biggest dream.
“I used my visualisation and imagination a lot. At that point I couldn’t imagine I would get that far. I really believed I would become the number one tennis player in the world, but to stay this many weeks in the ranking spot it’s definitely something that surprised me, too.”