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Top of the tennis world

ESPN staff
January 10, 2014
Pat Rafter spent one week at the top of the world rankings © Getty Images

Who has been top of the tennis world rankings for the longest time? asked Carole Thompson

The ATP men's world rankings were introduced in August 1973, when Ilie Nastase became the first official No. 1.

Since then just 25 different men have sat on top of the list. Roger Federer has stayed longest at No. 1 - 306 weeks in all, or almost six whole years. He beat the previous record of 286 weeks, established by Pete Sampras. Ivan Lendl was top for 270 weeks, and Jimmy Connors 268.

The Australian Pat Rafter was top for one week only, in July 1999; earlier that year Spain's Carlos Moya had two weeks at the top of the charts. The women's tour soon followed the man's, and the WTA rankings were instituted in November 1975, with Chris Evert on top.

Only 20 other women have reached No. 1 since. Steffi Graf remained the top-ranked player for a total of 377 weeks - well over seven years - bearing the previous record of 332 weeks established by Martina Navratilova.

Evert was top for 260 weeks, and Martina Hingis for 209. Serena Williams is currently sixth on this list, at 170 weeks. Evonne Goolagong Cawley spent the shortest time at No. 1 - two weeks in 1976.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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