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Historic Federer has No. 1 record in his sights

Roger Federer enjoying applause
Roger Federer wins in New York on Monday, keeping on track for a return to the top Keystone

Roger Federer is only two matches away from becoming the oldest ever tennis player – male or female – to sit at the top of the world rankings. More than 13 years after the 36-year-old Swiss first reached No. 1, looks at the complete history of all the top-ranked male players in one graphic. 

Unlike the tennis, the calculations are simple: if Federer beats Juan Martin del Potro and current No. 1 Rafael Nadal loses against Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals of the US OpenExternal link on Wednesday, Federer will return to the top on Monday. If Federer loses, Nadal will remain No. 1 regardless of his result against Rublev. If Federer and Nadal both win, their first US Open meeting on Friday will determine who will wear the No. 1 crown. 

If Federer makes it, he will break the current age records set by Andre Agassi and Serena Williams, who were 33 and 35 respectively when they topped the rankings. Federer was 31 when he vacated the top spot in November 2012 (to Novak Djokovic). 

In addition, Federer will extend his record for the most total weeks at No. 1 (302 – almost six years!). 

Federer is frequently called the greatest tennis player since the start of the Open era in 1968. But how does he compare with other legends? 


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR