Biggest anomaly in weeks at #1?

Pick TWO biggest anomalies you see with the ATP #1 weeks

  • Becker underscored at 12 weeks

    Votes: 26 37.1%
  • Wilander underscored at 20 weeks

    Votes: 4 5.7%
  • Wawrinka with 0 weeks despite 3 Majors

    Votes: 14 20.0%
  • Hewitt having 10th most weeks at 80

    Votes: 20 28.6%
  • Slamless Rios getting 6 weeks

    Votes: 11 15.7%
  • Kuerten's 43 week run

    Votes: 5 7.1%
  • Connors amassing 268 weeks despite Borg and Vilas

    Votes: 15 21.4%
  • Other.

    Votes: 4 5.7%

  • Total voters


It would be an interesting one and rarely used since I believe Lendl in 83 and Rios in 98 are the only times a player has held the #1 without being an active Slam champion. Unless I'm forgetting another instance.

I was thinking Muster did it too, but just checked and he won the French in '95 and hit #1 the following spring. Yeah, it seems to happen a lot more often on the women's tour, with players like Safina, Wozniacki, and Halep all getting to the top without first winning a Major (and largely due to Serena taking a lot of time off between Majors).


Boris Becker with just 12 weeks
As a 6-time Slam champion often slotted somewhere in the Top 10, this is the best argument of how a great player can be denigrated because their best achievements coincide with better consistency from another all-timer. In this case it was namely Lendl who stole as some would claim numerous weeks from Becker's resume. In total, 6 players with 4 or less Slams had more weeks at the #1 spot than Becker while contemporary Edberg with the same amount had 60 more.

Lleyton Hewitt with 80 weeks
On the other extreme we have Hewitt who not only garnered 80 weeks overall but 75 consecutively, a mark only bested by 5 other players. This of course occured during his 2 year peak where he won 1 Slam in each year but also captured the WTF and had 5 deep runs at the Masters both years too. This came in what many refer to as a transitional era where simply put no other players was able to manage the same consistency with Sampras on the decline, clay court specialists vulturing there and the biggest challengers being Agassi, Ferrero, Kuerten, Kafelnikov(01) and Safin (02).

Mats Wilander's 20
Becker's 12 weeks despite 6 Slams has been mentioned but Wilander's 20 with 7 is just as bad if not worse considering when he captured the #1 and for what. Unlike the many gents who only got the #1 due to the right concentration of winning, Wilander needed to capture 3 Slams to garner the #1 and was only able to hold it for exactly those 20 weeks and never again. He lost it shortly after the start of 89 when he failed to defend his AO title losing in the 2nd round but he still held 2 Slams and 2 Masters while Lendl upgraded his previous year's SF to a win he would drop slightly at the French from QF to 4th. Lendl's amassed secondary titles however was simply too much as when he took the mantle from Wilander he held on to it for 80 weeks despite only winning 1 more Major.
The ATP ranking generally rewards the most consistent players.
Boris Becker I think he had a problem of consistency during the year, in the sense that often he was distracted and lost in the first or 2d rounds. It did not happen to Lendl.

Wilander has always been very competitive but not very consistent (a bit like Becker) and tended to lose a bit too early for a number one.
His 1988 season was exceptional (3 slam + Lipton) but short.

It also depends a lot on the circumstances, in the sense that it may happen that during the best period of Becker, it was also the best period of other more consistent players (Edberg, but especially Lendl who rarely lost in the first rounds). So it could be that Becker was better but less consistent,

Lleyton Hewitt, on the other hand, was perhaps more consistent and in his best period confronted with less consistent opponents.

Sampras, for example, has remained number one many years but with a not very high average consistency. This is because his opponents had a fairly low consistency.


Jimmy Connors' 268
By now many should know Connors accumulated a great deal of lower tier tournaments equivalent to 250 level today. Some of these tournaments only had 4 rounds and of course Bo3. This partly explains why Connors racked up so many weeks at #1. Although winning his 2nd Slam of 1974 at Wimbledon and holding on to the ranking through 1975 where he made all 3 Finals of Slams played, the continued streak that stretched to 160 until shortly before the US Open in 77. It was this streak that Federer broke winning 3/4 Slams in 3 seasons. Connors meanwhile never replicated his 74 escapades and in 76-77 he skipped the French, making the QF at Wimbledon and winning USO in 76 and back to back finals in 77. Borg in 76 went QF-W-F and won the WCT Final along with winning Boston and making the Philadelphia final. In 77, Borg took the #1 briefly before being upset at the USO and losing it to Connors who held it for another 84 weeks. This despite Borg's 1978 being vastly superior to Connors. While Vilas won 2 Slams himself in 77 making another final ending the year #2. It's interesting to note about Borg his longest reign at 46 weeks came in 1980 shortly after defending his Wimbledon in the epic final. Connors would somehow keep adding 17 weeks between late 1982 to mid 1983.
BGod, I respond to you, but in fact I do it for other posters:
1) It's true, Connors has amassed a large amount of lower-level tournaments in the years 1972-75 (not after 1975), but winning Masters 250 tournaments lost in the ranking because his was the highest average, it's clear?
Winning the Masters 250 tournaments resulted in a reduction of the average, then ranking (for this reason Vilas did not reach the number one in 1977). The problem is that Jimmy has also won big tournaments, dominating the ranking in those years... so, "This does NOT explain in part why Connors has collected so many weeks at number 1".
2) observing the ranking based on the slam reasoning doesn't make sense because the champions played 2 or 3 slams and the slam points were little better than the other big tournaments.
3) the calculation system ATP ranking had errors (not numerical but of parameter) in the 70s but in 1976 Borg won half of Connors and in 1978 Borg may have been superior to Connors, but Connors won more.
4) YEC (Masters Grand Prix and WCT Finals) didn't attribute points in the ATP Ranking.

I hope I was clear.


I'll say that despite Wawrinka finishing at #4 for 3 consecutive years, he was the #2 Slam competitor from 2014-2016. So it's really down to Djokovic he wasn't #1 for a stretch as his losses to him in 2015 at the AO, Paris and Cincinnati as well as his Slam prowess are the main blockers. I know people will say Federer would have been #1 and maybe so but Wawrinka would have captured that mantle mid-way 2015 if he held AO-FO and doesn't choke against Gasquet at Wimbledon.


How Becker had only 12 weeks, I will never know
1989: 2 Slams+SF, Masters +F, WTF Final
1991: 1 Slam+F, SF, Masters +F
1988: 1 Final, 3 Masters, WTF & WCT
1986: 1 Slam+SF, 2 Masters, WTF Final & WCT Final
1996: 1 Slam, 1 Masters, GSC & WTF Final
1985: 1 Slam, 1 Masters, WTF Final
1995: 1 Final+SF, WTF & Masters Finals

Mostly Lendl though in 86, 89, 91 and Sampras in 96.