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6,601 days: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray’s stranglehold at No. 1 comes to an end
The last time someone else was No. 1 on the ATP rankings, Daniil Medvedev was 7 years old, Hey Ya! by Outkast topped the charts, and Coco Gauff wasn't even born yet.
Published Feb 27, 2022
On Monday, Daniil Medvedev—who’s won 35 of his last 41 matches, a stretch highlighted by winning the US Open and reaching the final of the Australian Open—will rise to No. 1, ending one of the most dominant eras in tennis history.
Since February 2nd, 2004, exactly 6,601 days ago, the same four men—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray—have held the No. 1 spot on the ATP rankings, trading it back and forth 19 times between them but never, ever letting anyone else touch it, not even for a day.
But that streak is over now.
On Monday, Medvedev will be the first man other than Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray to be No. 1 since February 1st, 2004, when Andy Roddick was at the top spot.
To illustrate just how long ago February 1st, 2004 was, here are a few examples of what the world was like back then:
~ Federer won his second Grand Slam title that day. He beat Marat Safin in the Australian Open final and rose to No. 1 the day after.
~ Nadal was in the Top 50, but he hadn’t won a title yet. A 17-year-old Nadal was at a career-high of No. 41 that day with a 21-15 career record.
~ Djokovic and Murray were both 16 and hadn’t played a tour-level match yet. Murray won the US Open juniors later that year.
~ Medvedev was 7 years old. He turned 8 on February 11th, 2004.
~ Coco Gauff wasn’t even born yet. She was born on March 13th, 2004.
~ Facebook was still called FaceMash. It would change its name to TheFacebook on February 4th, 2004, before becoming just Facebook in 2005.
~ Twitter didn’t exist yet. It launched in 2006.
~ Hey Ya! by Outkast was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other songs in the Top 10 that week included the love ballad Milkshake by Kelis and Yeah! by Usher, and a little further down, Toxic by Britney Spears made its debut on the chart at No. 53.
~ Shrek 2, DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and Mean Girls weren’t out yet. Fetch was still only a thing in England.
... and finally, the Grand Slam race between the eventual Big 3 was 2-0-0 (they've won 59 of the 70 majors since then and it's now Nadal 21, Federer 20, Djokovic 20).