Top 5 short-lived number 1 reigns

Soumyadeep Paul
|Published November 09, 2016

The Scot Andy Murray now sits atop the ATP Men’s Rankings for the first time in his career. However, this coveted spot could go away after the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in O2, London to be held from November 13. The Sportsrush takes a look at the top 5 short-lived number 1 reigns. Read on to find out!

1) Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg is considered as one of the greatest players in the history of men’s tennis. The Swede has been the world number 1 5 times in his illustrious career. However, his first reign was coincidentally the shortest one spanning just a week in August 1977.

Borg achieved this feat after his triumph at Wimbledon. He fought through strong challengers in the semi-finals and the finals to become number 1 in the world. He defeated his friend Vitas Gerulaitis and arch rival Jimmy Connors in five-setters to get this accolade. However, he would go on to lose it to Connors in a week’s time.


2) John McEnroe

One of the legends of the game, John McEnroe won 7 Grand Slam singles titles and 10 Grand Slam doubles titles. The American was especially revered for his immaculate serve-and-volley game. He spent a total of 170 weeks at the top of the charts spanned across an unbelievable 14 reigns.

McEnroe became the world number one sporadically and on numerous occasions, for just a week. This happened on his 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th reigns as the numero uno. His second reign began following the ‘best Wimbledon final’ played between McEnroe and Borg. Even though short-lived, it saw the birth of one of the greatest rivalries in tennis.


3) Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors held the record of holding the longest reign as world number 1. He sat atop the rankings for an amazing 268 weeks with one 160 week consecutive reign from 1974-1977. This record was broken by Roger Federer 30 years later in 2007. Other than this, Connors became world number 1 for 9 times in his career.

However, his 5th reign in November 1982 lasted only for a week. He defeated the rising upstart Ivan Lendl in the US Open to achieve this feat. He was overtaken by John McEnroe at the blink of an eye for the 6th reign of his own. Hence, this features in the Top 5 short-lived number 1 reigns.


4) Ivan Lendl

The 80s belonged to the Czech Ivan Lendl. He took on the mantle from legends like Borg, Mcenroe and Connors to take men’s tennis forward to the modern era of ‘power tennis’. Lendl was a 8 time Grand Slam champion and a runner-up in an unprecedented 11 Grand Slam finals.

Lendl first attained the world No. 1 ranking in 1983. He would go on to strengthen his claim to the top spot when he defeated McEnroe in the 1984 French Open final. In his prolific career, he attained the top spot 8 times. His shortest reign also came at the same time in June 1984. He was quickly disposed off the top spot by McEnroe.


5) Patrick Rafter

This hard hitting Australian created tremors in the men’s international circuit. Rafter is a 2 time US Open winner and the first man in the Open Era to complete the American Summer Slam( Montreal/Toronto, Cincinnati and Flushing Meadows)

He achieved the numero uno position in mid 1999. In the 1999 season, Rafter lost in the Wimbledon semifinals by Andre Agassi. Following this, he got the number 1 spot for a week making him the shortest-reigning world No. 1 in ATP tour history. This would be the only instance in which he was the world number 1.


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About the author

Soumyadeep Paul

Soumyadeep Paul

I am Soumyadeep, a sportsman by birth and a MBA by choice. I love to play, watch, follow and analyze sports. Writing is another passion of mine and that is what excites me to be a part of The SportsRush. Please reach out to me for views, comments, bouquets and brickbats.

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