Roger Federer is currently number 3 in the world with only 7 tournaments played this year, but is it possible for him to return to number 1 in the world in the ATP rankings this year.

What is the record for a tennis player (both ATP or WTA, not in the "race") at number 1 with the fewest tournaments played in that year?

  • 3
    I might be wrong, but I'd guess if a player enters a year as world #1 with a healthy margin on others they can hold #1 by winning the Australian open. Or if the world #1 doesn't have a high point differential margin the #2 might be able to take over by winning the Australian. So you might want to be more specific when you say "at #1" do you mean reaching #1 at any point of time during the year or perhaps finishing in that spot?
    – alamoot
    Aug 2, 2017 at 19:51
  • @alamoot right observation. I mean be at ATP/WTA #1 in any week of the year
    – Ale
    Aug 3, 2017 at 7:07
  • 1
    doesn't that mean whoever finishes #1 at the beginning of a year will be #1 in the first week of the next season without playing any tournament?
    – alamoot
    Aug 3, 2017 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


I am assuming OP means ending the year number one with the fewest tournaments played? As for that, the answer is a tie! In 1986, Ivan Lendl played in 15 tournaments, and in 2014, Novak Djokovic played in 15 tournaments.

Calculated from the following resources: For Djokovic & for Lendl

  • 1
    Another thing to keep in mind about the point totals discussed here are that they could be affected significantly by the results of the Canadian Masters and Cincinnati Masters events leading up to the US Open. Murray is defending 600 points in Cincinnati (2016 runner up) and 1,000 points are up for grabs to the champion of each event. Nadal, Federer and Murray are all playing in both tournaments.
    – jamauss
    Aug 3, 2017 at 7:40
  • @jamauss Yes, I overlooked those tournaments. Thank you so much for the reminder, I'll recalibrate my answer with those in mind! Aug 3, 2017 at 7:43
  • @LoganBaxter the asnwer is only one. I know that Federer can take #1, but I want to know in the past who take #1 with fewest tournament played
    – Ale
    Aug 3, 2017 at 7:58
  • @jamauss Andy Murray withdrew from the Rogers Cup (Canadian Masters)
    – alamoot
    Aug 4, 2017 at 2:53
  • @alamoot I saw that - he didn't play it last year (2016) though, so it won't affect his ranking point totals - it only means that Federer and Nadal have an easier shot at gaining points on him with their result in Montreal.
    – jamauss
    Aug 4, 2017 at 9:53

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