Tennis: Roger Federer and the No. 1 ranking

Roger Federer cheers after winning against Andreas Seppi, during their semi-final match of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Feb 17, 2018.
Roger Federer cheers after winning against Andreas Seppi, during their semi-final match of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Feb 17, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ROTTERDAM (AFP/NYTIMES) - Roger Federer officially reclaimed the world No. 1 position he last held in October 2012 when the new ATP rankings were published on Monday (Feb 19).

At 36 years old old, he is now the oldest No. 1 in history with his 12-0 record this season. He has played two tournaments this year and won both - Sunday's Rotterdam Open and January's Australian Open which he won for the sixth time.

Federer is three years older than American Andre Agassi (33) was when previously holding the record for oldest No.1 back in 2003.

Here are some facts about Federer and his ranking.

First time the Swiss reached No. 1: 2004

Age when he first reached No. 1: 22

Records:

- Federer holds the record of 302 weeks as world No. 1. American Pete Sampras managed 286.

- Federer is the oldest man or woman to be No. 1. American Serena Williams was 35 when she relinquished top spot in the women's rankings in May.

- By returning to No. 1 for the first time since November 2012, Federer has set a new record for the longest gap between separate stints in the position.

- He also sets a new record for the longest time between first topping the rankings and the latest spell there. Rafael Nadal did hold that record after reclaiming top spot last August, having first scaled the summit in 2008.

- Federer's 237 continuous weeks at world No. 1 from 2004 to 2008 is also a record.

Other facts about Federer:

- Since Federer was No. 1 in 2012, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have held the top spot.

- Federer had a five-year Grand Slam drought, ending it by winning the 2017 Australian Open to reach 18 Majors.

- In winning this year's Australian Open, he took his tally to 20, and has won three of the last five Slams.

- Federer has been year-end world No. 1 five times, one behind the record of Sampras.

- Only seven other players who were in the top 100 when Federer first got to No. 1 are still in there now: Nadal, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Feliciano Lopez, David Ferrer, Ivo Karlovic and Mikhail Youzhny.

Federer will now decide within a few days whether or not to travel to Dubai for the ATP event starting a week from Monday. He has a home and training base in the United Arab Emirates and has won the hard-court tournament seven times.