By James Crook

atplogoMarch 2 - Tennis superstars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic were in Dubai to launch the new ATP Heritage campaign, as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the organisation's Tour rankings, now sponsored by Emirates Airlines.

The Heritage campaign will serve as a platform to celebrate and showcase the achievements of the world's greatest players, from the inception of the ATP in 1972, to the present day.

"Much of the success of the ATP World Tour today is owed to the wonderful champions from our past." said ATP executive chairman and President Brad Drewett.

"Our tradition and history is something of immense value to everyone in our sport and, in 2013, we reach an important 40-year milestone with the beginning of the rankings in 1973.

"The rankings formed the core foundations of the ATP over four decades ago and have become a true marker through which excellence is measured and greatness defined in men's professional tennis."

ATP-Heritage-Federer-Drewett-DjokovicRoger Federer (left), Brad Drewett (centre) and Novak Djokovic (right) launched the ATP Heritage campaign in Dubai

Numerous celebrations for the anniversary are planned to take place this season, including a gathering of former world number one players prior to the US Open in New York, a commemorative book featuring all year-end number one ranked players and extensive digital and social-media content.

"The ATP rankings have formed such a significant part of our sport over the years." said Federer, who held the number one spot in the rankings for a record 302 weeks.

"I've always thought that being ranked world number one is considered the ultimate achievement.

"That's why for me, getting to the world number one ranking in my career is something I'm very proud of.

"Having reached the pinnacle of the sport, alongside such a distinguished group of names, is amazing."

Current ATP world number one ranked player Novak Djokovic also spoke of the privilege of being recognised as the best player in the world.

"Finishing the 2012 season as year-end nukber one for a second time was definitely one of my greatest achievements in my career so far." he said

"It's a reward for all the physical and mental challenges that you face throughout the whole season, one of the toughest achievements in sport.

"To know that only 16 players have achieved it in 40 years says everything.

"It's a great feeling to be part of that elite group of players and I'll do everything I can to try to finish as number one again in 2013."

A new heritage section has been launched on the ATP World Tour website, which can be found here.

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