After losing to Jiri Vesely 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships, Novak Djokovic will lose his number one ranking. Djokovic’s first tournament of 2022 came after he was barred from competing in the Australian Open due to a lack of vaccination against Covid-19.
On Monday, the Serb will be replaced at the top of the men’s rankings by Daniil Medvedev. “I never imagined I’d have a chance against Novak,” Vesely remarked.
The 123rd-ranked Czech Republic player was broken when serving for the match, but came back to win the second set tie-break to secure an incredible triumph. “It’s an incredible sensation,” Vesely added to Amazon Prime. “He (Djokovic) is one of, if not the finest, tennis players of all time.”
Medvedev of Russia will become the first player in 18 years to reach the top of the rankings without Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Andy Murray. Djokovic has held the world number one position for 361 weeks, which is a record in men’s tennis.
In 2016, Vesely defeated the 20-time Grand Slam winner on the Monte Carlo clay, and he repeated the feat in Dubai on the hard courts.
Daniil Medvedev has steadily accumulated ranking points over the last two and a half years, winning his first Grand Slam championship and reaching three more finals.
Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal from the Australian Open hastened his ascension to the top, but Medvedev is a deserving replacement.
The 26-year-old, who is exceptional and forceful on hard courts, showed indications of mastering the clay of Roland Garros and the grass of Wimbledon last year.
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