Daniil Medvedev celebrated his rise to the world number one ranking with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Yoshihito Nishioka in the quarter-finals of the ATP Mexico Open on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Russian rode a rollercoaster of emotions after learning he’d take over the top spot thanks to Serbian star Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final defeat in Dubai hours earlier.
But he got the job done against Japan’s Nishioka to stay on course for a possible semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal in a rematch of the Australian Open final, which was won by the Spaniard for his record-setting 21st Grand Slam title.
“It’s not easy actually to play a match when you get this (news) during the day,” Medvedev said of maintaining his focus after learning he will supplant Djokovic atop the rankings on Monday.
Djokovic’s 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) upset at the hands of Czech world number 123 Jiri Vesely ensured the Serb’s reign will end.
“To be honest, I saw that he was losing, but I didn’t know that if he loses I’m going to become number one,” Medvedev said. “I thought that I had to do something big here. So then when I was receiving all the messages, well, I understood, OK, it’s gonna happen.
“The first goal for me was to still win today, because I’m here to try to win every match I play.
“But it’s definitely some great news.”
Medvedev will become the first man since 2004 outside the game’s “Big Four” of Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, to occupy the number one spot.
He becomes the third Russian man after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin to ascend to number one.
- With Novak Djokovic’s loss to Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships the Acapulco top seed Daniil Medvedev has clinched No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on Monday. Medvedev is the third Russian (Kafelnikov, Safin) to be ranked No. 1. He is also the 27th overall World No. 1 since 1973.
- NOTE: Table below excludes 22 weeks when ATP Rankings were frozen in 2020
Weeks as men's #1 since February 2, 2004
|Players||No of weeks as ATP No 1|
|All Other Players||0|
- World No. 123 Jiri Vesely is the lowest-ranked semi-finalist in the 30-year history of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. He meets fellow lefty Denis Shapovalov for the first time on Friday after stunning fivetime champion Novak Djokovic and ensuring that Daniil Medvedev will be the new World No. 1 on Monday
- Vesely also upset No. 1 Djokovic at 2016 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo. He is one of three players to defeat Djokovic multiple times without losing to him, joining Nick Kyrgios (2-0) and Marat Safin (2-0). Neither Kyrgios nor Safin defeated Djokovic when the Serbian was World No. 1. Vesely and Medvedev (4-3 vs. No. 1 Djokovic) are the only two players to post a winning record in multiple meetings with the top-ranked Djokovic.
- Vesely also upset No. 1 Djokovic at 2016 ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo. He is one of three players to defeat Djokovic multiple times without losing to him, joining Nick Kyrgios (2-0) and Marat Safin (2-0). Neither Kyrgios nor Safin defeated Djokovic when the Serbian was World No. 1. Vesely and Medvedev (4-3 vs. No. 1 Djokovic) are the only two players to post a winning record in multiple meetings with the top-ranked Djokovic
With ATP Media and AFP inputs