Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev is set to replace Rafael Nadal at World No 2 later this month.
No one outside the ‘Big 4’ of men’s tennis – Roger Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – has occupied the top two positions on the ATP rankings for the past 16 years. Lleyton Hewitt, who was ranked No 2 on July 25, 2005, was the last player to do so.
All four of them have all had spells at number one in the years since then, and no other player has had a look-in on those leading two positions.
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) March 6, 2021
Within days, however, that is about to change, as the younger generation of players gains a first foothold in the hierarchy.
The ATP, the men’s governing body, said on Saturday that 25-year-old Medvedev is certain to nudge up one place from his current position of world number three when the rankings, are published on March 15.
The Russian is currently on 9,735 points, 115 points behind Nadal, and he has a first-round bye at the Open 13 Marseille next week.
No 1 record
Meanwhile, Djokovic will break Federer’s record of most number of weeks at No 1 on Monday. The two players are currently tied at 310 weeks.
Djokovic is currently in his fifth stint as number one, having reclaimed the top spot from Nadal in February last year.
The Serbian finished 2020 as the year-end number one for the sixth time, tying the record set by American great Pete Sampras, and won his 18th major title last month at the Australian Open.
His record-extending ninth triumph at Melbourne Park meant he was just two short of the men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, jointly held by Federer and Nadal.
“Whether I think about winning more slams and breaking records? Of course, I do,” the Serbian said after his Australian Open triumph.
“And most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed at majors, trying to win more major trophies.”
Federer, who will turn 40 is August, has not played since losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals of the 2020 Australian Open and will make his return in Doha this week after undergoing two knee surgeries last year.