Novak Djokovic will lose the World No 1 spot on Monday as he went down in straight sets to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely in Dubai.
After Daniil Medvedev reached the quarter-finals at the Mexico Open on Wednesday, Djokovic knew he had to advance into the last four in Dubai if he wanted to continue his bid to remain atop tennis’ mountain.
Congratulations also to a very deserving @DaniilMedwed, who will now become world number 1. 👏🙌
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) February 24, 2022
However, the 34-year-old came up against an inspired Vesely, who played aggressively throughout to stun Djokovic 6-4, 7-6(4) in one hour and 57 minutes.
Djokovic has spent a record 361 weeks at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings and also claimed seven year-end No 1s.
On Monday, Medvedev will take over as the new World No 1.
Say hello to your next World No. 1 @DaniilMedwed 👋
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 24, 2022
He will become the first man outside the ‘Big 4’ (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray) to reach World No. 1 since Andy Roddick in 2004.
Hours after his impending place atop the men’s game was confirmed, Medvedev masterminded a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in Acapulco.
“It’s not easy to play a match when you get this news during the day,” said Medvedev, who did not know that Djokovic’s loss guaranteed him the top spot until he started receiving congratulatory messages.
“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 third Russian man to reach No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1999) and Marat Safin (2000-01).
The 25-year-old will also join Andy Murray (2016) as the only first-time World No. 1 since Djokovic first reached top spot in July 2011.
“It is great for tennis to have someone new at World No. 1,” Vesely added.
“Novak is such a champion, he has been No. 1 for 361 weeks, but tennis needs new World No. 1s and there is a new generation coming up and I think it is great.”
Vesely has now defeated the top seed twice, having won their other meeting in Monte Carlo in 2016.