Djokovic loses in Dubai and will cede the world to Medvedev | Europe up to date | D.W.

The Serbian Novak Djokovic, beaten in the quarter-finals of the Dubai tournament this Thursday (24.02.2022) by 6-4 and 7-6 (7/4) against the Czech Jiri Vesely (123rd in the world), will lose his number one Ranking ATP in the next ranking, to be published on Monday, for the benefit of Russian Daniil Medvedev.

It will be the first time since 2004 that the throne of men’s tennis goes to a player who does not belong to the so-called “Big 4”, i.e. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray.

Djokovic took last week’s record as number one to 361 before handing over to Medvedev, a runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year. Medvedev will be the third Russian player to be world number one, after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.

The last player outside of the “Big 4” to be number one in the ATP was the American Andy Roddick on February 1, 2004. To retain the top spot in the rankings, Djokovic had to do better in the Dubai tournament than Medvedev in that of Acapulco (Mexico), which is also being held this week.

Djokovic returned to official competition in the Emirati hard-court event for the first time since December when Serbia lost to Croatia in the Davis Cup semi-finals in Madrid.

The Serbian star made headlines in January for his detention and subsequent January 16 deportation from Australia for not being vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. He was therefore unable to defend his crown at the Australian Open, where Rafa Nadal was champion, thus adding his 21st Grand Slam title, standing out from the 20 of Federer and Djokovic himself.

In Dubai, Djokovic was able to participate because the United Arab Emirates does not require vaccination to enter its territory. He won two matches, against Italian Lorenzo Musetti (58th) in the first round and Russian Karen Khachanov (26th) in the second, but in his third match he fell to the surprising Jiri Vesely, who knocked out Wednesday Spaniard Roberto. Bautista, 15th in the world and recent champion in Doha. (AFP)

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