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International

Djokovic to Βe Replaced as No 1 by Medvedev after Dubai Loss

February 24, 2022

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Novak Djokovic will fall from No. 1 in the ATP rankings and be replaced by Daniil Medvedev after losing 6-4, 7-6 (4) to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships on Thursday.

Djokovic’s latest stay in the top spot began in Feb. 3, 2020, and his total of 361 weeks there are the most for any man since the tour’s computerized rankings began in 1973.

On Monday, Medvedev will move up from No. 2 for the first time and become the 27th man to reach No. 1. He won the U.S. Open last September and was the Australian Open runner-up each of the past two years.

Medvedev is the first man other than Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray to be No. 1 since Feb. 1, 2004.

It was the 34-year-old Djokovic’s first tournament since being deported from Australia last month for not being vaccinated against the coronavirus, preventing him from being able to defend his Australian Open title.

Medvedev is currently playing at the Mexican Open, winning in the second round on Wednesday.

After beating Pablo Andujar, Medvedev said of getting to No. 1: “If I do it it’s going to mean a lot.”

Vesely, who is ranked No. 123, completed a second career victory over Djokovic in just under two hours to end the Serb’s hopes of winning the Dubai title for a sixth time.

Vesely served for the match at 5-4 in the second set but was broken by Djokovic, who was always chasing in the tiebreaker.

Vesely clinched the win on his first match point.

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