Shock Djokovic defeat makes Medvedev tennis king

Daniil Medvedev ended Novak Djokovic’s latest long reign as tennis world number one without even playing a match – going top of the rankings for the first time in his career

Novak Djokovic has been dethroned by Daniil Medvedev as the world number one male tennis player after suffering a shock defeat to Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Open, where the Serb superstar was playing for the first time since he was deported from Melbourne following his failed bid to play at the Australian Open.

Medvedev’s progress to the quarterfinals of the Mexican Open, where he is expected to beat world number 103 Yoshihito Nishioka next, means he became officially the best tennis player in the world without even playing as a result of a change in the ranking points caused by Djokovic’s loss.

World number 123 Vesely’s 6-4, 7-6 win over Djokovic marked an abrupt end to a promising early campaign for the 20-time Grand Slam champion in his first tournament of the year.

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE ⚡️ ⚡️@jiri_vesely stuns Djokovic for the 2nd time in his career, ending his reign at No. 1 with a 6-4 7-6 victory! pic.twitter.com/YXVuWHCuxq

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 24, 2022

Daniil Medvedev will become the @atptour number one on Monday.

The first man not named Nadal, Federer, Murray, or Djokovic to do so since 2004.

— US Open Tennis (@usopen) February 24, 2022

The icon had not dropped a set in his first two matches, easing past 2020 Olympic Games silver medalist Karen Khachanov in the round of 16.

Former Dubai champion Djokovic’s return to the tournament had been much-anticipated after his agony in Australia, where he was grilled by border force officials, detained in a hotel and ousted before the first Grand Slam of the year began following the second of two court hearings as the country’s government ultimately succeeded in canceling his visa.

Unvaccinated Djokovic had flown to Australia on the understanding that he would be allowed an exemption to enter the country and compete because he had recovered from Covid in December.

WHAT. A. MOMENT ⚡️

Inside the stadium as @jiri_vesely upset Djokovic to ensure @DaniilMedwed will become No.1! pic.twitter.com/wacwoXuuX0

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 24, 2022

Incredible!

Jiri Vesely improves his h2h vs. Novak Djokovic to 2-0, beating the Serb 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals in Dubai.

Djokovic loses his world number one spot next Monday for the first time since january 2020.

Daniil Medvedev is the NEW WORLD NUMBER ONE! pic.twitter.com/3EreQJFlXh

— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 24, 2022

The 34-year-old has said he is not against Covid shots but will remain unvaccinated for the time being.

Players were not required to have taken vaccines to enter Dubai and play in the ATP 500 event, although there have been widespread reports that Djokovic may face greater difficulties in entering events with tighter restrictions later in the year, and the star has admitted he would be willing to consider foregoing tournaments in order to remain unvaccinated.

Vesely, who beat Djokovic on the only previous occasion when they have met each other, served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, only for his opponent to break back in a response that some viewers believed would signal a conclusive comeback.

There’s a new name on the roll of honour 🌟@DaniilMedwed will become the 27th ATP World No. 1! pic.twitter.com/SsVMJHd34i

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 24, 2022

“He gobbles the ground up so quickly.”

Insane get from @DaniilMedwed at #AMT2022 👏 pic.twitter.com/dCkXaPJq0I

— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 23, 2022

The man who has never gone past the fourth round of a Grand Slam then won the crucial tie-break 7-4 in a victory that knocked Djokovic off the top of the rankings for the first time since January 2020.

Medvedev is yet to lose a set in Acapulco and could face a showdown with Rafael Nadal, who he lost the Australian Open final to in a five-set thriller.

Nadal has made his best ever start to a season, winning his 12th successive match with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Stefan Kozlov that lasted just 47 minutes.

He could meet Medvedev in the semifinals of the tournament, which continues until Saturday.

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