This week tennis has a new World No 1 – Daniil Medvedev. The Russian replaces Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings but more amazingly, it is the first time since 2004 that neither Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or Djokovic occupies the top spot. Andy Roddick was the last man to hold the accolade before the ‘Big Four’ started their years of dominance when Medvedev was only 7 years old. Between them they have traded the top position 19 times and haven’t let anyone else touch it until this week.
It has been an impressive past few months for Medvedev who won the US Open in September to claim his first Grand Slam. He also reached the final of the Australian Open but lost out in an epic five set match to Rafael Nadal in Melbourne.
Djokovic has allowed Medvedev to claim the top spot due to his recent absence from big tournaments. The 2021 Wimbledon Champion missed the Australian Open due to a dispute over his Covid-19 vaccination status. This also gave Rafael Nadal the opportunity to move ahead of Djokovic in the all-time Grand Slam rankings by claiming his 21st major title.
There is a possibility that Medvedev’s reign as World No 1 may be short lived. The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia has led to many sports banning Russian athletes from competing in their respective fields. The world of tennis have not yet made an announcement on whether it will suspend Russian players from competing on tour but Medvedev may be prevented from defending his number one status if they chose to implement a ban.
The next big competition on the ATP Tour is the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. The ‘fifth’ major is a highly regarding tournament and all of the top players will be hoping to claim the title. However, it is understood that all players must be vaccinated against Covid-19 which could pose another problem for Djokovic who is still believed to be unvaccinated.