Djokovic to be replaced at No 1 by Medvedev after Dubai loss

Feb 23, 2022, 7:38 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2022, 2:15 pm
Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely during a match at the Duba...

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely during a match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — 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 atop the rankings began on 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.

Djokovic congratulated Medvedev on Twitter, saying the Russian was “very deserving” of the No. 1 spot.

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

“It’s great for tennis, I think, to have somebody new at world No. 1 again,” Vesely said in his on-court interview. “Tennis needs, of course, new No. 1s. A new generation is coming up. I think it’s just great.”

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. He beat Djokovic in 2016 in Monte Carlo the only other time they faced each other.

“I never expected to win again,” Vesely said. “He’s such a champion.”

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.

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Portland Thorns midfielder Olivia Moultrie celebrates after scoring a penalty kick against the Hous...
Associated Press

Olivia Moultrie proud of stand she took to play in NWSL

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It’s been a little more than a year since Olivia Moultrie signed with the Portland Thorns after suing to join the National Women’s Soccer League at just 15 years old. For Moultrie, the lasting lesson of her legal odyssey is that women should have the same opportunities to reach the top […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Alex Palou, of Spain, waits in his pits during qualifications for an IndyCar auto race at In...
Associated Press

Column: Palou persevering through Ganassi contract chaos

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The conversation, if one could even call it that, might not have lasted even 10 seconds. It was more of an exchange between Chip Ganassi, who took a moment to congratulate Alex Palou, the driver he is suing because the IndyCar champion is trying to leave his team at the end […]
15 hours ago
Serena Williams, of the United States, returns the ball during a match with Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, of...
Associated Press

Serena Williams earns first win of season in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) — Serena Williams earned her first win in more than a year Monday, beating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the women’s National Bank Open. It’s just the second tournament of the season for the 40-year-old Williams, who returned to competition at Wimbledon just over a month ago. The 23-time Grand Slam champion fell […]
15 hours ago
Kevin Harvick celebrates with his daughter Piper after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at t...
Associated Press

Harvick win complicates NASCAR playoff spots in final weeks

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — NASCAR just got more interesting down the stretch. Kevin Harvick won his first Cup race in nearly two years at Michigan International Speedway over the weekend — a result that could mean a driver who has a win getting knocked out of the playoffs. “It creates a big bubble,” Harvick said […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Baseball Hall of Famer and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis Eckersley applauds during pr...
Associated Press

Hall of Famer Eckersley to leave Red Sox booth after season

BOSTON (AP) — Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley said Monday that he will be leaving the Boston Red Sox broadcasts at the end of the season, his 50th in Major League Baseball. Eckersley, who was drafted by Cleveland as a California high schooler in 1972, went on to pitch 24 seasons as both a […]
2 days ago
Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Day...
Associated Press

Alabama No. 1 in preseason coaches’ poll; Ohio St. 2, UGA 3

Alabama was voted No. 1 in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll released Monday, with Ohio State second and defending national champion Georgia third. The Associated Press preseason Top 25 will be released Aug. 15. The Crimson Tide received 54 first-place votes from a panel of 66 major college football coaches. Alabama is coming off […]
2 days ago
Djokovic to be replaced at No 1 by Medvedev after Dubai loss