Daniil Medvedev ends astounding 18-year ATP streak by becoming new world number one
Daniil Medvedev will be the first player not named Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray to top the ATP rankings since February 2004 at the start of next week.
The shift comes after current number one Djokovic lost to Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Djokovic needed to beat Vesely in order to keep pressure on Medvedev, but he failed to do so, handing the US Open champion the top spot.
Since Federer took the number one spot from Andy Roddick on 2nd February 2004, the ensuing 921 weeks of the ATP rankings have been topped by just him and the other members of the ‘Big Four’.
Federer boasts 310 weeks at number one, Nadal 209 and Murray 41, but Djokovic leads the way with 361 weeks, about five full years.
The feat from Medvedev adds to another ranking first that he achieved in March of last year.
By climbing to world number two on 15th March 2021, the Russian became the first man other than the ‘Big Four’ to occupy that ranking spot since Lleyton Hewitt did on 24th July 2005.
The 26-year-old will lead Djokovic by at least 60 ranking points should he lose his next match in Acapulco, leaving him and the Serb on 8,525 and 8,465 ranking points respectively.
However, should Medvedev win in Acapulco he would pull further ahead to 8,935 points by the end of the week to lead Djokovic by 470 points.
He will become the first Russian since Marat Safin in April 2001 to top the men’s rankings, and just the third overall behind him and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Safin and Kafelnikov enjoyed a total of six and nine weeks as world number one respectively, tallies Medvedev could very well better.
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