Novak Djokovic Daniil Medvedev US Open ATP 2021

Novak Djokovic believes Daniil Medvedev ‘deserves’ World number one position

Should Daniil Medvedev steal his World number one spot, Novak Djokovic admitted he would be the “first one to congratulate him” for such a “deserved” triumph.

20-time Grand Slam legend Djokovic will be making his first appearance of the new year at the Dubai Tennis Championships after he was deported just one day before the Australian Open got underway.

Meanwhile, US Open champion and World number two Medvedev will be competing at the Mexican Open.

As Djokovic fought the termination of his medical exemption visa in court, it was revealed that he was unvaccinated. He then reiterated and re-emphasised his stance in an interview with the BBC when he said he intends to remain unvaccinated.

This has put his tournament involvement, particularly at the Grand Slams and Masters 1000 events, in doubt and he could subsequently relinquish his World number one position and be ruled out of ending his career as the most successful male player ever.

Currently, World number one Djokovic sits 1,240 points ahead of Medvedev in the ATP World rankings but that could be set to change this week with both competing at different events.

For Medvedev to become the new World number one and the first Russian to do so since Marat Safin in 2001, he needs to either match or better Djokovic’s result.

Although, both have been given difficult draws that leave the race extremely challenging to predict.

Despite such a rivalry at the top level of the sport, the duo share an amicable relationship. Djokovic and Medvedev have been pictured training together on multiple occasions and Djokovic has often offered advice to the Russian number one.

In a pre-match press conference ahead of the Dubai Championships, Djokovic said “I know that he’s very close and it depends what I do here.

“I’m not aware of all the different scenarios but the only scenario I have in my head is to win every match that I play here.

“It’s in his hands but he deserves to be [World] number one.

“Eventually it’s going to happen and if it happens this week I’ll be the first one to congratulate him.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.