Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

‘It’s great for tennis’ – Novak Djokovic conqueror happy to hand Daniil Medvedev world number one spot

Jiri Vesely is happy that men’s tennis will have a new number one player after he overcame Novak Djokovic in Dubai to set Daniil Medvedev up as the top dog on the ATP tour. 

The Czech qualifier pulled off a big upset to down the world number one 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to reach the semi-finals in the UAE, registering his second win over Djokovic in as many meetings.

The victory meant a lot to Vesely personally after he got in a serious car accident last summer and, though it left him uninjured, would certainly have shaken the ATP talent.

“It’s an amazing feeling,”  Vesely said in his post-match interview.

“I never thought I would really have a chance against Novak [Djokovic].

“I mean he’s really one of the greatest of all time, if not the best.

“After the last 12 months I’ve gone through it’s unbelievable.

“I have so many emotions inside, it’s hard to describe, it’s just an amazing feeling.”

The wider repercussions of the result mean that for the first time since 2004 someone other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray will lead the ATP rankings.

Medvedev will take up that mantle when the rankings system updates on Monday.

“It’s great for tennis to have somebody new at world number one again,” Vesely said of the historic moment.

“We all know Novak missed the Australian Open but he’s such a champion, been world number one for 361 weeks.

“Tennis needs new number ones with new generations coming up.

“I think it’s just great.”

Vesely faces either Denis Shapovalov or Ricardas Berankis next in the semi-finals.

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