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13 Jun, 2022 08:55

Russian ace Medvedev recaptures world number one spot

Daniil Medvedev is starting his second reign atop the ATP rankings
Russian ace Medvedev recaptures world number one spot

Daniil Medvedev has officially reclaimed his place as world number one in the updated ATP ratings, marking the second time the Russian star will lead the men’s tennis rankings ahead of the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Medvedev moved top of the pile on Monday with 7,950 points. The 26-year-old replaces Djokovic, who slipped to third spot overall with 6,770 points, while Germany’s Alexander Zverev climbed to second with 7,075.

Spanish great Rafael Nadal – who has enjoyed a remarkable start to 2022 by claiming both Grand Slam titles on offer – sits fourth with 6,525 points.

Due to the ATP rankings system, 2021 US Open winner Medvedev is enjoying the fruits of his efforts across the preceding 52-week timeframe.

Medvedev had spent a three-week stint as world number one earlier this year when he overtook Djokovic back in February, making the Russian the first man outside of Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to achieve the ranking since 2004.

The current rankings mark the first time since 2003 that none of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have occupied at least one of the top two places in the ratings.  

Medvedev has made a mixed start to the current season, suffering defeat to Nadal in an epic Australian Open final but mostly laboring at subsequent tournaments before announcing a break for a hernia operation at the start of April.

The Russian was back in time for the French Open but only made it as far as the fourth round on his least favored surface.

Returning to grass in 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands last week, Medvedev reached the final at the Libema Open before being shocked by Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven on Sunday.

The Russian took the defeat with good grace, congratulating Van Rijthoven by saying: “Amazing week. [You] destroyed the No. 2 in the world in straight sets in the final, so I think it must be a good feeling!”

“An amazing match today. Keep it going. I remember you from juniors, you have the talent so now you need to make more matches like this and more tournaments like this. Congrats to you and your team.”

With the grass court swing underway, Medvedev and his fellow Russian stars will banned from playing at the biggest event on the surface after Wimbledon organizers ruled that Russian and Belarusian players would not be invited due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The ATP and women’s counterpart the WTA have responded by stripping the event of rankings points.

In rankings terms, that is a blow to the likes of Djokovic, who will lose the 2,000 points he secured by lifting the Wimbledon title last year, although the Serb has strongly criticized the London Grand Slam for its ban on Russian and Belarusian stars. 

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi recently signaled the organization would be willing to reverse its stance if Wimbledon backed down, while Medvedev has also suggested he would still be eager to play if given the chance.

However, a change of heart from Wimbledon organizers the All England Club seems unlikely given the SW19 showpiece gets underway on June 27.

Elsewhere in the ATP rankings, Russia’s Andrey Rublev retained his place inside the top 10 and currently resides in eighth spot on 4,125 points.