ATP Rankings: What Daniil Medvedev has to do to become world No 1 this month

James Richardson
Daniil Medvedev goes off on a rant

Daniil Medvedev’s pursuit of the World No 1 ranking remains in his own hands despite the imminent return to action of incumbent Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev can become the 27th man to hold the top spot since the rankings were introduced.

The Russian would be the first new No 1 since 2016 when Andy Murray interrupted this big three’s stranglehold on the position.

While Djokovic will return to action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships from 21 February, meanwhile Medvedev will be in Mexico taking part in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.

Medvedev needs to match or better Djokovic’s performance in Dubai to take the top spot.

The rankings situation is such that Djokovic can lose the top spot even if he wins a sixth Dubai Tennis Championships.

If Medvedev manages to become World No 1, he will be the third Russian man to accomplish the feat, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1999) and Marat Safin (2000-01).

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With neither man in action in the coming week, Djokovic is guaranteed to hold World No 1 spot for at least 86 consecutive weeks during his current stint. His longest stretch at the top was the 122 weeks he was rankings king from 7 July 2014 through 6 November 2016.

The last time the world No 1 wasn’t one of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Murray or Rafael Nadal was 18 years ago this month when Andy Roddick was top dog.

Medvedev would have seized the top spot if he beat Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open, but it all came apart for him in the end.

The Russian won his first Major at Flushing Meadows in 2021, frustrating Djokovic’s bid to the first man in the modern ear to complete the calendar-year Grand Slam.

All the scenarios in which Medvedev would climb to World No. 1 on 28 February:

  • Medvedev wins the Acapulco title, regardless of Djokovic’s results in Dubai
  • Medvedev reaches the Acapulco final and Djokovic does not win the Dubai title
  • Medvedev reaches the Acapulco semi-finals and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai final
  • Medvedev reaches the Acapulco quarter-finals and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai semi-finals
  • Medvedev reaches the second round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai semi-finals
  • Medvedev loses in the first round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai quarter-finals