Novak Djokovic news: ‘He deserves to be No 1,’ says Serbian about Daniil Medvedev possibly ending his reign

Novak Djokovic congratulates Daniil Medvedev

Novak Djokovic says he “will be the first one to congratulate” Daniil Medvedev should the Russian replace him at No 1 in the ATP Rankings.

Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic has stretched his record-breaking streak at the top to 361 weeks, but it could be a case of 361 and out by this time next week as Medvedev is within striking distance.

If the Russian wins the Mexican Open on Sunday, he will become the 27th player to sit atop the ATP Rankings. There are other scenarios at play as Djokovic needs to reach at least the quarter-final to have any chance of staying at No 1.

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

However, the Serbian says it was always only a matter of time before the reigning US Open champion surged to the top.

“It’s in his hands. He deserves to be No 1,” he said. “Eventually it’s going to happen. If it happens this week, I’ll be the first one to congratulate him.”

Djokovic, though, is only focusing on his own matches at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

He added: “The only scenario that I have in my head is to win every match that I play here.”

The 34-year-old will return to action this week for the first time since he was deported from Australia and he will face Lorenzo Musetti in the first round on Monday.

The duo battled for five sets at the French Open last year with Djokovic coming from two sets to love down to defeat the Italian in the fourth round.

“Of course, [my] first match is going to be very important to kind of start off the campaign in this year’s tournament in a positive way,” he said. “I have a young, very talented, tricky opponent in Lorenzo Musetti, who has had a big win over [Hubert] Hurkacz a few weeks ago in Rotterdam.”

The world No 1 added: “We played a tough five-setter obviously in Roland Garros. Clay, different conditions. He likes the more bouncy conditions. I think that this court is playing very quick, actually the quickest I ever experienced the surface here in Dubai. It was always fast, but a lot of players that I talked to have been saying the same thing — it’s very, very fast.

“Obviously if you serve well, it’s a big advantage. I’m hoping that I can get the good start of the match, hopefully nice atmosphere on the stadium. I’m definitely motivated and inspired to play my best tennis. We’ll take one day at a time and see how far I can [go].”