Daniil Medvedev news: Russian’s delight at becoming world No 1 could be marred

Lucy Roberts
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev was named as the world No 1 in the ATP rankings today, overtaking Novak Djokovic, following his performance at the Mexican Open where he managed to reach the semi-finals before getting beaten by Rafael Nadal – but his new ranking could be overshadowed.

Medvedev is only the third Russian man to ever be at the top of the rankings but his county’s invasion of Ukraine which has sparked outrage across the world could engulf that achievement.

Sports governing bodies want to send a clear message to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, that his military action against Ukraine won’t be condoned, therefore the International Tennis Federation has been put under pressure to expel Russia and Belarus from the association and punish Russia in team and individual tournaments by not allowing them to play.

In a letter seen by Reuters, The Ukrainian Tennis Federation described the recent actions of Belarus and Russia as “unprecedented, cynical and bloody.”

“Civilians are dying, including women and children; civilian infrastructure is collapsing…this is a full scale war that will push our country back decades,” the letter added.

“Russia and Belarus do not have the right not only to hold international competitions on their territory, but also to participate in all ITF team and individual tournaments abroad.”

The Ukrainian Tennis Federation board member Seva Kevlych revealed to Reuters that he believes Medvedev and other Russian players shouldn’t be allowed to participate in Grand Slams, and Russia should be barred from playing in the Davis Cup and Billie Jean Cup events.

So far, the ITF has cancelled all events in Russia for the foreseeable future and has said that no events will be held in Belarus for the rest of 2022, but there is still a question mark over whether Russian players will be able to take part at Indian Wells which gets underway from March 10.

Medvedev hasn’t commented on the situation recently, instead saying that he wanted to promote peace, while Andrey Rublev wrote “No war please” on the camera following a match at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The 26-year-old is world No 1, but how long can that last if he isn’t allowed to defend his ranking?