Daniil Medvedev predicts who will be year-end No 1 as he sets himself target

Ewan West
Daniil Medvedev after a match
Daniil Medvedev chats to the media

Daniil Medvedev has backed rival Carlos Alcaraz to finish the 2023 season as world No 1 but outlined his intention to “attack” for top spot at the start of next year. 

The 2021 US Open champion feels it is “logical” that Alcaraz will be the year-end No 1 over Novak Djokovic as the great Serb will play less than the young Spanish star.

Medvedev is currently the world No 3 on 7,280 points, while Alcaraz sits in second on 8,535 points behind Djokovic, who occupies top spot with 11,795 points. The 2023 ATP Race to Turin Rankings, though, see Alcaraz just 770 points behind Djokovic, while Medvedev is 2,355 points behind the leader.

While Alcaraz and Medvedev are currently competing at the China Open and set to play the Shanghai Masters next month, Djokovic has opted to skip the Asian swing to rest.

The Serb also has a lot of points to defend from the end of his 2022 season, where he won the titles in Tel Aviv and Astana, was a runner-up at the Paris Masters, and won all five matches to triumph at the ATP Finals.

Djokovic defeated Medvedev in straight sets in the final of the 2023 US Open earlier this month and reclaimed the No 1 ranking after the event. Medvedev downed 2022 winner Alcaraz in the semi-finals in four sets.

Speaking at the China Open in Beijing, Medvedev discussed the battle at the top of the ATP Rankings and revealed where he hopes to be ranked at the end of the year.

“Everywhere I go, I seek to become champion, so the dream of being No 1 remains alive. But I know I am very far away and that my fight must be more about trying to finish in the top 2 and staying close to the top to be able to attack it at the beginning of 2024,” said the Russian in a press conference.

“I don’t think Novak will play too many tournaments, so logic indicates that Carlos would have to finish as No 1 at the end of the year. I will give the best of myself in all the tournaments that I will play.”

The 27-year-old also spoke about the challenge of determining how long a break to take following the 2023 US Open before resuming training for his return to competition.

“I went eight days without training and then I came back little by little to do more and more demanding training sessions,” explained Medvedev.

“In tennis it is difficult to stop, if you want to always be 100% you cannot take more than one or two days of rest, but if you do this you run the risk of being exhausted in a short time. We have to find a balance.”

Medvedev has progressed to the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 tournament in Beijing with straight-set victories over Tommy Paul and Alex De Minaur. The second seed will face either Andrey Rublev or Ugo Humbert in the last eight.

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