MATCH POINT: Veselý completes Djokovic upset to clinch No. 1 for Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev will rise to world No. 1 on Monday, February 28, 2022, as a result of Novak Djokovic’s loss in Dubai Thursday.

The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion, who has spent a record 361 weeks atop the ATP singles rankings, including the past 86 (sum does not include the COVID-19 pandemic freeze period of 22 weeks), was ousted by qualifier Jiří Veselý, 6-4, 7-6 (4), in 1 hour and 58 minutes.

"Unfortunately, wasn't my day. I congratulate Jiri," Djokovic said in press afterwards. "He played better. He just went for his shots. His serve was big. His whole game was big."

The left-hander previously defeated Djokovic in their lone prior meeting at Monte Carlo in 2016, but came into this week ranked No. 123. Vesely initially failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, but recovered in the tiebreaker to shut the door.


Medvedev will be the ATP's first inaugural No. 1 since Andy Murray on November 7, 2016.

Medvedev will be the ATP's first inaugural No. 1 since Andy Murray on November 7, 2016.

The Czech's most recent victory over a Top 10 opponent came at 2019 Wimbledon, when he took down then No. 5 Alexander Zverev in the first round. Vesely awaits sixth seed Denis Shapovalov or Ricardas Berankis.

"I never expected to win again," Vesely said. "He's such a champion."

Medvedev will become the first player outside of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray to occupy the No. 1 ranking since Andy Roddick on February 1, 2004. He is the third Russian man to achieve the feat, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin, and 27th overall.

"It's great for tennis, I think, to have somebody new at world No. 1 again," Vesely said after the match. "Tennis needs, of course, new No. 1s. A new generation is coming up. I think it's just great."

Djokovic was competing in his first event of the year, following his deportation from Australia.