NOVAK DJOKOVIC will return to the top spot of the rankings after Daniil Medvedev’s Indian Wells loss to Gael Monfils.
Daniil Medvedev has fired a warning at Novak Djokovic after surrendering his new world No 1 ranking to the Serb. The 26-year-old suffered an early exit in the Indian Wells third-round as 26th seed Gael Monfils came from a set down to win 4-6 6-3 6-3. The loss means Djokovic will return to the top of the rankings but Medvedev is hot on his heels and raring to take it back.
Medvedev recently became the first man outside of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray to occupy the top ranking since February 1 2004 – 18 years ago.
The 26-year-old had been in contention for the top ranking when both he and Djokovic were competing in ATP 500 events in Acapulco and Dubai respectively, and it was a quarter-final loss for the Serb in Dubai that allowed Medvedev to climb to the top.
But his stint as the current best male player will end after three weeks with his early exit in Indian Wells as he will drop 45 ranking points for falling in the last 32 of the BNP Paribas open, where he made the round of 16 last year.
His points from winning the Marseille ATP 250 are also being removed on Monday 21st, allowing Djokovic to surpass him and return to world No 1 for a record 362nd week.
But the US Open champion will be just 55 points behind him and with the Miami Open coming up, he is feeling motivated to get back to the top and stay there.
“Definitely not pressure. I thought it could give me more motivation, well, I had motivation. It’s just that, yeah, as I say, I didn’t find my best tennis,” Medvedev said when asked whether the weight of keeping the top ranking affected his game.
“Well, now I know I’m going to lose it, so I have Miami to try to get it back.
“Usually feeling a little bit better in Miami in terms of tennis, so we’ll try to play good there. You know, I always say, when I play my best tennis — my good tennis — it’s really tough to beat me.”
Already raring to go in Miami and reclaim the world No 1 spot, Medvedev admitted he had to improve from his Indian Wells performance and admitted he needed the consistency of Djokovic and his fellow Big Three members.
He continued: “But that’s the toughest part of tennis: to reproduce it time after time. That’s where the Big Three are just unreal, because no matter which conditions, no matter which surface, they are always winning tournaments a lot of the time or winning some crazy matches. Yeah, I’m going to need to try to do better.”
And Medvedev was motivated to improve beyond Miami, cementing himself as a long-time world No 1 while challenging Djokovic for the biggest titles on tour.
“Of course I want to be [in the No 1 spot] for a long time winning many slams, and yeah, you know, be there as many weeks as possible.So I’m going to try my best, on practice courts, on the matches, Grand Slams, Masters Series, to win as many tournaments and gain as many points and try to be world No. 1 for long time.”
But in he unlikely event he never returns to the top spot, Medvedev admitted he was just happy to have been there.
“Is it better to be No 1 for let’s say one week in your life or never touch it? I think it’s still better to at least touch it,” he admitted.
“I’m going to try my best, on practice courts, on the matches, Grand Slams, Masters Series, to gain, to win as many tournaments and gain as many points and try to be world No 1 for long time.