Novak Djokovic news: Serbian to lose No.1 ranking to Daniil Medvedev after shock Dubai defeat

The 34-year-old fell short against 123rd-ranked Jiri Vesely, losing the match 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 57 minutes.

Novak Djokovic in a file photo; Credit: [email protected]

Novak Djokovic’s 2022 season has taken a turn for the worse after suffering a shock loss to 123rd-ranked Jiri Vesely at the Dubai quarter-finals on Thursday. The upset result means the 20-time Grand Slam champion will lose the No.1 ATP Ranking to Daniil Medvedev on Monday. Earlier, Medvedev had booked a quarter-final ticket at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC. It meant that Djokovic had to reach the semifinal stage at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in order to stay at the top of the pile. However, the 34-year-old fell short against Vesely, losing the match 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 57 minutes.

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“It is an amazing feeling,” Vesely said in his on-court interview. “I never really thought I would have a chance against Novak. He is one of the greatest of all time. After the past 12 months, it is unbelievable. I have so many emotions inside. It is hard to describe. It is an amazing feeling.”

Jiri Vesely stuns Novak Djokovic in straight sets

After bagging the first set 6-4, the Czech qualifier failed to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set. However, he regrouped himself and survived a tricky tie-break under the lights on centre court to produce a major upset.

“Playing against Novak, he is such a great groundstroke player,” Vesely added. “He moves really well. You really have to earn it and fight for every single point. I think I did an amazing job today. I tried to keep the rallies short. Of course Novak had huge support. I love these matches playing against the best players in the world. Having full stadiums is something I have dreamt about my whole life. ”

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Daniil Medvedev will be the third Russian to top the rankings

Medvedev will now become the third Russian man on Monday to secure the No.1 spot in the ATP Rankings chart. He will join Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1999) and Marat Safin (2000-01).

“It is great for tennis to have someone new at World No.1,” Vesely added. “Novak is such a champion, he has been No.1 for 361 weeks, but tennis needs new World No.1s and there is a new generation coming up and I think it is great.”

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Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev continued his fine run at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday when he edged out American Mackenzie McDonald 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals.

“I just tried to keep fighting to see what would happen,” Rublev said in his on-court interview. “At 2-2 I managed to break him and then I started to play better and I changed the match. It is a great result and I am looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow. I am super happy, the most important thing is to keep improving.”

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