Daniil Medvedev ended the reign of Novak Djokovic by becoming the number 1 in the world. The Russian is the first player other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to reach the top of the ATP rankings since 2004.
The rise of the Muscovite was overshadowed by the tremendous insult he suffered in the Australian Open final, in which he had Nadal reassemble two sets. Daniil was on the hunt for his second consecutive Grand Slam after his triumph at the US Open, but his certainties cracked one step away from the finish line.
The Spaniard started 2022 in an extraordinary way, putting his 21st Major on the board and also triumphing in Melbourne and Acapulco. The 35-year-old from Manacor took advantage of Djokovic’s difficulties, whose position on the anti Covid-19 vaccine risks affecting his entire season.
Speaking to Eurosport, Mats Wilander said that Medvedev’s consistency over the past twelve months deserved to be rewarded with first place in the standings.
Wilander opens up on Rafa Nadal
“I think that you can be No.
1 in different ways. I feel like Daniil Medvedev deserves to be there, but to really go out and be looked upon as the best player in the world every day, he most probably needs to win a couple more Grand Slams while he is No.
1 in the world,” Wilander told Eurosport. “But that’s how the ranking works. That’s how the computer works and if you play a lot of tournaments and you’re consistent, you deserve to be there,” he added.
“But it must never be confused with being the best player in the world today and being the best player consistently over the last 12 months. There’s a huge difference between the two.” The Swede went on to claim that the Russian “has some distance to go” before he can be compared to the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic when they were No.
1. “[Daniil Medvedev lost] to Rafael Nadal in Acapulco in very humid conditions – the tennis balls are not flying through the air as quickly as they do in Australia and when they do hit the court, they stop skidding through the court because the surface was very slow,” Wilander said.
“So in Acapulco, I can easily explain why Medvedev lost because of the conditions.” Rafael Nadal bounced back from two sets down at the Australian Open 2022 against Daniil Medvedev to become the first man in history to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles.
He then continued his unbeaten streak into the Masters tournament at Acapulco, winning the title against Cameron Norrie.