Novak Djokovic could still relinquish his world No 1 ranking despite nearing a comeback later in February. The Serb, who is yet to comment on his Australian Open ordeal, is expected to compete at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships from February 21.
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However, Djokovic’s return to the tennis court following his deportation from Australia and subsequent barring from 2022’s maiden Grand Slam might not prevent him losing his place at the top of the ATP rankings.
Daniil Medvedev, who missed out on becoming the top-ranked men’s player at the Australian Open, has another chance to overtake Djokovic.
The Russian will hope to become the first new No 1 since Andy Murray in 2016 and break Djokovic’s stranglehold at the top of the sport.
While Djokovic is in Dubai, Medvedev will be in Mexico taking part in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.
The ranking situation is so tight that Djokovic can win in Dubai and still be toppled by Medvedev.
That is because the 26-year-old only needs to match or better Djokovic’s performance to become No 1 for the first time in his career.
Medvedev missed out on overcoming Djokovic when he lost the Australian Open final against Rafa Nadal.
Nadal’s triumph, though, meant that he climbed ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer by claiming a record 21st Grand Slam.
The 34-year-old landed in Melbourne at the start of January having been granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia because of his vaccine-sceptical stance.
But the Australian authorities moved to overrule the governing body and an incredible legal back-and-forth was played out in front of the world.
Djokovic initially won an appeal but the government felt there were still discrepancies in his visa claim. He was then deported following a second court ruling.
(Source : daily express)