World No.2 Daniil Medvedev recently lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the pre-quarters of the Indian Wells 2021. Even though he was dominating the match in the first set, Dimitrov made a phenomenal comeback and defeated the Russian in three sets. Interestingly, Medvedev’s loss is Novak Djokovic’s gain as he stands to benefit from the Russian’s exit.
Novak Djokovic is really close to ending the 2021 year as the World No.1 player. He is still over 1,000 ATP points ahead of Daniil Medvedev and can break Pete Sampras’ record for ending the calendar year as the World No.1 for the most times. As of now, he is tied with Sampras, as both have achieved the feat six times in their careers.
Novak Djokovic takes 1,800 points from Daniil Medvedev
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021. Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev after their final match REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
Djoker has the edge over Medvedev now since he is most likely to feature at the Vienna Open and at the ATP Finals 2021. Thus, he only has got 490 points to defend- 90 in Vienna and 400 in Turin.
On the other hand, Medvedev will be taking part at the ATP Moscow and at the Paris Masters 2021 along with the above two tournaments and is the defending champion at the Paris Masters and ATP Finals; thus, he has to defend 2,635 points- 1,500 in Turin, 1,000 in Paris, 45 in Moscow, and 90 in Vienna.
Even if Djokovic fails to deliver at the ATP Finals 2021, he can still be the World No.1 since Medvedev will drop a huge amount of points if he fails in either Paris or Turin. Thus, the Serbian legend has a golden opportunity to break Sampras’ record at the end of this year.
Can Alexander Zverev stop Djokovic?
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with Germany’s Alexander Zverev after winning his quarter final match REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
There is one more player who can stop Nole from breaking Sampras’ record and that is Alexander Zverev. The German has really been in superb form this year but needs a little bit of luck in order to prevent the 20-time Grand Slam winner from creating history.
Zverev’s paths to year-end No. 1 pic.twitter.com/ArdscO2Pe2
— Oleg S. (@AnnaK_4ever) October 14, 2021
If Zverev succeeds at the Paris Masters, ATP Finals 2021, and reaches the semi-finals at the Vienna Open 2021, while Djokovic doesn’t play any more matches this year, the German can actually climb to the top spot in the ATP rankings by the end of the year. Even though this is highly unlikely, it still is a possibility.
It all depends on how Novak Djokovic plays in Vienna and Turin now. Will either of Alexander Zverev or Daniil Medvedev be able to stop him from ending the year as the World No.1 player?