Russian tennis star and reigning US Open champion Daniil Medvedev faced a shocking third-round defeat in the ongoing Indian Wells Masters, and this has also dented his ATP rankings. After taking over the No.1 position from Novak Djokovic and staying at the helm for only three weeks, Medvedev has now lost the top ranking. In order to retain his top position, the Russian needed to reach the last-eight stage in the tournament, but his journey was put to an end by Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Medvedev, who was competing in the tournament as a neutral athlete amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was shown the exit door after he lost to World no. 28 in the third round. He was defeated 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in what is being termed as a stunning fightback from Monfils. Because this was the 35-year-old’s first win over a world number one since 2009 and his fifth fourth round at Indian Wells in six years.
Although Medvedev lost the top position to Djokovic, he was happy that he reached that level. “Is it better to be No. 1 for let’s say one week in your life or never touch it?” Medvedev said. “You know, I think it’s still better to at least touch it.”
Dethroning one of the greats of the game who ruled that position for record 361 weeks takes something and Medvedev gave it all. He has been a revelation since his debut at the 2015 Kremlin Cup. And now he looks set on the path of greatness. After denying Novak Djokovic his 21st Grand Slam at the 2021 US Open, Medvedev dethroned him for the No. 1 position. He also made Rafael Nadal sweat hard at the 2022 Australian Open final.
When Medvedev reached the helm, he became the first player outside the ‘Big Four’ of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray to move to number one in the world rankings for 18 years, three weeks and six days – since Andy Roddick reached the top spot on February 1, 2004. He was also the third Russian to achieve the feat, after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin who were respectively top for six and nine weeks.