Czech Vesely scores major upset over Djokovic, which makes Medvedev the new world No 1 in men’s tennis

Djokovic’s loss means Medvedev becomes the 27th man to become world No 1 in men’s tennis

Daniil Medvedev, Acapulco, 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

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Czech Jiri Vesely upset Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday evening in straight sets. The result means that Russia’s Daniil Medvedev will become the new world No 1 in men’s tennis on Monday February 28, 2022.

Vesely broke Djokovic in the very first game and held for 2-0. Though the Serb broke back for 2-2, it was Vesely who managed a second break in the eighth game and then held on to his serve to win the first set 6-4.

Djokovic comes form a break down in the second set but goes down in tiebreak

The Czech left hander, who had beaten Djokovic in their only previous career meeting in Monte Carlo in 2016, broke the Serb once again in the seventh game of the second set to go up 4-3.

But as Vesely served for the match at 5-3, the 20-time Grand Slam champion fought back to make it 5-5 and then push the Czech left-hander into a tie-break.

Djokovic, who was playing his first event of the season after his controversial departure from Melbourne, was unable to break through the Czech and Vesely went on to win the tiebreaker 7-4 to complete the big upset.

With the result, Djokovic will be supplanted at the top of the world rankings by Medvedev, who now becomes the 27th man to occupy the top ranking in tennis. Vesely, a former world No 35, will meet either Denis Shapovalov or Ricardas Beraniks in the semi-finals.

Rublev comes from behind to set up Hurkacz clash

Second seed Andrey Rublev, who won the singles & doubles title in Marseille on Sunday, came from a set down to defeat American Mackenzie McDonald 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and win his seventh consecutive match on the tour. The Russian, who admitted he was running on fumes in his post-match press conference will meet fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz in Friday’s semi-finals.

The Pole defeated fourth seed Jannik Sinner, of Italy, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the last four in Dubai.

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