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Djokovic set for Rublev showdown in Dubai, Medvedev poised to take No 1 spot

The world No 1 goes into Dubai knowing that he could finally lose his grip on the top of the rankings regardless of what he manages on the court

Novak Djokovic in Dubai Tennis player Novak Djokovic visits the Serbia pavilion at Expo 2020 for the presentation of the Novak Djokovic Foundation, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 17, 2022 (Panoramic)

ATP Dubai Draw | ATP Acapulco Draw

Novak Djokovic will play his first competitive match of the year against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti as the Serbian seeks to win both a sixth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and defend his world No 1 status.

Djokovic’s potential path to the title

  • Round 1: Lorenzo Musetti
  • Round 2: Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur
  • QF: Roberto Bautista Agut
  • SF: Denis Shapovalov
  • F: Andrey Rublev

Looking at the Dubai draw

Andrey Rublev heads the bottom half of the draw as the second seed, and has drawn a potentially tricky opponent in Britain’s Dan Evans in the first round. Defending champion Aslan Karatsev plays American Mackenzie McDonald first up.

The field also includes Felix Auger-Aliassime, seeded third, fourth seed Jannik Sinner, fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz, and sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, who could be Djokovic’s semi-final opponent.

Looking at the Acapulco draw

Daniil Medvedev is the top-seed in a very loaded Acapulco draw, which features Rafael Nadal and a total of nine top-20 players. Medvedev will open with Benoit Paire, and would face Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals if the seeds hold.

Rafael Nadal, seeded fourth, opens with Reilly Opelka and could face either Grigor Dimitrov or Maxime Cressy in his second match, before a potential quarter-final with Matteo Berrettini.

Medvedvev’s potential path to the title.

  • Round 1: Benoit Paire
  • Round 2: Alex Hernandez or Pablo Andujar
  • QF: Taylor Fritz
  • SF: Berrettini or Nadal
  • F: Zverev or Tsitsipas

World No 1 ranking

Daniil Medvedev, the world No 2, is not in Dubai – he will be in Acapulco. If he wins the title there, he will knock Djokovic off the top of the rankings.

There are other scenarios in which he would reach the top spot. The Russian will be world No 1 on February 28 if:

  • he wins the Acapulco title regardless of what Djokovic does in Dubai;
  • he reaches the Acapulco final and Djokovic does not win the Dubai title;
  • he reaches the Acapulco semi-finals and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai final;
  • he reaches the Acapulco quarter-finals and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai semi-finals;
  • he reaches the second round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai semi-finals;
  • he loses in the first round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the Dubai quarter-finals.
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