Why Daniil Medvedev is always happy to be world No 1 – no matter how long it lasts

The new world No 1 isn’t the type to count days on a calendar

Daniil Medvedev and Patrick Rafter Daniil Medvedev in 2022 and Patrick Rafter in 2000 © Panoramic

Daniil Medvedev is the world No 1 again. Last time he was on top of the rankings he stayed there for only three weeks and with Russian players currently banned from competing at Wimbledon later this month, he may find his reign at the top this time round similarly truncated.

We do know, however, that the 26-year-old won’t be counting the days of his reign; rather, he’s pleased to be part of an exclusive club – and if he does drop from the top, he’ll be motivated to get back up there again.

Medvedev “happy (he) managed to do it”

He spoke about it at Roland-Garros, when he could have reclaimed the world No 1 spot outright immediately had he won the tournament.

“It’s not something that pressures me [thinking about becoming world No 1], because I’m really happy I managed to do it,” he told journalists in a press conference. “I remember Indian Wells I lost, didn’t like my match against Gael. Well, okay, it’s tennis, I lost. That’s when I knew I was going to lose the No. 1 spot. I was like, ‘Well, just two weeks.’

Daniil Medvedev, Roland-Garros 2022
Daniil Medvedev, Roland-Garros 2022 © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

“I went on Internet and looked just like this on Google, who were the shortest No. 1 players in the world, and the first I saw Pat Rafter being there for one week, and he’s an absolute legend, and Carlos Moya was somewhere there. Yeah, two weeks…I didn’t know these stats, and [if] somebody would ask me, ‘How long were Rafter and Moya No. 1?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know, six months, one year?’

“Yeah, it’s something nobody can take away from me. Not that many players could take it while they play tennis. It’s a great motivation to try to come back there.”

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