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After semi-final drama at Roland-Garros, Medvedev to regain No 1 in June

Daniil Medvedev’s Roland-Garros didn’t go as planned. But the Russian, knocked out in the fourth round, will regain the No 1 ranking in mid-June

Russia's Daniil Medvedev celebrates after winning his first round match against Argentina's Facundo Bagnis at Roland-Garros Russia’s Daniil Medvedev celebrates after winning his first round match against Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis at Roland-Garros Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

The race for the No 1 ranking on the men’s tour might not have been the most pressing topic after a dramatic men’s semi-final day at Roland-Garros but there is indeed now more clarity. 

And it is sure to please Daniil Medvedev. 

When Alexander Zverev retired in the second set of his clash with Rafael Nadal with a bad right ankle injury on Friday, it meant the German’s chances of soaring to top spot for the first time ended. 

He needed to win in Paris after Novak Djokovic’s loss to Nadal in their titanic quarter-final on Tuesday opened the door.  

Despite his tough defeat, the Serb will spend a record-extending 373rd week atop the rankings Monday before Medvedev is guaranteed a return on June 13. 

Djokovic failed to defend all of the 2,000 points he amassed last year by triumphing at Roland-Garros. 

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

Speaking earlier in the tournament, Medvedev was adamant he wasn’t concerned about people saying he only spent a few weeks at No 1 — three to be exact, starting in late February, prior to a defeat to Gael Monfils in Indian Wells knocking him off his perch. 

Yet the Russian — who won his first major last year at the US Open by ending Djokovic’s Grand Slam hopes — was clearly determined to return to the pinnacle. 

Making the finale in Paris on his least favoured surface would have guaranteed it happening, though the 26-year-old was overpowered by Marin Cilic in the fourth round. 

“I for sure want to be there more than two weeks,” Medvedev said, actually depriving himself of a week.

“It’s not something that pressures me, because I’m really happy I managed to do it. 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 went on Internet and looked just like this on Google, who were the shortest like No 1 players in the world, and first I saw Pat Rafter being there for one week, and he’s an absolute legend, and Carlos Moya was somewhere there. ”

It’s something nobody can take away from me.

Daniil Medvedev

Moya, now the primary coach of Nadal, achieved the No 1 place for one week during his career. 

“I didn’t know these stats, and somebody would ask me, ‘How long were Rafter and Moya No 1?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know, six months, one year,’” said Medvedev, who returned to action the week before Roland-Garros after hernia surgery kept him out for a month-and-a-half. 

“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 come back there.”  

He is now guaranteed to be back.  


But with Russian and Belarusian players banned from Wimbledon, he won’t be at SW19, although no ranking points are up for grabs. 

“I love Wimbledon as a tournament,” he said in his pre-Roland-Garros press conference. “I honestly tend to think I like playing on grass…but if I cannot play, I’m gonna try to play next year and try to play good there.”

Medvedev will still have a busy grass-court swing, scheduled to compete in s-Hertogenbosch, Halle and Mallorca in consecutive weeks. 

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