ATP Ranking – Will Daniil Medvedev become World No. 1 in place of Novak Djokovic? All possible scenarios

It is perhaps one of the craziest pages of history from the point of view of statistics which is about to close. Since February 2, 2004 and the takeover of Roger Federer, the place of world number one has been monopolized by the members of the “Big 4”: Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. A total hegemony, distributed as follows:

Novak Djokovic: 357 weeks (as of January 24, 2022)
Roger Federer: 310 weeks
Rafael Nadal: 209 weeks
Andy Murray : 41 semaines

917 weeks (including 876 for Djokovic, Federer and Nadal) without giving way to others. The last time the throne of world tennis was occupied by a player other than these four was therefore at the very beginning of 2004, when Andy Roddick was number one, before giving way to Roger Federer after the latter’s victory at the Australian Open. If Daniil Medvedev succeeds Novak Djokovic, it will therefore be an event. But when will it happen?

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Between the shift of the 2021 and 2022 editions (February last year, return to the traditional month of January this year) of the Australian Open, and the still partial freezing of the classification, it is sometimes difficult to see clearly. So let’s try to put some order in all this.

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Djokovic will still be No. 1 on Monday

This is the first certainty. Yes, Novak Djokovic will still be No. 1 next Monday. He had the guarantee even before the start of the tournament since he had more than 2000 points ahead of Daniil Medvedev, his runner-up. However, a Grand Slam victory is worth 2000 points.

Ranking as of January 31

1. Novak Djokovic
11015 points

2. Daniil Medvedev
9645 if he loses in the semi-finals
10125 if he loses in the final
10925 if he wins the tournament.

Points debited in February

If the ATP ranking will undoubtedly be greatly upset in February, and this at all levels, it is for two reasons: firstly because the points for the ATP Cup and the Australian Open 2021 will be withdrawn ( because of the pandemic, the two competitions had been postponed by a few weeks last year), then because the points for tournaments like Rotterdam, Dubai, and so on will be debited twice (those of 2021 but also those of 2020 which had been frozen).

Novak Djokovic will thus be debited from 2640 points by the end of February, and Daniil Medvedev from 1700 points.

February 7
Novak Djokovic -140 (ATP Cup 2021)
Daniil Medvedev -500 (ATP Cup 2021)

the 21st of February
Novak Djokovic -2000 (Open Australie 2021)
Daniil Medvedev – 1200 (Open Australie 2021)

February 28
Novak Djokovic – 500 (Dubai 2020)

The impact of these point withdrawals is anything but neutral and the balance is unfavorable to Djokovic, who will lose 940 points more than Medvedev. Everything will therefore depend on the final result of the Russian in Melbourne this weekend, with three possible hypotheses.

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Novak Djokovic all smiles after winning the Australian Open for the 9th time on February 21, 2021.

Credit: Getty Images

1. Medvedev wins the Australian Open

The only case where he increases his total points compared to 2021, where he reached the final against the Serbian champion (1200 points).

The evolution of the ranking in the coming weeks would be as follows:

January 31
Djokovic 11015
Medvedev 10925

February 7
Djokovic 10875
Medvedev 10425

February 14th
The status quo

the 21st of February
Djokovic 8875
Medvedev 9225

If Daniil Medvedev is crowned Sunday on the Rod Laver Arena, he is therefore guaranteed to become world number one on February 21.

2. Medvedev loses in the final

January 31
Djokovic 11015
Medvedev 10125

February 7
Djokovic 10875
Medvedev 9625

February 14th
The status quo

the 21st of February
Djokovic 8875
Medvedev 8425

February 28
Djokovic 8375
Medvedev 8425

If he fails in the final in Melbourne, Medvedev’s takeover would not be called into question, but postponed by a week, to February 28, the date on which Djokovic would lose the benefit of his victory in Dubai in 2020.

3. Medvedev loses in the semi-finals

January 31
Djokovic 11015
Medvedev 9645

February 7
Djokovic 10875
Medvedev 9145

February 14th
The status quo

the 21st of February
Djokovic 8875
Medvedev 7945

February 28
Djokovic 8375
Medvedev 7945

By signing a worse result than last year, the current world number 2 would show a deficit of 480 points, the difference between a half (720 points) and a Grand Slam final (1200 points). In this case, Novak Djokovic would thus have every chance of seeing his reign extend at least until March.

Can the February tournaments be a game-changer?

This is the last “but” of this story. Beyond the result of Daniil Medvedev in Australia and the points withdrawn in the coming weeks from the two players, they will resume competition. Barring a request for a wild card (in one direction) or a last-minute package (in the other), the Russian has planned to play the tournaments in Rotterdam (week of February 7) and Acapulco (week of February 21), while the Serb, he should resume competition in Dubai (week of February 21), even if Richard Krajicek, boss of the Rotterdam tournament, would also like to see him come to the Netherlands.

All these tournaments are ATP 500, therefore awarding 500 points to the winner. They can therefore change the balance of power between the two men. But if Djokovic only plays one ATP 500 while Medvedev plays two, his position will only be more fragile. In this case, he will need, to stay in power beyond February 28:

. May Medvedev lose Friday in the Australian Open semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
. May Medvedev disappear very soon in Rotterdam and Acapulco.
. That himself signs a big result in Dubai.

So we can see it, even if he could get a little reprieve with an elimination of Medvedev this Friday in Melbourne, the problem becomes inextricable for Novak Djokovic. Especially since we are only talking about the very short term. Admitting that he manages to keep the place of No. 1 in the coming month, the “Djoker” risks paying sooner or later for his absence from the Australian Open and the 2000 points lost on this occasion. The question is therefore probably not whether Daniil Medvedev will become world number one, but rather when.

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Novak Djokovic will lose the 500 points of his title in Dubai on February 28, 2022 in … 2020.

Credit: Getty Images

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