26-year-old Daniil Medvedev has become the 27th player to reach the world’s number one ranking in men’s tennis. The Russian claimed the top spot following Djokovic’s failure to secure a quarterfinal win over Jiri Vesely in Dubai.

Since 2016, Medvedev has steadily climbed up the rankings. He broke into the top 100 rankings in November 2016 and has since become a force. Every year from 2016 was a new career ranking, reaching the top 50 in July 2017 till he ascended the top 10 in 2019. The summer of 2019 was even more of a breakthrough for the Russian. He claimed three titles in the span of 10 weeks. This includes his first Masters 1000 title after defeating Djokovic in Cincinnati. During this period, he had broken into the top 4 and was untouchable.

Hardcourt Dominance

His performance level on the hardcourt surface has been a key factor in his rise through the rankings. He holds the record of most wins on the surface since March 2021. Twelve of his thirteen titles have come from hardcourt including a major (the US Open in 2021). Meddy has been known to show up and show out at big tournaments.  He has an 18-6 match record at ATP Masters 1000 events over the past year. 

“When it becomes closer to you, you dream less about it and do more to achieve it.”

Daniil Medvedev

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Despite all these accolades, Daniil doesn’t seem to be at the level of the big three, according to former world no. 1 Mats Wilander. The Swedish tennis player believes there are more steps to be taken in order for Daniil to be truly seen as the best player. Daniil stands the risk of dropping the number one spot after Indian Wells as he is expected to lose 250 points from his 2021 title in Marseille. However, it is also dependent on the results after Indian Wells since Djokovic may not be allowed to play.