Daniil Medvedev has his eye firmly on reclaiming the world No 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic at the French Open. The 26-year-old overtook the Serb at the top spot for just two weeks earlier this year but knows what he must do in Paris to dethrone Djokovic once again.
Medvedev is through to the second week of the French Open without dropping a set in what is just his second tournament after undergoing hernia surgery. The world No 2 is defending 360 ranking points from his quarter-final appearance last year and is already one match away from doing so, while Djokovic has 2,000 points to defend as the reigning champion.
And the US Open champion is well aware of what he must do to overtake Djokovic as the world No 1 with the 35-year-old defending more points than him, as he touched on claiming the ranking following his third-round win over another Serb in Miomir Kecmanovic. “I’ve already seen that if I go to the final I guarantee No 1, which is great,” he said.
Medvedev has already had a taste of the world No 1 spot when he ascended to world No 1 on February 28, ending the Big Four’s 18-year run at the top of tennis with Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray sharing the ranking since February 1 2004. But he was on top for just two weeks before handing the spot back to Djokovic.
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Medvedev had never won a match at the French Open until his quarter-final run 12 months ago and was known for playing worse on the clay but admitted he played his best match on the surface when he downed Kecmanovic 6-2 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 48 minutes on Saturday.
Asked whether he’d reached his best level on clay, the 13-time title winner said: “It will be tough to compare to last here, but this year so far yes. To be honest before the match I never thought I could make this score happen on a clay court,” and in the French portion of his press conference added: “I’m moving into this direction, I don’t know if I can play better on clay actually.”