Acapulco | Medvedev climbs to the top of the rankings


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On the day that Russia invaded the Ukraine, Daniil Medvedev, enjoying his stay in the Mexican holiday resort of Acapulco, heard that he would become the official World No.1 on Monday following the news that the current incumbent, Novak Djokovic, had lost his quarter-final match in Dubai.

Of course, I’m happy to reach No. 1. It was my goal since I was young. Daniil Medvedev

But that news was blurred somewhat by the invasion of the Ukraine which didn’t sit very well with the top seed at the Mexican Open who continued his comfortable progress towards the semi-final with a 6-2 6-3 win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, a qualifier.

“Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy,” Medvedev said following his win. “By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world. We play in so many different countries; I’ve been in so many countries as a junior and as a pro. It’s just not easy to hear all this news. … I’m all for peace.”

Medvedev noted that the pair that won the doubles title at the Marseille Open last week included one Russian (Andrey Rublev) and one Ukrainian (Denys Molchanov), declaring: “This was amazing, because people need to stay together.”

Reflecting on the day, Medvedev added: “In these moments, you understand that tennis sometimes is not that important. … It was not easy to play and I’m happy that I managed to win the match, but it was bit of a roller-coaster day for me.”

The 26-year-old Medvedev, who won last year’s U.S. Open for his first Grand Slam title, said he received congratulations from other players about his new ranking status, which will become official on Monday.

“Of course, I’m happy to reach No. 1,” Medvedev said. “It was my goal since I was young.”

He will face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the hard-court tournament when he will attempt to avenge his loss in the final of the Australian Open last January after leading the Spaniard by two sets to love and having also lost to Djokovic at that stage 12 months earlier!

“Always playing against the Big Three or Big Four, it´s an honour, and a great challenge. In Australia (against Nadal), I could have won, but the result in the end was that I lost,” Medvedev said. “It was a tough loss, but that’s how sport is.”

Rafael Nadal marches into the semi-finals

Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Nadal, a three-time Acapulco champion, beat American Tommy Paul 6-0 7-6(5) to improve his record to 13-0 for the season and 23-2 at the event itself.

“(Medvedev) is a tough opponent, the No. 1 in the world and we all saw in Australia how hard (it) is to beat him”, Nadal said. “I´m aware that I need to be at 100% to have a chance, but I´m looking forward to it, it will be demanding, but I hope to be ready”.

Nadal also revealed his thoughts on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“I can give an opinion as a citizen,” Nadal said. “I don´t want to talk about who is to blame, but for me it´s unbelievable that there are wars at this moment. I can´t comprehend it and I wish for it to end now, because at the end of the day I think it´s devastating and incomprehensible news.”

In other results, third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas also moved on to the semi-finals with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Marcos Giron and will next play Britain’s No.1 Cameron Norrie who romped past Peter Gojowczyk, a Lucky Loser from Germany, 6-1 6-0.

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