Nadal’s rating is “burning” at 9%, while Medvedev’s is 67%
Daniil needs to win a lot to stay on the first line
Daniel Medvedev returns to the tour after six weeks – he’ll play Los Cabos on Wednesday, Aug. 3, against world No. 224 Rinky Hijikata or 17-year-old wild card winner Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez.
The tournament in Mexico was originally expected to be a roll-in for the world number one after his return to the hard court, but even there he will have to play to his limits.
To be guaranteed of retaining the top spot in the rankings, Daniel must reach the final. And his opponents will be serious – Felix Auger-Allassim, Cameron Norrie (the current winner), Miomir Kecmanovic, Fabio Fognini…
Zverev could top the rankings on August 15
If Daniel fails in Los Cabos, Alexander Zverev could become the world No. 1 on August 15 (after the Montreal tournament). The German has withdrawn from the tournament in Canada, but Daniel has a thousand points to defend there. That is why he needs to reach at least the quarterfinals (in case of a final in Mexico). However, even if Zverev overtakes the Russian, he will not stay at the top of the rating for long. His chances of playing in the US Open-2022 after tearing his foot ligaments in the semi-finals of Roland Garros are rated very low. Reuters wrote, among other things.
Zverev has 61% of his ratings to protect by the end of the year. It is a big question how many tournaments he will play. So losses are inevitable. Medvedev has 67% of his rating on fire, a record for the tour. Daniil has 3,360 points to protect in August.
“Of course, I’m following the battle for first place in the ATP rankings a little bit,” the Russian admitted in an interview with the official website. – I know that by the end of the year, if I don’t try to win every remaining tournament, probably Rafa [Nadal] will be first. At the same time, I can keep that status as long as possible if I play well on the hard courts of tournaments in North America.”
Medvedev has been playing these hard tournaments magnificently in recent years, but it should not be forgotten that he will be under tremendous pressure: “Everybody will be talking about him being the first racket of the world, he will have the number one seed,” Andrei Chesnokov, winner of seven ATP tournaments and the first Russian tennis player to enter the top 10, told Izvestia. – His rivals will fight with twice the energy in each round, trying to defeat the top seed. So it’s not going to be easy for Daniil.
Nadal is the favorite
Nadal resumed his training a few weeks ago. Recall that Rafa withdrew from the Wimbledon semi-finals because of a torn abdominal muscle. He may have 545 points burned off in August, but he has nothing more to defend for the rest of the year.
The 36-year-old Spaniard has barely played the second half of the season in the last two seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic and injuries. So he has a really good chance to return to the top spot.
Only Medvedev’s supergame (to which he has already accustomed his fans in the U.S.) and injuries that do not spare the veteran can interfere. Nadal was last the world number one from May 2017 to May 2018. After losing to Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Masters, the Spaniard lost the throne to Novak Djokovic.
Nole, who has held the top spot for nearly three seasons, has 2,800 points to defend by the end of the year. He seems to expect to play in the U.S. despite his lack of a coronavirus shot. Carlos Alcaraz has only 1,025 points on fire and Stephanos Tsitsipas has 1,230. If either of them do well on the North American courts and Medvedev and Nadal start losing, we might see a new number one.
The 19-year-old Alcaraz is now one of the youngest players in the world to break into the top four. Mats Wielander, Nadal, Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg and Andre Agassia did it at an earlier age. Although Carlos lost his last two finals, in Hamburg and in Umag.