Tennis star Novak Djokovic returns to competitive action on Monday night in Dubai facing the prospect of losing his status as world number one even if he wins the tournament.
Djokovic, 34, had led the ATP rankings for seven weeks before they were frozen on 23 March 2020 due to the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown of the professional circuits.
Since the men’s tour returned on 23 August 2020, the Serb has been top dog.
However, Daniil Medvedev can supplant him if he claims the Mexican Open in Acapulco.
The 26-year-old Russian takes on the mercurial Frenchman Benoit Paire on Tuesday in the first round and is seeded to meet his Australian Open conqueror Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.
“Well it’s in Daniil’s hands,” said Djokovic ahead of his first round match in Dubai against the rising Italian Lorenzo Musetti.
The two have not met since the Italian pulled out of their last-16 clash at the French Open in Paris after claiming the first two sets.
“And if Daniil wins the title and becomes the world number one, I’ll be one of the first to congratulate him,” Djokovic added. (RFI)