Daniil Medvedev rubs salt in Novak Djokovic’s wounds as he reveals Australian Open plan

Daniil Medvedev reacts to US Open win over Novak Djokovic

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Daniil Medvedev has addressed Novak Djokovic’s absence from the Australian Open while sharing his goal to dethrone the Serb and compound his woes after his extremely difficult start to the year. The Russian is the highest seed in the men’s draw as the world No 2 and is ready to step up and officially take the top spot in the rankings away from Djokovic.

Djokovic was deported from Australia on the eve of the season-opening Grand Slam after losing his Federal Court appeal hearing, as the judges upheld Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel his visa.

But the decision came after the Australian Open draw was made, meaning the nine-time champion had already been placed in the draw as the top seed to face compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic.

It meant that lucky loser Salvatore Caruso took Djokovic’s place at the top of the draw, and Medvedev remained the second seed instead of being bumped up to the top spot.

But the 25-year-old is the honorary top seed in Melbourne this fortnight, and now has his eye on claiming the world No 1 spot for real.

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Last year’s runner-up in Australia has the chance of finally claiming the top ranking if he can win the title in Melbourne.

Djokovic currently holds 11,015 ranking points while Medvedev trails behind him with 8,935 but the Serb will lose 2,000 of those as he is unable to defend his Australian Open title from 2021.

Meanwhile the world No 2 will add 800 points on to his current tally if he can lift the trophy next weekend, which would leave Djokovic with 9,015 points and Medvedev with 9,735 – earning him the world No 1 ranking.

And the Russian hasn’t shied away from his hopes of claiming the top-ranking but said he would deserve full credit for reaching world No 1 even if helped by Djokovic’s absence.

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“I think the higher you climb the rankings, the further you want to go.  I have been No 2 for quite a long time. I have been playing pretty well.  Of course, yeah, I want to, you know, become No 1, win 25 slams, or something like this,” he said, speaking after his second-round win over home favourite Nick Kyrgios.

Medvedev was well aware he had the opportunity to earn himself the prestigious ranking in Melbourne and become the first man outside of the Big Four to sit at the top spot since 2004.

He continued: “It’s tough, Grand Slams are tough, there are going to be tough opponents. Sometimes you lose early, sometimes you lose late, sometimes you win it. 

“I just want to, you know, try to, yeah, try to play really good.  If I manage to do big results, I can become No. 1, especially of course with Novak losing his points here.  I mean, we cannot not talk about this.”

While some have already claimed that results from this year’s Australian Open men’s draw would have an asterisk next to them with Djokovic unable to compete, Medvedev firmly disputed that issue and said he would deserve credit if he was able to steal the No 1 spot.

“That’s life, you know,” he added.

“Sometimes somebody’s injured, sometimes somebody lose.  Well, he didn’t manage to play here.

“That was a big story, but the result is this, and if I manage to become No. 1, even with these circumstances, I think I should still have some credits.”

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