Russian star Daniil Medvedev's heartfelt plea for peace on historic day

Russian world No.1 Daniil Medvedev marked his rise to the top of men's tennis by calling for peace in Ukraine. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian world No.1 Daniil Medvedev marked his rise to the top of men's tennis by calling for peace in Ukraine. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian tennis superstar Daniil Medvedev has posted an impassioned call for peace on the day he officially took over from Novak Djokovic as the world's top ranked men's player.

Thanks to key rival Novak Djokovic's absence at the Australian Open, combined with his own impressive form to finish runner-up to Rafael Nadal, Medvedev was crowned world No.1 on Monday.

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But with Russia having commenced an invasion of neighbouring Ukraine last week, Medvedev obviously had much more important matters on his mind.

The 26-year-old, who lost to Nadal in the final of last weekend's Mexican Open, took to Twitter to share a message of peace in both English and Russian.

Medvedev said the world owed it to children across the globe to show them that they could grow up in a peaceful world.

"Today I want to speak on behalf of every kid in the world," he said.

"They all have dreams, their life is just starting, so many nice experiences to come: first friends, first great emotions.

"Everything they feel and see is for the first time in their lives.

"That's why I want to ask for peace in the world, for peace between countries.

"Kids are born with inner trust in the world, they believe so much in everything: in people, in love, in safety, in justice, in their chances in life.

"Let's be together and show them that it's true, because every kid shouldn't stop dreaming."

Medvedev's statement comes after both he and countryman Andrey Rublev called for peace as the conflict erupted last week.

Rublev wrote 'No war please' on the lens of a camera as he walked off court, while Medvedev used a press conference to call for peace.

Medvedev once again beaten by Nadal

In a rematch of combatants from the the epic five-set Australian Open final, Nadal defeated Medvedev 6-3 6-3 to reach the Mexican Open final, where he will play Britain's in-form Cameron Norrie.

A month ago in Australia, the 35-year-old Nadal came from two sets down to beat Medvedev and win his record 21st grand slam singles title.

Nadal is now 14-0 in the season and will try to capture his fourth title in Acapulco, where he's a fan favourite after winning the 2005, 2013 and 2020 titles.

"This week means a lot after what happened in Australia, I was able to remain focused, that means that I'm OK mentally and that's important because there's a tough final tomorrow," Nadal said.

"It's been a long career with more success that I could have imagined. To be playing here is a gift that I treasure and appreciate, I'm thankful for these opportunities."

Daniil Medvedev was outclassed by Rafael Nadal in the Mexican Open semi-final last weekend. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Daniil Medvedev was outclassed by Rafael Nadal in the Mexican Open semi-final last weekend. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

The Spaniard started off strong in the match with a break in the fourth game of the first set that lasted 47 minutes.

Medvedev, who will officially overtake Noval Djokovic as the world's No.1-ranked player on Monday, played better in the second set, but missed converting 11 break points, seven of them in a fifth game that lasted 19 minutes.

"I don't think that I played great today, my whole level on the match was not good enough to play against a player like Rafa," said Medvedev.

"There's not such a thing that I can take from this, to be honest I need to change everything I did today. I feel like I was missing some energy today."

Earlier, Norrie extended his hot streak in February by upsetting Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 6-4 in their semi-final.

After losing all four of his matches in January, Norrie is 10-1 in February and arrived in Mexico after winning the third ATP Tour title of his career at Delray Beach.

With AAP

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