'Wow': Fans react to shock Novak Djokovic twist in World No.1 battle

From left to right, men's tennis rivals Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev on court.
Novak Djokovic will reclaim his World No.1 ranking from Daniil Medvedev just weeks after relinquishing it. Pic: Getty

Tennis fans have been left in shock after Daniil Medvedev gave up his World No.1 status just weeks after replacing Novak Djokovic as the best player in men's tennis.

Medvedev crashed out of the third round of the Indian Wells Masters after a shock three-set defeat against Frenchman, Gael Monfils.

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The Russian - needing to reach the reach the quarter-finals in California to stay in the top spot - appeared on track to reach the last 16 when he won the first set against Monfils.

However, the French ace roared back to seal a surprise 4-6 6-3 6-1 victory that will be music to the ears of Djokovic, who is set to reclaim his status as World No.1 when the rankings next update.

Earlier this week, Medvedev received a trophy commemorating his ascension to the top of ATP Tour rankings.

He displaced 20-time grand slam champion Djokovic, who wasn't allowed entry into the United States because he's not vaccinated against Covid-19.

In his first match since overtaking Djokovic at the top of the world rankings, the Russian star scored a ruthless 6-3 6-2 win over Tomas Machac.

However, Medvedev's charge at Indian Wells was surprisingly ended by Monfils in his second match, with fans left stunned by how short his reign as World No.1 lasted.

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Daniil Medvedev can reclaim World No.1 ranking in Miami

Medvedev could reclaim his place at the top of the men's standings if he reaches the semi-finals of the Miami Open, starting next week.

Monfils clinched the win on the sixth match point in front of an adoring California crowd with a backhand winner, letting out a roar as he set up a meeting with teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.

"I'm quite happy right now, I'm in my zone," Monfils said.

"I moved quite good and then I changed the speed quite a lot."

Seen here, France's Gael Monfils celebrating his Indian Wells victory over Daniil Medvedev in 2022.
France's Gael Monfils celebrates his victory over Daniil Medvedev in the third round at Indian Wells. Pic: Getty

Monfils handed Medvedev the break in the ninth game of the first set with a pair of double faults and two forehand errors, as the reigning US Open champion dropped just four points on his serve in the opener.

But Medvedev lost the momentum in the second set, unable to convert on five of six break point opportunities.

Monfils broke him in the fourth game with a backhand winner and again in the eighth with a fiery forehand.

Overcoming obvious exhaustion, Monfils won the first four games of the final set as Medvedev was unable to set up a single break point opportunity.

It was the first time in 13 years that the 35-year-old Monfils beat the top- ranked player in the world.

Alcaraz crushed fellow seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2 6-0 in about an hour to become the first player through to the round of 16.

with agencies

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