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.
Gael Monfils beats a world number 1 just for the 2nd time in his career (1st since 2009), defeating Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach the last 16 in Indian Wells vs. Alcaraz.
Djokovic will return to the top of the rankings next Monday, 3 weeks after leaving the spot. pic.twitter.com/fV1dxLi5h6
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 14, 2022
That didn't last long. Daniil Medvedev loses his No. 1 ranking back to Novak Djokovic.
He lost in third round in #IndianWells to Gael Monfils, needed to make quarterfinals to keep it. https://t.co/bYUpzhm4n3#medvedev #NovakDjokovic
— Shad Powers 😷 (@shad_powers) March 14, 2022
Medvedev's early loss in Indian Wells means Novak Djokovic will return to ATP #1 in next week's rankings.
(Rankings don't update during Indian Wells or Miami because they're two-week events.)
Djokovic will only have a 55-point cushion, though, so Medvedev could retake him soon.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 14, 2022
So Medvedev needs to reach semis in Miami to gain #1… otherwise Djokovic stays until Monte Carlo 😃
Tennis suddenly got interesting
— Tennis Puneet 🐺 (@TennisPuneet) March 14, 2022
Daniil Medvedev, out of sorts, loses a lead and his No. 1 ranking. Out of Indian Wells in the round-of-32 to Gael Monfils 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
Djokovic to reclaim the No. 1 ranking after the tournament
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) March 14, 2022
Djokovic let Medvedev do this to him in the biggest match of his life and it only took Nadal 2 tournaments the following year to break this guy😭 pic.twitter.com/Fd6YbUnCGo
— ☪︎ (@Grealish10i) March 14, 2022
Next week, Novak Djokovic will be back as ATP World No.1.
Daniil Medvedev can get the top spot back before the clay if he reaches the semi-finals in Miami, where conditions suit him better than in Indian Wells.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) March 14, 2022
Well, that was quick. Daniil Medvedev falls to No. 2 in the world following that loss to Gael Monfils. Novak Djokovic will return next week as World No. 1
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) March 14, 2022
Road clear for Nadal for Indian wells.
Novak Djokovic to be world number 1again next week. 🐐🐺#IndianWells
— Kshitij Sharma. (@_ghostcookies) March 14, 2022
Novak Djokovic, who has barely played this year and was not allowed entry into the US for the Indian Wells tournament, will return to the top of the ATP world rankings next week as Russian Daniil Medvedev is beaten in three sets in the Last 32 by Gael Monfils #tennis
— Rob Maul (@Rob_Maul) March 14, 2022
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."
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.
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