Daniil Medvedev pulls out of Auckland ahead of Novak Djokovic clash

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Daniil Medvedev pulls out of Auckland ahead of Novak Djokovic clash

The ASB Classic is the biggest men's professional sporting event in New Zealand, held in Auckland since 1956. It became a part of the Open era in 1971 and has been a regular stop on the Tour since 1974 when Bjorn Borg claimed his first ATP title there.

Miloslav Mecir, Thomas Enqvist, Marcelo Rios, Gustavo Kuerten, Fernando Gonzalez, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner had also won the tournament in the past and we will see whose name will appear on the trophy next week.

Daniil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov and John Isner were the players to sign to play in Auckland just before the Australian Open but the ATP Cup was certain to cause some mess there, with the top seed Daniil Medvedev deciding to withdraw from the ASB Classic ahead of Saturday's clash with Novak Djokovic.

Russia and Serbia will play for the place in the final of the ATP Cup in Sydney and world no. 5 has had enough encounters before Melbourne, hoping to win two more matches at the ATP Cup and take a well-deserved rest next week.

Kicking off the season in Perth, Daniil took down Fabio Fognini in the first match and dominated against John Isner in the second rubber to maintain a perfect score, allowing the American to take only four games. In the last group match, Daniil toppled Casper Ruud in straight sets, adding more points to his tally and leading Russia into the quarter-final where they ousted Argentina following his triumph over Diego Schwartzman.

With these points, Medvedev will pass Dominic Thiem on the ATP list on Monday, becoming world no. 4 and securing one of the top-four seeding places to avoid Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer clash before the semi-final.