World number two Daniil Medvedev recently lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the 2021 Indian Wells quarterfinals. Despite dominating the match in the first set, Dimitrov made a phenomenal comeback and defeated the Russian in three sets.
Interestingly, Medvedev's loss is Novak Djokovic's gain, as he will benefit from the Russian's departure. Novak Djokovic is very close to ending the year 2021 as the world's number one player. He still has more than 1,000 ATP points ahead of Daniil Medvedev and can break Pete Sampras' record for finishing the calendar year as world number one the most times.
As of now, he is tied with Sampras, as they have both accomplished the feat six times in their careers.
Djokovic is set to return to action this season
Novak Djokovic is set to return to action this season, with compatriot Filip Krajinovic confirming the World No.
1's presence at the Davis Cup Finals. During an interview with Serbian daily Blic, Krajinovic stressed the Serbian team is eager to get their hands on the title, especially since Novak Djokovic will be present. “I would like to use the next three tournaments to raise my game before the Davis Cup," Krajinovic said.
“We are going there with all the best players, so our goal is to lift the trophy, just like we did in 2010. Novak is with us, so we are surely not going there to lose. We made an agreement to play, all of us, we are eager to get that trophy."
Filip Krajinovic reckons Germany and Austria will be "significantly" weaker without Zverev and Thiem, while Serbia, with Novak Djokovic, will have their strongest lineup. “Without them (Zverev and Thiem), it is clear that Germany and Austria are significantly weaker, and we have our best possible line-up.
The world No 1 is on our side and we are going there to win," Krajinovic said. "Usually, the success with the national team boosts our individual careers as well, so we are hoping that is going to be the case again now, before the 2022 season."
There is one more player who can stop Nole from breaking Sampras’ record and that is Alexander Zverev. The German has really been in superb form this year but needs a little bit of luck in order to prevent the 20-time Grand Slam winner from creating history.
If Zverev succeeds at the Paris Masters, ATP Finals 2021, and reaches the semi-finals at the Vienna Open 2021, while Djokovic doesn’t play any more matches this year, the German can actually climb to the top spot in the ATP rankings by the end of the year. Even though this is highly unlikely, it still is a possibility.