Daniil Medvedev was the great ruler of the men's circuit in November, not having lost a single match between the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000 and the Nitto ATP Finals in London. Despite having beaten Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in the Tournament of Masters, the Russian player still believes he is far from the top of the table.
Although the gap between the Big 3 and the rest of the players has undoubtedly narrowed, Djokovic won the Australian Open at the beginning of the year and Nadal won Roland Garros without giving up a single set. 2021 will also sanction the return of Roger Federer to the tour, who this year only played in the Australian Open before undergoing surgery twice on his right knee.
Medvedev gave a long interview to the online portal TASS, in which he admitted that the gap from the top is still quite substantial. The World number 4 will certainly have to improve his Grand Slam performance compared to this year.
Medvedev on the Big 3
"It's still a long way to get to the top of the line [in the ATP World Rankings]. It all depends on me, the more tournaments that I have, like in Paris and London, the more chances I'll get to go to the top of the ATP rankings," Daniil Medvedev said.
"However, it will be more complicated to achieve this aim with Rafa [Rafael Nadal], Roger [Federer] and Novak [Djokovic] still locking horns on the courts, but I will try to do my best," he added. The three players have also maintained a stronghold over the top position in the ATP rankings.
Outside the Big 3, only Andy Murray has been able to reach that spot in the last 16 years. "You have to complete the season better than all the rest to become the World's No. 1, and sometimes, 8,000 points can be sufficient.
But on other occasions, 12,000 points is not enough," the 2019 US Open runner-up continued. Due to the tour suspension for five months between March and August coupled with the difficulties experienced by players in travelling and competing, the ATP tour is currently using a modified ranking system.
Under this new methodology, a player's best result from 2019 or 2020 at the same event (if played after the resumption of the tour) would be considered towards his ranking points. Thus, Rafael Nadal's ATP ranking still includes the 2,000 points he earned for winning the 2019 US Open, even though he didn't play the New York Slam this year.