1 of 5 | Novak Djokovic of Serbia surrendered the top spot in the ATP singles rankings with a straight sets loss in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Serbian Novak Djokovic lost to Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in a quarterfinal Thursday at the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships and will lose his No. 1 world ranking when the new ATP rankings are released Monday.
Veseley, ranked No. 123, beat Djokovic 6-4, 7-6(4) in the one hour, 57-minute match at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia advanced in straight sets in his first two matches of the Mexican Open and faces Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in his quarterfinal match at 6 p.m. EST Thursday in Acapulco.
The Serbian held the top spot in the rankings since Feb. 3, 2020. His 361 total weeks as the world's top men's singles player are the most since the rankings started in 1973.
Medvedev will jump to the top spot for the first time of his career. He is the first man outside of Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to hold the No. 1 ranking since 2004.
Djokovic didn't get a chance to earn rankings points earlier in the year due to his unvaccinated status and COVID-19 safety protocols for various tournaments and host countries.
He missed out on a potential 2,000 points, the total awarded for a Grand Slam winner, when he was deported from Australia and withdrew from the 2022 Australian Open. He lost 410 points due to his early exit in Dubai.
"He has been working his way up in the rankings wonderfully and deserves to be where he is," Djokovic told reporters earlier this week when asked about Medvedev.
The ATP Tour schedule continues with the BNP Paribas Open from March 10 to 20 in Indian Wells, Calif. Djokovic said this week that he can't attend the tournament due to his unvaccinated status, even though he is on the entry list.
Novak Djokovic looks up and smiles after a long point while playing in the U.S. Open finals against Roger Federer in New York City on September 9, 2007. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo