All hail a new king as Novak Djokovic’s early exit in Dubai means Daniil Medvedev is crowned the new number one this week,
Week 8 Winner’s Circle
- WTA 1000 Doha: Iga Swiatek
- ATP 500 Acapulco: Rafael Nadal
- ATP 500 Dubai: Andrey Rublev
- ATP 250 Santiago: Pedro Martinez
- WTA 250 Guadalajara: Sloane Stephens
The resurgence of one Rafael Nadal grabs the headlines as we look back at Week 8’s winners. Nadal is unbeaten (on hard courts, no less!) this year. While Novak Djokovic’s continued self-destruction will see him struggle to get into the USA for the lucrative Sunshine Double of Indian Wells and Miami, is there any stopping Nadal at the moment?
But of course, we cannot ignore the news this week with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the continued reaction across all walks of life. ATP Dubai winner Andrey Rublev wrote on the camera “no war please” after one of his matches, and he made his thoughts very clear in his press conference as well that what happened in his match was not important in the grand scheme of things.
Also reflecting on this week’s news was WTA Doha champion Iga Swiatek. One of the more cerebral players out on the tour, who had the foresight at a young age to engage a sports psychologist to help her deal with the pressures that come with being on tour, the former Roland Garros champion chose to use her platform to shine a light on the toll of the conflict.
And in amongst all of this, we have a new World No. 1 on the ATP side, as Novak Djokovic’s most recent 132 week run, and record breaking 361 weeks in total came to an end after he lost in Dubai to World No. 123 Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals. Medvedev (and arguably Nadal) are the world’s top players at the moment, so it feels right to see a changing of the guard (ok – Nadal is hardly a new kid on the block but he is still a little off the pace when it comes to the top of the tree)!
Earlier in the week though there was large-spread disgust at the behaviour on court of Alexander Zverev. Completely losing the plot at the end of his doubles match, following a ridiculously late (or early) finish time of 4:55am for his first round match with Jenson Brooksby,
Partnering with pal Marcelo Melo, they were beaten by Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara but not before Zverev released a ton of expletives fist while disputing a line call, and then, after losing the match, smacking the umpire’s chair repeatedly narrowly missing his feet, and firing off a few more choice words.
The Acapulco defending champion was withdrawn from the singles tournament, and handed down a fine by the ATP, will forfeit his points and will need to pay his own costs for the tournament.
He said, in a statement on his Instagram story: “It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour during and after the doubles match yesterday,” he wrote in a statement on his Instagram story on Wednesday.
“I have privately apologized to the chair umpire because my outburst towards him was wrong and unacceptable, and I am only disappointed in myself. It just should not have happened and there is no excuse.
“I would also like to apologize to my fans, the tournament, and the sport that I love.
“As you know, I leave everything on the court. Yesterday, I left too much.
“I am going to take the coming days to reflect – on my actions and how I can ensure that it will not happen again. I am sorry for letting you down.”
A well-crafted PR response from someone still (supposedly) under investigation by the ATP for the allegations of domestic abuse – this does absolutely nothing for his reputation, such as it is.
ATP Rankings as at 28 February
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WTA Rankings as at 28 February
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The best tennis betting can be found for the week’s active tournaments at bet365.