Novak Djokovic has confirmed his professional partnership with long-time coach Marian Vajda has come to an end.

Djokovic revealed the pair agreed to part ways last year following the ATP Finals in Turin.

Vajda served as part of Djokovic's team for 15 years, playing a pivotal role in the 20-time grand slam champion's glittering career.

"Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career," Djokovic said in a post on his official website.

"Together we have achieved some incredible things and I am very grateful for his friendship and dedication over the last 15 years.

"While he might be leaving the professional team he will always be family and I can't thank him enough for all he has done."

Vajda said: "During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today.

"I will look back on our time together with immense pride and am so very thankful for the success we have achieved.

"I remain his biggest support on and off the court and look forward to new challenges."

Vajda was joined on Djokovic's team by former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic in 2019. Ivanisevic will continue working with Djokovic as he bids to add to his tally of major triumphs.

Djokovic, who is unvaccinated against COVID-19, missed the 2022 Australian Open after having his visa cancelled on "health and good order grounds", leading to his deportation.

Rafael Nadal's triumph in Melbourne gave the Spaniard the outright record for grand slam triumphs with 21.

Djokovic made his 2022 debut in Dubai last month, losing in the quarter-finals to Jiri Vesely. On Monday, he was usurped as world number one by Daniil Medvedev.

Daniil Medvedev has officially been crowned as the ATP's new world number one.

The Russian, who claimed his first grand slam title at the US Open last year and reached this year's Australian Open final, only to lose to Rafael Nadal, has been sure of his place at the top of the rankings since Novak Djokovic's shock defeat to Jiri Vesely in the Dubai Tennis Championships last week.

Medvedev was aiming to cap off a sensational week by claiming victory at the Mexican Open, but the 26-year-old lost to eventual champion Nadal in the semi-finals in Acapulco.

Here, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind Medvedev's rise to number one.

1 - Medvedev is the first player outside of the "big four" of Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to be crowned number one since Andy Roddick, way back on February 1, 2004 (18 years, three weeks and six days).

198 - At 198cm in height, Medvedev is the tallest player to be crowned world number one.

13 - Medvedev has won 13 Tour-level titles so far.

27 - He is the 27th different ATP world number one. The first was Ilie Nastase, in August 1973.

3 - Medvedev is the third Russian player to reach the top of the ATP rankings, after Yevgeny Kafelnikov (May 1999) and Marat Safin (November 2000).

6 - At 26, Medvedev is the sixth-oldest player to become world number one for the first time in their career.

361 - Djokovic has held the number one spot for 361 weeks in total – a record. It had been 86 weeks since the Serbian was last not at the top of the pile.

Novak Djokovic has not lost any motivation for tennis, but believes he needs time to find some rhythm after a long break, as he conceded the world number one spot.

Djokovic's 86-week reign at the top of the ATP rankings will end on Monday, after the Serbian lost to qualifier Jiri Vesely 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the Dubai Tennis Championships.

That means that Daniil Medvedev will leapfrog Djokovic regardless of whether or not he wins in Acapulco.

Using his official Twitter account, Djokovic congratulated both Vesely – who won his only previous meeting with the 20-time grand slam champion back in 2016 – and Medvedev.

"Well played @jiri_vesely, that was a great game. Wish you the best of luck for the rest of the tournament," Djokovic wrote, accompanying his post with a thumbs up emoji.

"Congratulations also to a very deserving @DaniilMedwed, who will now become world number one."

His appearance in Dubai was Djokovic's first competitive action of 2022, after he was unable to feature at the Australian Open due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

While suggesting he is still working his way back to full sharpness after not playing since December, Djokovic insisted he is fully motivated to carry on playing.

"My goal is to keep on playing tennis," Djokovic said in his post-match news conference.

"That's the ultimate goal. For as long as I really feel like it and as long as I can play. As long as my body allows me, as long as the circumstances in my life as well, the people that surround me [and] support me.

"I'm still motivated and I'm still p***** off when I lose a match. I care about it. I care about winning every match, as anybody else on the Tour, regardless of the age. I'm actually glad that I'm feeling a lot of emotions every single day because it means that I really want to be part of this sport, part of the Tour.

"Unfortunately, [it] wasn't my day. I congratulate Jiri. He played better. 

"The more matches I play, the more comfortable I get on the court. I need the match play. I didn't have many matches at all last few months.

"I don't look at the age really as a restricting factor for my career. I still feel great in terms of my body and the way it's holding on, the way it's recovering. It's been serving me well, so to say. That's something that obviously encourages me to keep going."

Daniil Medvedev will become the new world number one after Novak Djokovic was beaten by Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Medvedev entered this week knowing victory at the Mexican Open would see him move to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time.

But the Russian was still waiting to play his quarter-final on Thursday when his ascension was confirmed courtesy of Djokovic's last-eight defeat in Dubai.

Djokovic, a seven-time year-end number one, had led the rankings for 86 consecutive weeks, boosting his record total to 361 weeks.

In his first tournament since missing the Australian Open, however, the five-time Dubai champion struggled to match 123rd-ranked Vesely and went down 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Djokovic might have known what to expect, having lost his only prior meeting with Vesely in Monte Carlo in 2016.

The Serbian looked like getting to grips with his opponent at the start of the second set, applying pressure, but was then broken again and had to respond strongly to reach a tie-break.

Again, Vesely led, and Djokovic's match was summed up by a double-fault immediately after winning back the mini-break, allowing the Czech to prevail.

The victor hailed the end of Djokovic's reign, saying in his on-court interview: "It's great for tennis to have somebody new as world number one again.

"We all know Novak missed the Australian Open, but he's been such a champion, as world number one for 361 weeks.

"Tennis needs new number ones, new generations coming up, so I think it's just great."

As Vesely advances, second seed Andrey Rublev will fancy his chances of a second straight ATP Tour title after his win at the Open 13 Provence.

Rublev stretched his winning streak to seven matches in coming from behind to beat Mackenzie McDonald and make the semi-finals, where he will play Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Jannik Sinner.

Rafael Nadal hopes Alexander Zverev's withdrawal from the Mexico Open will "serve as a lesson" for him and other players when it comes to controlling their emotions on the court.

The world number three was pulled out of this month's tournament in Acapulco following an outburst where he hit the umpire's chair with his racquet in a tirade following a doubles defeat.

The ATP subsequently barred him from competition for a second-round singles clash, with several leading players, including Novak Djokovic, condemning the German's actions.

Speaking ahead of his own quarter-final this week, Nadal - who won a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam in at the Australian Open last month - stated he hoped the 24-year-old and other young players would learn that such behaviour is not acceptable.

"It's unfortunate, without a doubt," the Spaniard said. "I feel sorry for him as I have a good relationship with Alexander.

"In the end, he deserves the sanction because you can't act in this way.

"I think Sascha is aware of that and I hope this will serve as a lesson for him and for other young players who sometimes lose control on the court.

"I am not going to enter into what is or is not fair in terms of sanction," Nadal said. "But in the end you have to stop that type of attitude from becoming fashionable."

Zverev had been due to face Peter Gojowczyk in a singles encounter before he exploded at the end of his match with partner Marcelo Melo against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.

Following an over-ruled decision from the umpire that handed the latter pair match point in a super tie-break, the duo decided the game with an ace the very next serve.

That led to Zverev smashing his racquet against the umpire's chair on multiple occasions in quick succession, punctured by a foul-mouthed tirade.

The Tokyo 2020 champion subsequently apologised for his behaviour. The Mexico Open continues until February 26.

Novak Djokovic condemned the actions of Alexander Zverev, but expressed his support for the world number three after he was "withdrawn" from the Mexico Open for hitting the umpire's chair with his racquet.

Zverev was enraged during a doubles clash with partner Marcelo Melo against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, after the umpire over-ruled a decision from the line judge.

That subsequently handed Glasspool and Heliovaara match point in the super tie-break, which was decided by an ace on the next serve.

Zverev quickly walked off and smashed his racquet against the umpire's chair three times, before shouting at the umpire that he had "destroyed the whole f****** match" and striking the chair again.

The German was then withdrawn by the ATP due to "unsportsmanlike conduct" ahead of a second-round singles meeting with Peter Gojowczyk.

The Olympic champion has apologised for his actions, explaining his regret at letting his fans, the tournament, and the sport that he loves down, and Djokovic believes Zverev will learn from his mistake.

"I saw the video, I saw Sascha's [Zverev] statement," Djokovic told reporters at a news conference after cruising into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

"I think he said it all in that statement. He realises that it was a mistake. I understand the frustration. Sometimes on the court, you feel in the heat of the battle lots of different emotions, different things happening in your head.

"I've made mistakes in the past where I've had tantrums on the court, so I understand what the player is going through. Of course, I do not justify his actions, but that statement has handled it in the right way. 

"He said he made a mistake and his actions were not appropriate. I think that the disqualification decision was not too harsh, I think it was correct under the circumstances. 

"Of course, it can be harsh for a player to get disqualified from a tournament. I know a year-and-a-half ago, I had something - I can't say similar - but I was disqualified from a grand slam after unintentionally hitting the line umpire.

"I realised that it was a mistake and I had to take it. Hopefully, he can reflect on that and not let something like that happen again in his life. I'm sure that he's going to approach it maturely."

Djokovic enjoyed a much calmer outing in Dubai, where he overcame Karen Khachanov in just 98 minutes 6-3 7-6 (7-2) to tee up a quarter-final tie against qualifier Jiri Vesely.

He was then keen to stress that Zverev is not the first player to produce a raging response when on the court, and insisted that the 24-year-old will recover from the outburst.

"I'm sure that the ATP management and officials will look at the video, will probably interview the chair umpire, will take some time to decide what they want to do," he added.

"I'm never going to encourage the ATP disqualifying or fining a player because I'm not in a position to do that, why would I do that? 

"Everyone is a human being, everyone is flawed and can make mistakes, but I wouldn't say that he was the only one that ever has done something like that. 

"There were many examples of players hitting their racquet in the umpire's chair. It happens. Bottles, bags were thrown, a lot of things, a lot of bad words. It's not the only case."

Novak Djokovic is delighted to be back in competitive action after he booked his spot in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic, whose decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 caused him to be deported from Australia on the eve of the year's first grand slam, eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti in his first match and made similarly light work of Karen Khachanov on Wednesday.

The world number one has won in Dubai on five occasions, last doing so in 2020, having elected against defending his title last year.

However, the Serbian is looking good to regain the crown in what is his first tournament on the ATP Tour in 2022, after he was unable to feature in Melbourne. 

Djokovic needed 98 minutes to see off Khachanov 6-3 7-6 (7-2) and tee up a quarter-final tie against qualifier Jiri Vesely.

"I missed it [playing competitively]. This is my life," Djokovic said, with his previous competitive appearances coming in the Davis Cup Finals in November and December.

"This is what I have known for the past 20 years. Tennis is my love. I enjoy bringing positive energy and memories for people who watch."

It was not all plain sailing for Djokovic, who offered up four break points, but the 34-year-old clawed back three of them.

"I was feeling excited and motivated," added Djokovic, who has progressed to the quarters in Dubai every time he has featured at the tournament.

"But also at the same time I was feeling stressed. Particularly at the moments when I was facing break points. I thought the atmosphere in the stadium was terrific."

Djokovic, who will lose his place at the top of the ATP rankings if Daniil Medvedev triumphs in Acapulco, should have little trouble in sealing a semi-final spot, though Vesely does come into that tie on the back of a surprise 6-2 6-4 win over world number 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, who had triumphed in Doha last week.

Murray falls short of landmark win

Second seed Andrey Rublev came from a set down to defeat Kwon Soon-woo 4-6 6-0 6-3, and will go up against American Mackenzie McDonald for a place in the last four.

There was no such joy for former world number one Andy Murray, however, who fell to Jannik Sinner 7-5 6-2.

"It is a special feeling [to share the court with Murray]," said Sinner, who will next face Hubert Hurkacz, a 6-3 6-2 winner over Alex Molcan.

"He is a legend. Winning three grand slams, many, many tournaments and he has had some unfortunate moments with surgeries. His fighting spirit is incredible.

Murray was chasing a 700th tour-level win of his career but failed to muster a single break opportunity against the Italian, who made it to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last month.

Novak Djokovic welcomed the "positive" reception he has received from his fellow players, after making his first appearance since missing the Australian Open.

Djokovic, whose decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 caused him to be deported from Australia on the eve of the year's first grand slam, eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti in just 74 minutes at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic spoke publicly about his vaccination status for the first time in a BBC interview last week, while rival Andy Murray, who has spoken about his support for vaccination on numerous occasions, said that he "didn't like seeing" Djokovic's ordeal in Australia after his own win in Dubai.

Serbia's 20-time Grand Slam winner says that most of his fellow professionals have been supportive upon his return to action.

"So far here most of the players that I’ve seen – I haven’t seen too many players – but most of the players that I've seen have been positive and welcoming", he said after his round-of-32 win.

"It's nice to see, obviously. I can't say that was the case in Australia. It was a little bit strange. But here, it's gone well so far."

The 34-year-old impressed against Musetti, serving five aces, winning 71 per cent of his second serves (17 out of 24) and saving each of the seven break points he faced during his first outing of the year, and Djokovic was also pleased with the reception he received from the fans in Dubai, as well as with his performance. 

"I couldn't ask for a better reception," he added.

"It's been a while since I played, and I couldn't think of a better place to kick-start the season. Thank you for the reception and for welcoming me on court the way you did.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

Former world number one Andy Murray did not like how Novak Djokovic was treated in Australia but says the 20-time major winner must live with the consequences of his decisions.

Murray and Djokovic both progressed through the first round at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.

The Serbian's 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti marked his first on the ATP Tour in 2022, coming in the wake of his deportation from Australia due to his vaccination status ahead of the first major of the calendar year.

It remains unclear if Djokovic will be permitted to compete at this year's other majors - the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open - given he remains unvaccinated.

"Like I said at the time, I don't agree with his decision. I think it would be a lot easier for him, obviously, if he was to get vaccinated," Murray told reporters after beating Australian Christopher O'Connell 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5 in Dubai.

"But I also didn't like seeing him in the situation that he was in Australia as someone that I respect and have known since I was a child. I didn't like seeing that.

"There is consequences to the decisions he's made just now. He obviously has to accept that. But I don't think it's great for tennis if our best player is not competing in the major events."

Djokovic admitted after his win over Musetti that, as it stands, he cannot enter the United States to compete at next month's prestigious Indian Wells Masters, let alone the US Open.

The world number one added that he was hopeful the situation may change "in the next few weeks".

Novak Djokovic has said he cannot currently enter the United States, putting his participation in next month's Indian Wells Masters in doubt.

Djokovic won his first match back on the ATP Tour since missing the Australian Open on Monday, beating Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The men's world number one had not played a competitive match since early December and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

That decision was a result of Djokovic opting not to join the majority of his tennis peers in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and amid controversy over how he handled getting the virus himself in December.

He showed no signs of rust as he eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Musetti in just 74 minutes in his first match of 2022, hitting five aces, winning an impressive 71 per cent of his second serves (17 out of 24) and saving all seven break points he faced against his Italian opponent.

However, at a press conference following his victory, Djokovic admitted he is currently unable to enter the United States, and is therefore on course to miss March's prestigious Indian Wells Masters tournament.

"As of today, not. I can't go, I can't enter the United States," he said.

"As of today I'm not able to play. But let's see what happens. I mean, maybe things change in the next few weeks."

Djokovic has been included on the entry list for Indian Wells despite the tournament requiring all players are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Images of Djokovic do not appear in any of the tournament's build-up social media posts nor on the website's promotional announcement, while his entry-list inclusion was little more than a footnote – though did include him.

The statement read: "A power-packed line-up of ATP top-10 players will join [Rafael] Nadal in looking to put together a breakthrough performance in Tennis paradise.

"2021 US Open champion and 2022 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev (world no. 2), 2021 ATP Finals winner Alexander Zverev (world no. 3), and 2021 French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas (world no. 4) will each be in search of their maiden title in the desert.

"Reigning BNP Paribas Open champion Cameron Norrie (world no. 13) will look to replicate his extraordinary 2021 title run, in which he won his first Masters 1000 crown.

"World no. 1 and five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic is also on the tournament entry list."

Novak Djokovic won his first match back on the ATP Tour since missing the Australian Open, beating Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The men's world number one had not played a competitive match since early December and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

That decision was a result of Djokovic opting not to join the majority of his tennis peers in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and amid controversy over how he handled getting the virus himself in December.

On Monday, he eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Musetti in just 74 minutes in his first match of 2022, hitting five aces, winning an impressive 71 per cent of his second serves (17 out of 24) and saving all seven break points he faced against the Italian.

"All in all, it's a straight-sets win, so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, three months," Djokovic said on court after the win.

"Of course, there were moments when I played great, there were moments when I made a couple of unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. But it's normal to expect that [in my] first match after a while."

Djokovic will play the winner of Karen Khachanov against Alex de Minaur in the last 16.

Andy Murray is also through after a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5 win against Australian qualifier Christopher O'Connell. The Scot edged a tough match that lasted almost three hours, saving seven of eight break points faced. He will play either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Jannik Sinner next.

Elsewhere, Jiri Vesely overcame Marin Cilic 6-4 7-6 (7-3), while Filip Krajinovic beat Malek Jaziri 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 and Taro Daniel eliminated David Goffin after a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win.

Rafael Nadal would "welcome" seeing Novak Djokovic play at future grand slam tournaments if he is granted permission to do so unvaccinated against COVID-19.

World number one Djokovic has courted controversy for his views on being jabbed and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

Djokovic has confirmed he is willing to miss future slams after stating he was prioritising his right to choose what to put into his body above his sporting ambitions.

In Djokovic's absence, Nadal became Australian Open champion and now has 21 titles – the most for a male player.

Nadal believes that any further omissions from Djokovic would only be harmful to the Serbian's chances of history not the slams themselves, but he would have no issue with his rival playing in the sport's biggest tournaments.

Speaking ahead of his return to the ATP Tour in Acapulco, Nadal said: "It will affect Novak's [grand slam] history if he can't play.

"It will affect him, not the grand slams themselves. Whoever wins the most slams – it will be what it will be. Everyone takes their own decisions and must live with them.

"In that sense, hopefully the pandemic subsides and we stop having so many deaths around the world and this horror ends, and we can return to normality – not for Novak but for the world in general.

"There are many people that have suffered, but if Novak can play the grand slams unvaccinated, then he is welcome."

 

Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in an epic Melbourne showpiece to become the first man to 21 slams, but he says the achievement has not changed his life.

"Absolutely nothing has changed having 21 slams, I won't lie to you," he added.

"From 20 to 21 there is not a very large difference. Life goes on exactly the same. The only thing that has changed is that now I play tennis, which a few months ago I couldn't.

"I am very happy for everything that happened in Australia, it was very unexpected, especially before the tournament started. In my life, nothing has changed. No title is going to change what is important in my life, which are other things.

"Already, at 35 years old, I have a lot of experiences behind me, of successes and bad moments and these sensations already help me to live in a more calm and different way."

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