Medvedev gets another shot at No.2 ranking after Nadal pullout

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts during his final match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

(Reuters) - Russia's Daniil Medvedev will have another opportunity to replace Rafa Nadal as world No. 2 next week if he reaches the final of the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam.

Medvedev rose to a career high third in the ATP rankings on Monday after finishing runner-up to world number one Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. He would have moved above Nadal had he beaten the Serbian.

On Thursday, Nadal pulled out of the Rotterdam event due to a back injury which forced the 20-times Grand Slam winner to skip Spain's ATP Cup matches earlier this month.

The Spaniard's withdrawal means Medvedev will be top seed at the March 1-7 event, which also features top-10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.

Should he reach the final, Medvedev will become the first player outside Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to be ranked in the top two since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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