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February 2022

Despite February usually being a relatively quiet month on the tennis calendar, many fascinating storylines played out this month which are well worth recapping.

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Change at the top of the men’s game

For the first time since January 2020, Novak Djokovic is not the world number 1, and for the first time since 2004, it isn’t a member of the Big Four. Instead, reigning US Open Champion Daniil Medvedev has become world number 1 for the first time in his career.

Djokovic played his first tournament of 2022 in Dubai, and was taken out in the Quarter-Finals by Jiri Vesely, which meant Medvedev would overtake him. The Russian’s only event this month was in Acapulco, where he reached the Semi-Finals.

Rafael Nadal continued his unbeaten start to the year by beating Medvedev on the way to winning the title in Acapulco, beating Cameron Norrie in the final. The Brit, after a poor start to the year, appears to have found some form after reaching the final there and winning a title in Delray Beach.

Another player who has also found form is Andrey Rublev, after he won titles in Marseille and Dubai. Felix Auger-Aliassime continued his red-hot start to the season by winning his first ATP title in Rotterdam, demolishing Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

There were also hard court titles for Reilly Opelka in Dallas, Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha, Joao Sousa in Pune and Alex Bublik in Montpellier.

Golden Swing

There was also the Golden Swing, a series of clay court events in South America. Former Grand Slam champion Juan-Martin del Potro made a comeback in Buenos Aires that turned into an emotional farewell, with the Argentinian unable to continue playing on the tour due to knee issues.

Dominic Thiem was planning on making his comeback on the South American clay, but was unable to due to another injury setback.

Carlos Alcaraz continued his formidable rise up the rankings by winning the ATP500 event in Rio de Janeiro, beating Diego Schwartzman in the final and world number 6 Matteo Berrettini along the way. He became the youngest player to break into the top 20 since 1993, at just 18 years of age.

There were also titles for Casper Ruud in Buenos Aires, Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Cordoba and Pedro Martinez in Santiago.

Swiatek wins WTA1000 event in Doha

Jelena Ostapenko looked to be playing some of the tennis that saw her win the French Open back in 2017. She made the Semi-Finals in St Petersburg, where she lost out to eventual champion Anett Kontaveit (who beat Maria Sakkari in a close final).

The following week she won the Dubai WTA500 event, beating surprise finalist Veronika Kudermetova to clinch it, but after a giant killing run where she beat 4 Grand Slam champions in Sofia Kenin, Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep.

Finally, the Latvian made the Semi-Finals at the WTA1000 event in Doha, losing out to Kontaveit once again. She would go on to lose the final to Swiatek 6-2 6-0.

In Guadalajara, top seed Emma Raducanu was forced to retire from an epic First Round match vs Daria Saville due to injury, which was over three and a half hours in length. The event was won by Sloane Stephens after she beat Marie Bouzkova in the final.

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