Medvedev Ready For Another Shot At Djokovic, Nadal At Australian Open
Despite enduring a fourth consecutive defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Adelaide International 1 semi-finals, Daniil Medvedev remains confident that he can turn the tables on the Serbian if he gets a shot at revenge at this month’s Australian Open. And that’s despite Saturday’s 6-3, 6-4 loss being the most lopsided of their four most recent battles.
The 26-year-old admitted that the match was “completely on Novak’s side,” but said that his confidence would not be shaken the next time he meets Djokovic or, for that matter, Rafael Nadal, against whom he has just a modest 1-5 ATP Head2Head record. Medvedev led the Spaniard two sets to love in last year’s Australian Open final before the lefty rallied to take the title in five sets.
As he leaves Adelaide, Medvedev now sets his sights on a strong run at the season’s first Slam and perhaps another crack at Djokovic or Nadal, the only two men to beat him at the Australian Open the past two years.
“I think with the feeling I had this week, I could be back at winning [against] these guys, winning tournaments,” Medvedev said. “Again, Novak is in a different league, 21 slams. But generally [I’m] positive. Need to stay positive because the first Slam is coming. Want to show my best. Want to feel a great atmosphere like it was here in Adelaide. Looking forward.”
Some of Medvedev’s career-best wins have come against Djokovic and Nadal. In 2020, Medvedev won the Nitto ATP Finals, where he downed Nadal in the semi-finals. The following year, Medvedev earned his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open, where he denied Djokovic’s quest for the coveted calendar Slam. He will draw upon those victories to boost his confidence should he play either one of them this month in Melbourne.
“Every time I play them, before the match the only thought is I have to win,” Medvedev said. “I have to try my best to win. I managed to do it. Rafa, I think I beat only once, but still I managed to do it. I had some tough matches against him, against Novak. Against Novak I won a slam. I believe in myself.
“But sometimes on the court it gets tough. Sometimes you don’t manage to make the challenge. Tonight is a case. I didn’t manage to pass the test. Next time I face him, I’m going to try to do it again.”
While Djokovic remained strong in the critical moments of Saturday’s match, saving all three break points faced, Medvedev double faulted on break point in both sets. Despite being known as one of the game’s strongest returners, Medvedev only won four points off Djokovic’s first delivery and failed to convert on all three break points.
Djokovic, a 91-time tour-level titlist, extended his ATP Head2Head series lead to 9-4 over Medvedev. While they split sets in their three previous meetings, Medvedev gave a straightforward answer as he conceded that Saturday’s one hour and 30 minute contest was one-way traffic.
“Sometimes tennis is about the small, small margins,” Medvedev said. “Some matches I managed to win against him. This one was completely on his side.”
Even though Medvedev won’t be crowned champion in Adelaide, he’s still drawing positives from the three wins he earned this week at the ATP 250 event. With one week until the first Grand Slam of the year, the 15-time tour-level titlist believes he is still in a strong position to claim his second major crown. After finishing runner-up in Melbourne the past two seasons, Medvedev will be satisfied with nothing less than leaving the Australian Open with the trophy.