Daniil Medvedev at the 2021 ATP Finals.
Daniil Medvedev moved into the final of the 2021 ATP Finals with a dominant straight-sets win over Casper Ruud on Saturday. The result marked Medvedev’s ninth consecutive win at the event and moved him within one step of completing a successful title defense.
Medvedev will face either Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s final. The Russian faced off against the German in the group stage earlier this week and against the Serb in the final of the US Open and Paris Masters.
When asked for an assessment of Zverev and Djokovic’s games, Medvedev described the German as a big-hitter and Djokovic as a “complete player” who was capable of hitting any shot in the book.
“Yeah, I mean, Sascha, we just played few days ago. Tough to say anything special. Big serve, big shots. Quite the same forehand, backhand. Yeah, it’s the same for Novak. All-around player,” Medvedev said. “Runs well. He hits well if he has a ball — an easy ball to play. Yeah, complete player. Knows how to do everything. Great serve, great returner.”
Medvedev added that the Serbian has been serving better than he ever has in the past.
“I don’t know if he’s going to say the same, but what I see this year, I think his serve is probably the best he’s had throughout all his career,” Medvedev said. “I think I even saw that the numbers prove it, but I’m not sure. I don’t really look too much into it.”
The 2021 US Open champion pointed out that Djokovic’s serve isn’t the fastest, but it is accurate and has a lot of “intensity.”
“That’s what you feel when you play against him. His serve is pretty huge, if we can say like this. Not 230 kilometers, but it’s really precise, a lot of I want to say intensity on it, a lot of spark on it.”
Medvedev added that while Djokovic is renowned for his defensive skills, he knows when to switch things up and take control of the points. The Russian pointed to how Djokovic changed his tactics after losing the first set of the Paris Masters final and said he did not pay enough attention to what the Serb was doing.
“Yeah, we know he’s one of the best returners in the world. He can run amazing. He can defend amazing. At the same time, for example, he did good in Paris. He was pretty aggressive when he needed to. That’s where maybe I should have had more attention to what he was doing.”
Medvedev asserted that irrespective of who he plays in the final, he would think of new tactics to keep them on their toes.
“Definitely no matter who I’m going to play, both of them going to try to prepare to play against me because we just played. Same for me. I’m going to try to think what should I do differently, what should I try to propose them that maybe they’re not aware of. It’s definitely going to be the game of mine also.”
“My passing shots were not precise enough or strong enough” – Daniil Medvedev on what went wrong in Paris final against Novak Djokovic
Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic at the 2021 Paris Masters.
Novak Djokovic dropped the first set of the Paris Masters final to Daniil Medvedev. But the Serb adopted a much more aggressive approach in the next two sets and won a lot of points by coming to the net.
Medvedev isn’t sure if the Serb will try to use the same tactic should they meet in the final in Turin, but believes it’s what the World No. 1 has constantly tried against him.
“Yeah, I think first of all it’s tough to say. That worked really well for him, to go to the net, in Paris. He won a lot of points,” Medvedev said. “I think that’s what he usually, if I remember this right, always tried to do against me.”
Medvedev said he was not accurate enough with his passing shots in the Paris final, a factor that contributed to Djokovic’s comeback.
“The thing is when you ask what should I do better, I should pass better. That’s what I didn’t manage to do in Paris,” the Russian said. “My passing shots were not precise enough or strong enough. He had the volleys where he could do anything with the ball. That’s where he’s one of the strongest.””Many players, if you give them the volley to play, they are not going to be able to finish it, and you have the second passing shot. With Novak, give him an easy ball, you need to be ready for the point to go his way. I think, yeah, he’s definitely going to go again to the net because — not only against me, but I see him going to the net a lot lately. Yeah, I need to definitely make a better passing shots.”
Daniil Medvedev isn’t surprised by Australian Open vaccine mandate
Daniil Medvedev lost the 2021 Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic.
Australian Open chief Craig Tiley recently confirmed that unvaccinated players won’t be allowed to compete in the 2022 season’s opening Grand Slam. Daniil Medvedev said that while he wasn’t surprised by the decision itself, he was caught off guard by the timing of the announcement.
“Yeah, I actually am a little bit surprised that they confirmed it so late, let’s say. It’s been months. At least I knew that’s probably the case. Prime minister or the governor of the state of Melbourne, I don’t know I don’t remember exactly who said it, but it was kind of official. I was surprised to see this news because I was like, Yeah, what’s new?”