Daniil Medvedev reacts to US Open win over Novak Djokovic
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Daniil Medvedev is grateful for the opportunity he had to train with friend and tennis rival Novak Djokovic ahead of the Paris Masters this week. The two best ranked players in the world were pictured helping each other prepare for the event in the French capital this week.
Djokovic has not played since his US Open final defeat to the Russian in September, taking some time away from the sport after a year in which he wanted to win everything.
Titles were secured in the Australian Open, at Roland Garros and at Wimbledon, but he fell at the final hurdle in his quest for an historic calendar slam and record-breaking 21st major titles, losing to Medvedev in New York.
The Serbian returns to action in Paris this week, and got his eye back in with a session training with the only other man to win a Grand Slam this year.
Medvedev later revealed how pleased he was that they had found the time to work together.
“Since I have become Top 10, I haven’t played him in training sessions. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know if he had trained a lot or not,” the Russian said.
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“I had anticipated this as a good training session and it was wonderful. We played for two hours, one set, and it was great. Then we talked for 15, 20 minutes, I love talking with him. I think I can say that he’s a friend… It’s really seldom that No. 1 and No. 2 have a training session together.”
While others are using these last few tour events of the season to book a place in the ATP Finals, Medvedev can rest easy in the knowledge he is guaranteed to play in Turin.
The Russian admits, though, that he is keeping a close eye on the field to make sure he is fully clued up on who he might come up against in his bid to retain his Finals title.
Alongside Medvedev and Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini have already secured a spot in the eight-man competition.
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Denmark’s Casper Ruud and Italian Jannik Sinner are currently occupying the final two spots, though Hubert Hurkacz of Poland and Briton’s Cameron Norrie could still sneak in if they have a good run in the final two tournaments of the year.
“I do follow the race, but not because I care who to play, honestly, but because it’s just so fun that the guys have big chances,” Medvedev said.
“Casper [Ruud] just went a little bit in front, so I think he has quite good chances, but it’s never sure, especially with still two tournaments coming up, Stockholm included, and of course Paris being the biggest one.
“They can all make big points. They can all lose first rounds, and we have some other guys even behind them who can still win Paris-Bercy and get there.
“It’s super interesting, and I’m sure we’re gonna see all of them in Stockholm, and I think that’s when the race is interesting.”
Meanwhile, the Russian believes he can repeat his 2020 trick and win both the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.
“I have three tournaments ahead of me, two tournaments where there are points to grasp,” the 25-year-old said.
“Honestly, I want to win every tournament, because I know that I can do it. Maybe less on other surfaces, but this is my aim anyway.
“I managed to do that last year [win in Paris and at The O2]. It was wonderful, but it’s not easy. There are a lot of wonderful players. Zverev is in great shape, Novak is always a tough player, he’s always a favourite when he plays.”
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