Daniil Medvedev wins US Open to deny Novak Djokovic calendar Grand Slam
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US Open winner Daniil Medvedev has been compared to 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal due to his competitive nature and hatred of defeat. The Russian is the latest major champion in men’s tennis, and at the forefront of a new generation of stars set to take over the mantle from the ‘big three’ when they call time on their careers.
Medvedev won the ATP Tour Finals at the back end of 2020, and truly announced himself as a major contender by reaching the final of the Australian Open at the start of this year.
He was beaten by Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, but later got revenge over the Serb with a straight-sets win at Flushing Meadows which denied the 34-year-old the outright Grand Slam titles record and a historic calendar slam.
The world number two will head into next season high in confidence, with the mission of properly establishing himself as one of the stars of the game to fill the void being left by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – both of whom are struggling with injuries in the twilight of their magnificent careers.
And, according to Monegasque professional Jean-Rene Lisnard, Medvedev possesses qualities similar to those of the latter.
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“I immediately understood that he was a straightforward person with healthy values, someone who loved competition,” he told WeLoveTennis.
“Daniil likes a challenge, he hates defeat, a bit like Rafael Nadal. When I learned that he was playing Novak Djokovic [in the final of the US Open 2021], I was rather confident because I know that he learns from his mistakes, that he always wants to succeed.
“He has a faculty to understand things very quickly and to put them in place immediately. Not all tennis players have this quality.
“If we add to this his pragmatism and his analytical skills, we quickly come to the conclusion that Daniil has an intelligence far above average.”
As well as his ability on the court, Medvedev was praised by Lisnard for his personality off it.
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“He is a simple, approachable person who deviates a bit from the image of the capricious tennis star, the 42-year-old added.
“He is not in the criticism. He has a monk-soldier side that respects the hierarchy. He also trusts and does not question the choices of his team.”
With Djokovic extending his mini-break from the sport and withdrawing from next week’s BNP Paribas Open, Medvedev will be favourite to claim the title at Indian Wells.
He will be joined in California by fellow younger stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, while Britain’s Andy Murray has been handed a wildcard spot to make his 13th appearance at the tournament.
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