Daniil Medvedev is no doubt one of the most difficult players to face in men’s tennis right now. His ability to outlast his opponents is second to none, and many players have been left frustrated by his tireless defense.
That is why Mats Wilander believes Medvedev will relish playing against Novak Djokovic when the pair clash in the Australian Open 2021 final.
Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic are all set to face off for the eighth time in their careers on Sunday, with plenty at stake. Medvedev is aiming to capture his first Grand Slam singles title, while Djokovic is chasing his 18th.
A win on Sunday would make Medvedev the first Russian man to win a Grand Slam singles title since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open. Meanwhile, a Djokovic triumph would move him to within two titles of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal‘s all-time record of 20 Majors.
While Medvedev’s relatively unspectacular game may not have earned him the legion of fans that some of the game’s other stars have, his style of play has wowed many former greats. Seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander recently commended the Medvedev’s mindset, asserting that the Russian will clause plenty of problems to Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.
“While Novak Djokovic is more confident that he is going to win, I feel like Daniil Medvedev is going to enjoy the battle more because he is out there to just cause hell for his opponent. He likes to see Novak frustrated,” Wilander told Eurosport.
Wilander also revealed he is a big fan of Medvedev, who he believes is good for tennis.
“I’m a huge fan. He is a great character, and great for our sport. He is so smart, Medvedev,” Wilander added.
Mats Wilander Praises Daniil Medvedev
Medvedev displayed a lot of his trademark qualities on Friday as he overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals. The Russian was dominant in the first two sets, and held his composure in the third to score a 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 win and set up the blockbuster final against Novak Djokovic.
Wilander described Medvedev’s performance in the semis as ‘close to perfection’, complimenting the Russian’s serve, forehand and backhand down the line.
“He played so close to perfection I think,” Wilander said. “It’s unbelievable from Daniil Medvedev. The depth of his shots, his forehand is so deep. He only hit one forehand inside the service box. It’s incredible,” he added.
Wilander went on to claim there isn’t a lot an opponent can do when Daniil Medvedev is on his game. He also marked the Russian’s backhand out for special praise, saying it is as good as Novak Djokovic’s.
“How do you combat that? It’s very difficult,” the Swede added. “What are you going to do? It’s very unusual for any player. Also, his serve: it’s a huge weapon.The backhand down the line from Medvedev is as good as Novak Djokovic’s and as good as anyone I’ve ever seen,” he concluded.