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‘Medvedev is probably my biggest rival at the moment, he’s such a different player from Nadal and Federer’: Novak Djokovic

20-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev to win a 6th title at Bercy and later admitted that the Russian is currently his biggest rival.

Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic

World No.1 Novak Djokovic won a sixth title at Bercy and record 37th Masters crown on Sunday, beating arch nemesis Daniil Medvedev 4-6,6-3,6-3 in the final. The Serbian machine gained a measure of revenge on Medvedev after he denied him the calendar slam at Flushing Meadows.

After the match, Djokovic took to social media to speak about Medvedev. He praised the Russian and lauded his commitment towards the sport.

“What I love and respect about Daniil Medvedev is his commitment to being true to who he is at all times. Being authentic and original. Doesn’t matter what others think, say or expect, he keeps his heart and mind checked and measures his deeds based on his values,” he wrote.

He also added that Medvedev is meant for greatness. “When I see people who embrace their nature and identity and work hard to get better every day – I know they are in for greatness. I am looking forward to seeing more of you Daniil. I know I won’t have it easy with you around and you are a great rival to have.”

‘It is important for the sport that there is another rivalry’: Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Speaking to Tennis Channel, Djokovic spoke in length about his budding rivalry against Medvedev. He said that playing Medvedev is very similar to his rivalry with Federer or Nadal, but added that the Russian is a very different player from the other two.

“Medvedev is probably my biggest rival at the moment. It’s developing into a great rivalry. Specially this year, we played three finals- Australian Open, US Open and here in Paris. All three matches were thrilling matches. We push each other to the limit. It is something similar to what I’ve been feeling over the last 15 years with Nadal and Federer in our rivalries,” he said.

“Medvedev is such a different player from Nadal and Federer so it takes adjustments and it takes time. The more we play, the more I understand what I need to do to win against him. But again, he keeps on improving. He’s someone who’s very committed, very dedicated to the sports and he’s a very intelligent guy in general.”

Novak also then spoke about how the NextGen players will take over soon but Roger, Rafa and himself will try their best to delay that.

“It is important for the sport that there is another rivalry. Apart from the Big 4 guys, Daniil, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Thiem, those are the biggest names of our sport in the future. No doubt that Roger, Rafa and myself, we still try to keep up with these guys but it’s inevitable that they’re going to take over. It’s just a question of time. It’s coming soon- they’re already winning slams. But us three, am sure we’re going to give your best to delay it a little bit,” he concluded.

Also read: ‘I made a good match against one of the best in history,’ Daniil Medvedev after losing to Novak Djokovic at Bercy