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Medvedev: We're Here To Stop Novak

By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, August 27, 2021

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is on a historic hunt to complete the calendar Grand Slam.

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev has a major mission statement of his own: Don't let Djokovic win this US Open.

More: Will US Open Draw Help or Hinder Djokovic?

Meeting the media today ahead of his tough US Open opener vs. 2013 semifinalist Richard Gasquet, Medvedev said while Djokovic is the clear favorite he's intent on halting history.

"We're here to not let him win the US Open. If I talk just for myself, I want to win the US Open," Medvedev said. "I don't care if it's in the final against a qualifier or against Novak. I just want to win this tournament.

"But we all know that Novak, he's a very strong player, one of the best in the history. That's why any tournament he's in, either a slam or futures or an ATP, he's a big contender, a big favorite."

Toronto champion Medvedev carries a 40-10 record into the season's final Slam on his best surface. Medvedev shows immense respect for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, but the second-seeded Russian also has a major score to settle with Djokovic. 

Last February, a commanding Djokovic dissected Medvedev, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, to capture his record-extending ninth Australian Open championship in phenomenal fashion. Schooled by the 34-year-old Serbian in Melbourne, Medvedev would relish a Flushing Meadows final rematch.

Asked to assess the world No. 1's greatest weapon, Medvedev picked two: Djokovic's dynamic movement and says his best strength is a lack of a real weakness. 

"Every match is a new story. Just talking about it, I remember Australian Open when I lost to him, but it was in the fourth round, 2019 also, and at one moment of the match I felt like if I just go on his backhand and I try to make him play a lot of balls, this tactic would work not bad," Medvedev said. "The next match I would try to do the same and he would destroy me.

"Depends so much on the conditions, on the guy today, him on me. Depends. That's why we like tennis: every match is a new story. If I would have to choose one, it's going to be the movement. If not, he's probably one of the most complete players in the history of tennis, backhand, forehand, return, serve is not bad also."


A post shared by Medvedev Daniil (@medwed33)

Medvedev, who pushed Rafael Nadal to five sets in a thrilling 2019 US Open final and reached the final four in Flushing Meadows last year, believes NextGen contenders are closing the gap on Grand Slam master Djokovic. 

"Stefanos was in the final of Roland Garros, two sets up. I was in the final in Australia, not two sets up but still in the final," Medvedev said. "We're going to try to get him. Of course, this competition to be the first one of these young guys to win a slam is, I think, yeah, everybody wants to do it, but there's going to be only one who makes it."

Photo credit: Pete Stapes/US Open