Melbourne, Australia – A lone tear tearing his right cheek, Daniel Medvedev accepts runners-up trophy Australian Open men’s final on Sunday night. He stepped into the microphone and told a fascinating story about the first time as a young player with nervousness with Novak Djokovic, when Djokovic was the men’s No. 1 in the world and Medvedev ranked No. 555 at the end of the year Were. .
It was not a stretch for the Rod Laver Arena audience of about 7000 people to see Medvedev’s 25-year-old photograph, it was a painting of schoolgirls by several major winners. What Medvedev was describing was in the same manner as the fans in their first meeting in the Grand Slam final with Djokovic’s 7-5 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-2 win. Won.
Medvedev, who would land a career-high number 3 in the new rankings, looked less like a player riding a 20-match winning streak – spoken by Djokovic – than a slain partner. Djokovic went for the Aces in Medvedev’s previous matches and he struck out and upset Medvedev in 30 unforced errors against 24 winners, only three of whom came out of his backhand, which Medvedev usually did like hammer-to-nail points. It turns out.
Djokovic’s elastic arms, which allowed him to be driven to the point that others fall just for the aces, were the increasingly inept Medvedev, who set an average of 3.7 aces in his first six games. Against Djokovic, he produced a total of six. Medvedev’s opening service game set the tone for the match; He put his first serve in the play and broke.
Medvedev said, “I won this kind of match in the entire tournament, which he won today.” “Maybe he made his game so good today that I couldn’t live at my best.”
Medvedev lost to Rafael Nadal, who is tied with Roger Federer for a career record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles in five sets in the final of the US Open in 2019. He has now become Djokovic’s latest victim in his run of 18 Grand Slam singles. Title – including nine at Melbourne Park.
At Medvedev’s age, Djokovic had six Grand Slam singles titles and lost two others to Nadal and Federer in the final. He had reached number 1.
How deep can the game be if the only player in men’s tennis other than the Big Three – composed of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal – has been 33-year-old Andy Murray to be ranked No. 2 since the summer of 2005?
Medvedev said, “Of course when you’re out there, you want to defeat them.” “You don’t care if it’s the Big Three or the Big 100. But that’s why they have so many slams. They’re really good.”
He said: “I’m not ashamed to say that. It’s just the truth.”
The 33-year-old Djokovic described the next generation as “hungry”. It is led by Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, 27, and Stephanos Tsitipas, 22. Who defeated Nadal in the quarter-finals. But only Thiem, the US Open champion entering three other major finals, broke into the biggest events, and his US Open title came in a tournament Nadal and Federer did not enter And that Djokovic exited with a disqualification Instead of defeat. What does this generation have to do to feed their generation at the Grand Slam banquet?
“They definitely have the quality to reach the heights of major tournament trophies,” Djokovic said.
He said: “But Roger, Rafa, himself is still there for a reason. We don’t want to hand it over to him, and we don’t want to allow him to win the slam. I think that’s pretty clear. You can take that message. Communicate or not, we are definitely sending that stretch there. ”
Medvedev’s body language became increasingly negative as a 1-hour, 53-minute final wear. He muted himself. He used to look badly at his coach. He smacked a racket. He threw shots and points. By the third set, Djokovic was everywhere on the court and inside Medvedev’s head.
Medvedev said, “Next time if I play Novak in the finals here, I’m sure I’m going to do some things on the court, maybe even separate from the court, because at least I’ll have that experience.” I will try to do something better. It does not mean that I will succeed, but it is the life of a tennis player. “
The game in which Medvedev carved for himself seemed to be more distant than a spec on the horizon of the Mediterranean Sea on the day he was introduced to Djokovic in Monaco and began to kill him. .
Djokovic arrived late for his first season. And that, Medvedev said, is the worst thing he can say about her.
Medvedev said, “He was very nice to me.” “I was really shy. I was just playing a few balls, trying not to miss, to really emphasize. “
From then until now, tennis seems, like flat-footed Medvedev on Sunday, several steps behind the players at the top.