Tennis can evoke extreme emotions in players.
Daniil Medvedev has experienced the humanity and brutality in Novak Djokovic and shared insight into the 18-time Grand Slam champion’s dominance down under.
A ruthless Djokovic rolled through 14 of the last 18 games dismissing Medvedev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2, to capture his ninth Australian Open championship.
The top-seeded Serbian snapped Medvedev’s 20-match winning streak while scoring his 12th straight win over a Top-10 ranked opponent in Melbourne.
Medvedev said the Big 3 of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer sustain success because they are tennis terminators.
“They are undoubtedly, like, I don’t think anyone can argue with the three biggest names in tennis history,” Medvedev said. “I’m talking only about results. I’m not talking off court, game. I’m talking about results. What they did in tennis is unbelievable for me, like I said last time.
“I’m 25 now. To win nine Australian Opens, I need to win every year until I’m 34. I mean, I believe in myself, but I don’t think I’m able to do it. Same with Rafa. I mean, 13 Roland Garros… We’re talking about some Cyborgs of tennis in a good way. They’re just unbelievable.”
During the trophy presentation, Medvedev praised Djokovic’s generosity and humanity for the way the Serbian treated him when he was ranked outside the Top 500.
“When I was 500 or 600 in the world in Monaco [Novak] was already No. 1, he just won Wimbledon and I thought okay he’s not going to speak to me or something because the guy was a god to me,” Medvedev said. “I was shy because I didn’t speak he was asking me questions. He was talking to me like a friend and he’s never changed since I was 600 in the world or 4 in the world.”
The 25-year-old Russian said Djokovic has treated him with respect since their first practice in Monaco. The champion who can be so merciless on court has been a benevolent supporter of Medvedev off court.
“I come there, also hearing stories in the media that Novak is not a nice guy, all this. He was late. That’s the only bad thing I remember, that he was late,” Medvedev said. “He was super nice to me. As I said, I was really shy. I was like, you know, staying just playing some balls, trying not to miss, for sure really stressed. I’m playing the world No. 1 and all this.
“He was super nice. Nothing much to say. After we had some other stories where he took me on a private jet to Serbia on Davis Cup. Still I was just two weeks in the top hundred or something like this. Yeah, he was always really nice to me. He helped me a lot I would say for my confidence in my career.”
Photo credit: Australian Open Facebook