Doctor Daniil Medvedev. At least that's how former India No. 1 Sumit Nagal felt when he played the former world no.1 at the Tokyo Olympic Games last year.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, the Indian tennis star recently highlighted that when Medvedev is on the court, he is as precise and in control as a doctor.
Nagal faced Medvedev in the second round of last year's Olympic Games, himself going into the contest on the back of one of the biggest wins of his career. He became the first Indian man to win a singles match at the Olympics in 25 years with a win against former World No. 33 Denis Istomin in the first round.
Medvedev, however, proved to be too much to handle for Nagal and a 6-2, 6-1 scoreline in the Russian's favor seems enough to suggest how well he played. But Nagal stressed that one can only realize the full extent of the challenge posed by Medvedev when facing him in the heat of the battle.
"Medvedev, you realize how smart he plays," Sumit Nagal said while reflecting on the match, on the sidelines of the ongoing 2023 Tata Open Maharashtra.
"Maybe for ‘non-tennis players’, you can’t see this, but when he’s on the court, he’s like a doctor, you know. He knows what to hit, when to hit, and where to hit."
The former World No. 122, who stretched Roger Federer to four sets at the 2019 US Open, faced a version of Daniil Medvedev in full flight and in one of the best phases of the Russian's career. After the Olympics, Medvedev reached four finals before the end of the 2021 season, winning two of them, including his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open. He also became the World No. 1 for the first time just a few months later.
Daniil Medvedev could face Novak Djokovic in build-up to 2023 Australian Open
After a forgetful end to the 2022 season, Daniil Medvedev is back in action at the Adelaide International 1 to kickstart his 2023 campaign. As he approaches one of his most successful Grand Slam tournaments, the 2021 and 2022 Australian Open finalist is primed for a potential clash against nine-time Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic. Top seed Djokovic and third-seeded Medvedev have been drawn in the same half of the ATP 250 event in Adelaide and could face off in the semifinals.
The Russian will begin his campaign on Monday against Lorenzo Sonego and could face compatriot Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals.
The 26-year-old, who won two titles last season, has won 14 of his 15 ATP titles on hard courts and is considered one of the top title contenders week after week during phases of the season played on hard courts.