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Daniil Medvedev marvels at how Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic didn't just break Sampras' record, but "destroyed it"

Daniil Medvedev has heaped praise on Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal
Daniil Medvedev has heaped praise on Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal
Namit Kumar
Modified 15 Feb 2021

Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have reigned supreme on the men's tour for nearly two decades now. They have amassed a total of 58 Grand Slam titles between them and finished in the top 2 of the men's rankings for each of the last 17 seasons.

The 'Big 3' have received constant praise from the tennis world across the board, and the latest to join their list of admirers is World No. 4 Daniil Medvedev.

Speaking after his fourth-round win over Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open, Medvedev marveled at the ease with which the Big 3 have been accumulating Majors. The Russian pointed out that it was considered unthinkable for anyone to break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Slams, but each of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic has gone well beyond that mark.

"I remember when Sampras beat the record for Grand Slams," Medvedev said. "I was really young. I remember all the news saying this record is forever. Just like Messi and Ronaldo in football."
"Then the three guys came (Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal), they did not just beat the record, they destroyed the record," he added. "What is this number?"

Daniil Medvedev then drew a comparison between the Big 3 and himself, stressing how difficult it would be for him to come anywhere close to their numbers. The Russian claimed that he would have to win all the Slams for five years in a row to be able to accumulate a record similar to Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

"(It) is amazing because, for example, me, I'm 25. I'm playing good tennis," Daniil Medvedev said. "I feel like I'm one of the top players in the world. I have zero Slams. Imagine for me to get 20, I need to win five years in a row every Slam."
"Five years in a row I need to win every Slam against amazing opponents, five-set matches, not be injured," he added. "That's ridiculous numbers. For me, they're the three for sure greatest players in the history of tennis."

Daniil Medvedev is still chasing his first Major, as he himself mentioned, but he has a good chance of getting the breakthrough win this week. The Russian is just three victories away from his maiden Slam, and will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev on Wednesday for a place in the semifinals.


Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are currently targeting Roger Federer's records in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic (L) and Rafael Nadal

As things stand, Roger Federer holds two of the most important records in men's tennis. The Swiss has the joint-highest number of Grand Slam titles (20), and has also spent the most weeks as World No. 1 (310).

But after tying Roger Federer at last year's Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal is vying to become the out-and-out record holder for Major wins at this year's Australian Open. The Spaniard faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Barring some heroics from Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic is also all but confirmed to go past Roger Federer's record for weeks spent as World No. 1. Djokovic is also one of the last eight in Melbourne - where he could win a record-extending ninth title and 18th Major overall.

Published 15 Feb 2021, 17:38 IST
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