Daniil Medvedev will end 2021 as World No. 2, with four singles titles to his name in addition to the ATP Cup and the Davis Cup. He reached at least the fourth round in every Major, won the US Open and finished as the runner-up at the Nitto ATP Tour Finals.
One of the biggest reasons behind his rise, according to Medvedev, has been his partner Daria Medvedva, whom he married over 3 years ago. At a press conference in 2019, Medvedev explained how instrumental she has been in his development as a player:
"She does a lot for me in order for me to play better tennis," Medvedev said. "I'm talking about small things in life that would take my attention, she cares about them, and I just have to play tennis and win some matches," he added.
Medvedev began 2017 ranked 99 in the world. By the end of the year, he was ranked 65.
Even as late as the end of Wimbledon 2018, the Russian was No. 61 in the singles rankings. That was when he proposed to his then-girlfriend Daria Chernyshkova.
At the time of his wedding on 12 September, Medvedev had already risen to No. 35 in the world. He finished 2018 at No.16 in the ATP rankings, and the only way his ranking has moved since has been up.
Medvedev finished 2019 as World No.5, when he was seeded at a Grand Slam for the first time ever. 2020 saw him finish as No. 4, when he won the ATP Tour Finals. And now, he is second only to Novak Djokovic, whom he beat at the US Open to win his first ever Grand Slam.
Correlation does not usually mean causation, but it seems to be in Medvedev's case. According to him, Daria has been instrumental in improving his confidence which has led to his drastic ascendancy:
"She's one of the most important members of my team," Medvedev said. "She gave me a lot of confidence. I always say that it's the moment I made the proposal to her, that's when I started to go up," he added.
Daniil Medvedev won the 2021 US Open on his third wedding anniversary
Quite fittingly, Daniil Medvedev won the 2021 US Open final against Novak Djokovic on 12 September, 2021 - coinciding with their third wedding anniversary.
After he surprised the world with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 straight-sets win against the World No.1, Medvedev made a light-hearted joke in his victory speech about their special day:
"During the tournament, I could not think of a present or anything," Medvedev said. "After winning the semi, the only thing I thought, 'If I lose, I have no time to find a present.' So I have to win this match," he added.
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