Medvedev played some of his best tennis to beat Djokovic, who appeared a little sluggish. The win helped the Russian qualify for the semifinals of the season-ending event, while also extending his winning streak to seven matches.
Novak Djokovic meanwhile will take on Germany's Alexander Zverev on Friday, with the winner advancing to the semifinals. And the Serb knows that he needs to lift his level if he hopes to remain alive in the tournament.
“I cannot allow these things to happen when you're playing one of the top players of the world,” Djokovic said after his loss to Medvedev. “He was just better, no question about it… He's serving tremendously well, moving great. [He didn’t] give me too many unforced errors and free points. Yeah, I mean, just not a great match from my side. I thought I could have and should have done better, but credit to him for playing on a high level.”
Novak Djokovic complimented the Russian's tactics, in particular his ability to get opponents to play an extra shot.
“He's a tall guy and he moves well, he rarely misses backhands, and he's just a smart player, very smart player,” Djokovic said. “[He] knows how to make you run, make you play, and he always asks additional shots from the back of the court… from his opponent. If you start making unforced errors and maybe if you're not playing at your best, he uses it. You know, he was a better player. [He] deserved to win, no doubt about it.”
Dropped the level of my game and fitness in general: Novak Djokovic
After both players held serve to move the score to 2-3 in the first set, Novak Djokovic went on a seven-game losing streak. Medvedev wrapped up the set 6-3 and moved ahead 3-0 before the Serb was able to stop the rot, but by then the damage was already done.
Djokovic admitted that he cannot afford such lapses in a match against a player of Medvedev's caliber, before adding that he didn't feel his best during the match.
“Well, I was, to be honest [not feeling well] a little bit, especially towards the end of the first set, beginning of the second,” Novak Djokovic said. “I kind of regrouped and felt better… towards the end of the match. But, yeah, just unfortunate 15, 20 minutes for me that resulted with seven games in a row lost… I made some unforced errors. I dropped the level of [my] game and fitness just in general. I struggled to… find the right rhythm for 15 minutes or so…You know, against a player like Medvedev, the match is done.”Published 19 Nov 2020, 19:05 IST