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"It's a pity Roger Federer is not playing" - Daniil Medvedev on the only top 10 player he hasn't beaten in the last 4 months

Roger Federer
Roger Federer
Rudra Biswas
Modified 19 Feb 2021

Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to 20 matches by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open semifinals on Friday. Medvedev has now defeated all but one top 10 player in the last four months - with the only exception being Roger Federer.

The Swiss, who last played a professional match in Melbourne a year ago, will make his comeback to the tour in Doha next month. Medvedev, however, is entered to play Rotterdam the week before Doha, so the chances of him meeting Federer any time soon are slim.

During his press conference on Friday Daniil Medvedev was informed about the only knock on his top 10 record, and the Russian responded in typically tongue-in-cheek fashion.

"It's a pity that Roger Federer is not playing, I would love to play him. (laughs)," Medvedev said.

During his 20-match winning streak, Daniil Medvedev has registered 12 wins over top 10 players. That haul comprises of three wins over Alexander Zverev, three over Diego Schwartzman, and one each over Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini.

But Daniil Medvedev has never beaten Roger Federer; in fact, the Swiss leads their head-to-head 3-0. They last met in the Round of 16 at the 2019 Miami Masters, where Federer defeated his younger opponent quite comfortably.

Despite Roger Federer having the upper hand in the head-to-head, Daniil Medvedev is still pretty excited about playing the 20-time Slam champion again. Not wanting to come across as a 'fanboy', the lanky Russian added that he would love to play each of the 'Big 3' as often as possible.

"I'm not saying anything... I would just love to play him, as with all the Big 3," Medvedev said.

Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev went on different paths after their Miami clash

Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Roger Federer
Daniil Medvedev shakes hands with Roger Federer

Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev have been on drastically different paths the last couple of years, ever since their Miami meeting. While a 38-year-old Federer pushed for the title at Wimbledon in 2019, Medvedev went on a five-match losing streak despite initially putting up a fine run at the Monte Carlo Masters.

But then Federer suffered heartbreak at the hands of Novak Djokovic as he wasted two match points before eventually losing in a super tiebreaker, and everything changed after that. The Swiss champion lost motivation for a while, suffering upset losses to Andrey Rublev and Grigor Dimitrov at the Rogers Cup and the US Open respectively.

Daniil Medvedev, on the other hand, pieced his 2019 tennis season back together in spectacular fashion. He reached five consecutive finals between the Citi Open and the Shanghai Masters, and won his first two Masters 1000 titles.

The Russian even defeated Federer's conqueror Grigor Dimitrov to reach the final at the 2019 US Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in a five-set thriller.

A year on, Medvedev has firmly established himself as a top player; the Russian will be playing the 2021 Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic on Sunday. Federer meanwhile is seemingly on his last legs, and will likely find it much tougher to beat Medvedev now than he did in 2019 and earlier.

Published 19 Feb 2021, 21:21 IST
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