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Novak Djokovic expresses wariness about facing Zverev & Medvedev, says they are "in the best form" indoors

Alexander Zverev (L) and Novak Djokovic at the 2018 ATP Finals
Alexander Zverev (L) and Novak Djokovic at the 2018 ATP Finals
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 14 Nov 2020, 17:21 IST
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Novak Djokovic believes that Russia's Daniil Medvedev and Germany's Alexander Zverev are in the best form among all the players at the Nitto ATP Finals. Both Zverev and Medvedev have achieved a lot of success during the indoor hardcourt stretch in Europe over the last one month.

Novak Djokovic, a five-time champion at the season-ending event, is drawn with Medvedev, Zverev and Diego Schwartzman in Group Tokyo 1970. The Serb will open his campaign at the O2 Arena against Schwartzman on Monday.

Medvedev, a semifinalist at the US Open, lost in the second round of the St. Petersburg Open and the quarterfinals of the Vienna Open before ending his 13-month title drought at the Paris Masters. The Russian actually registered wins over two of the players in his group this week - Schwartzman and Zverev - at Bercy.

Daniil Medvedev (L) and Alexander Zverev (R) have been drawn in the same group as Novak Djokovic
Daniil Medvedev (L) and Alexander Zverev (R) have been drawn in the same group as Novak Djokovic

Meanwhile Zverev, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the US Open, won back-to-back indoor titles in Cologne last month. He followed that up with a runner-up finish at the Paris Masters - where he defeated World No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

“Zverev and Medvedev are probably in the best form of anyone at this tournament indoors,” said Novak Djokovic, who is 3-2 lifetime against Zverev and 4-2 against Medvedev. “They’ve won two tournaments in a row and played in the finals in Paris."
"Those guys are very tall and have big serves and lots of weapons from the back of the court, solid backhands and forehands also. They’re complete players both of them and [they have] similar styles. You have to be at your best to win against those guys the way they’re playing indoors,” the World No. 1 added.

I have lots of respect for Schwartzman, he’s a fierce competitor: Novak Djokovic

Runner-up Diego Schwartzman (L) and winner Novak Djokovic (R) at the 2020 Rome Masters
Runner-up Diego Schwartzman (L) and winner Novak Djokovic (R) at the 2020 Rome Masters

Novak Djokovic has never lost to Diego Schwartzman despite having played him as many as five times. But the Serb is in no way underestimating his Argentine opponent, who is making his debut at the ATP Finals event.

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“He never played on this court but that probably is kind of releasing him from any pressure that he has to do well," Novak Djokovic continued. "Diego is in great form this year, it’s been the best season of his life, he deserves to be part of this tournament. I have lots of respect for him, he’s a fierce competitor [and] one of the quickest players on the tour."
Published 14 Nov 2020, 17:19 IST
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