After his crushing loss to Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2021 Australian Open, Daniil Medvedev lavished rich praise on the Serb while also explaining what sets the 'Big 3' apart the rest of the field.
Novak Djokovic lifted his ninth Australian Open trophy in Melbourne Park on Sunday, to go within two Slams of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Together, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have accounted for 15 of the last 16 Majors despite being well into their 30s.
That level of dominance is unheard of in all sport, let alone in tennis. Citing their mind-boggling statistical records, Medvedev claimed that the Big 3 are the 'biggest names in tennis history'.
"Nothing else to say than they are undoubtedly, like, I don’t think anyone can argue with the three biggest names in tennis history," Medvedev said. "I’m talking only about results. I’m not talking off-court, game. I’m talking about results. What they did in tennis is unbelievable for me, like I said last time."
Daniil Medvedev went on to express his awe at Novak Djokovic’s feat of nine Australian Open titles as well as Nadal’s 13 French Open wins. The Russian saw the humor in this statistic too, suggesting that the odds of him scaling such heights bordered on the impossible.
"I’m 25 now. To win nine Australian Opens, I need to win every year until I'm 34," Medvedev went on. "I mean, I believe in myself, but I don’t think I’m able to do it. Same with Rafa. I mean, 13 Roland Garros. We’re talking about some cyborgs of tennis in a good way. They’re just unbelievable."
According to Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic brings forth his highest intensity level irrespective of the player on the other side of the net.
"I think for sure it was his determination, but not (just) against the young guys, I think it would be the same if he would be playing Roger or Rafa," the Russian added.
I rank Novak Djokovic in the top 3 of the most formidable opponents I've had: Daniil Medvedev
Unlike most of the other Next Gen stars, Daniil Medvedev has usually fared well against Novak Djokovic, having beaten the Serb thrice in eight meetings. The Russian also recently defeated Rafael Nadal at last year’s ATP Finals, but he firmly believes that he needs to pull up his socks against the 'Big 3' at the Slams.
"I beat some of them in some big tournaments, like London for example," Medvedev said. "Just need to be better next time in the Grand Slam finals against these two guys or Roger."
For Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic is the ‘King of Melbourne’ given the Serb’s superlative record Down Under.
"Yeah, he’s just playing unbelievable here," the Russian continued. "For sure, if we can say like this, I guess he’s the King of Melbourne, even if I don’t like these words. What else can we say? He won here nine out of nine times when he was in the semis."
Daniil Medvedev revealed that he considers Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the most challenging opponents he has had on tour. The Russian even admitted that the trio are better at tennis than the rest of the field.
"I rank him (Novak Djokovic) in top three hardest opponents that I ever faced," Medvedev added. "I’m not joking. I mean, played all of them (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic). I think when they want to is not a good word, I’m sure they want to win every tournament also, but when they’re in the zone, and I’m not shy to say it, I feel like they’re just better tennis players, again, which shows facts and numbers, than the rest of us, if we can call like this."