The runner-up at last year's US Open, Daniil Medvedev has been touted by many to be one of the players who can break the hegemony of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic over the men's tour.
The Russian lost to Rafael Nadal in an epic five-set final at Flushing Meadows last year, which was part of a streak of six consecutive finals he made in that period. But in a recent interaction with Eurosport Medvedev revealed that he has admired Roger Federer since his childhood, before going on to compare the Swiss with his legendary Big 3 rivals.
I want to ask Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic how they win so many Slams: Daniil Medvedev
When asked who is the greatest player of all time, Daniil Medvedev had a pretty straightforward answer; he chose not to mince his words on the subject.
"It's a tough question but at the moment it's Roger Federer (the best player of all time) because he has one more Grand Slams than any other player," Daniil Medvedev said.
It's pertinent to note, however, that Medvedev specifically mentioned 'at the moment' in his answer. He then reinforced the temporary nature of Federer's status by adding, "So it can change."
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have for a long time been the principal subjects of the 'greatest of all time' or GOAT debate. Slam wins are often used as the biggest yardstick to judge a player's superiority, and right now Roger Federer is leading the way with 20.
However, Federer is nearing the age of 40 now, and many believe he will retire soon. Meanwhile his younger rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are just one and three Majors behind him respectively, so the all-time record could very well change hands in a year or two.
Nevertheless, the Big 3 are collectively the best players on tour right now, and they have developed a stranglehold over the Slams in particular. So when Medvedev was asked what question he would pose to the three of them if he had a chance, he gave the most obvious answer.
"If I could ask them one question, it would be: how do you win so many Grand Slam titles?" he said.
Daniil Medvedev was also asked which players he looked up to the most while growing up, and whose playing style he tried to copy. The Russian immediately came up with two specific names.
"When I was a child, I used to copy some shots," Daniil Medvedev said. "For sure Marat Safin's backhand. But I also tried Roger Federer's serve. But then at one moment I realized that I have to develop my own style and that's what I did."
Daniil Medvedev's serving style is certainly very different from that of Roger Federer now, but at times it can be just as effective. The 6'6" Russian can hammer down aces at will when the situation calls for it, so he probably isn't too unhappy that he decided to create his own service motion rather than ape Federer's.Published 29 Aug 2020, 16:10 IST