Daniil Medvedev lifted the trophy at the ATP Finals 2020 on the back of a series of spectacular performances. Medvedev defeated the world's three highest ranked players - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem - on his way to the title.
The Russian's win over Djokovic in the group stage was particularly impressive, as he outplayed the World No. 1 in straight sets. And Medvedev's coach Gilles Cervara has now revealed how grateful he felt towards Djokovic for the errors he committed in that match.
Novak Djokovic making more mistakes than usual was down to Daniil Medvedev's strength: Gilles Cervara
While speaking during a French television program, Cervara claimed that he made a note during Medvedev's match with Novak Djokovic thanking the Serb for the double faults committed by him during a crucial game.
"At 5-3, I was focused on something else. I could no longer (make) notes but I remember that I marked 'Thank you Djoko'," said Cervara.
Although Novak Djokovic's mistakes came at an important time, they don't take anything away from Daniil Medvedev's efficient performance. The Russian outdid the 33-year-old on defense, and forced him to go for a little extra on regulation shots.
"It's still the Masters, he (Djokovic) shows he's human too," Cervara said. "Was he at his maximum level of determination? Is that what explains that at a given moment, he makes more mistakes than usual? Now, that's also down to Daniil's strength and what he gives off."
Medvedev eventually finished unbeaten at the tournament, overturning a one-set deficit against Rafael Nadal in the semifinal and Dominic Thiem in the final. According to Cervara, Medvedev's dominance at the year-end event in London, coupled with his victorious run at the Paris Masters just before that, will give him immense confidence going into 2021.
"Daniil Medvedev has shown that he is the strongest and it is certainly no coincidence that he has won the Rolex Paris Masters and the London Masters in quick succession," Cervara added.
Daniil Medvedev has overtaken Roger Federer in the ATP rankings, to climb up to World No. 4. He has now won three Masters 1000s and one ATP Finals title during his short time in the top echelon of men's tennis.
With a potentially record-breaking few months coming up ahead, Novak Djokovic is still the favorite for the Australian Open in early 2021. However, Daniil Medvedev's two big trophies and 10-match winning streak to end the year make him a dark horse for the title in Melbourne.