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"To become World No. 1 is not easy with Novak Djokovic winning all matches and Grand Slams" - Daniil Medvedev after 3R win in Toronto

Novak Djokovic (L) and Daniil Medvedev
Novak Djokovic (L) and Daniil Medvedev
Namit Kumar
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Daniil Medvedev raced past James Duckworth 6-2, 6-4 in the third round of the 2021 National Bank Open on Thursday. The top seed, who is the firm favorite to lift the trophy in Toronto, will face Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals on Friday.

The Russian is currently second in the ATP Rankings, but could leapfrog Novak Djokovic into the top spot over the next few months. Djokovic, who beat Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open this year, has strengthened his grip at the top of the men's game by winning Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Speaking to members of the media after his victory over Duckworth, Medvedev revealed his ambitions to overtake Djokovic and become the World No. 1. The Russian is aware of the magnitude of the task, but believes that winning big titles will help him achieve the feat.

"Well, to be honest, to become the No. 1, with Djokovic it's not easy because he's winning almost all the matches and all the Grand Slams," Medvedev said. "So you need to beat him in the final. Maybe if I would have beaten him (in Australian Open), I would be much closer. But he beat me, so that's the reality," he said.
"I just want to try to play my best tennis. You know, if you win two Grand Slams in a year and two Masters, you're going to be No. 1. That's what you need to try to aim for, and so of course I want to be No. 1, but, yeah, I need to win big tournaments and big titles for this. That's what I'm trying to do," the Russian added.

The Big 3 are different because they usually win even when they don't play well: Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev (L) and Rafael Nadal
Daniil Medvedev (L) and Rafael Nadal

During the course of his press conference, Daniil Medvedev also spoke about the importance of finding form at the right time in a big tournament.

The Russian highlighted how all players barring Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal need some wins under their belt to gain confidence and momentum ahead of a major event.

According to Medvedev, the Big 3 are capable of winning matches even when they are playing poorly, which is not the case with the younger players on tour.

"I think it's super important (to "get in a zone") for almost every tennis player, and that's where the 'Big Three' are different," Daniil Medvedev said. "Because even if they don't play good and they say it after the match, well, they usually still win, especially on Grand Slams."
"That's where it's tougher for younger players, for sure, because the younger you are, the more you see the guy beats first-time, top-10 player in the world, I had it myself, and then the next round he loses to somebody outside of top 100 or something like this. Well, yeah, that's tough to learn."

But the Russian believes the unpredictable nature of tennis is what makes it such an attractive sport to watch.

"You know, we have a lot of players even this year who could make some amazing results, and for few weeks losing first rounds. That's what tennis is about. That's why I think people like tennis," the 25-year-old added.

Medvedev also revealed that he is working hard to try and develop more consistency in his game.

"There were some tournaments even this year where before the matches I was not feeling well, and some of these tournaments I managed to keep up my level and play better and better. Some of them I lost the first round playing terrible. That's what I'm trying to learn every day about myself and just trying to make it work all the time," he added.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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