Daniil Medvedev vs. Novak Djokovic: How the burgeoning rivalry could motivate the world No. 1 beyond the ATP Finals
In the upcoming ATP Finals, a Djokovic-Medvedev final would be a fitting end to the year, and the rivalry is set to define 2022 as well.
It’s shaping up to be the most exciting rivalry in men’s tennis, and it’s one that Novak Djokovic relishes.
The Serbian has a positive head-to-head record against Rafael Nadal (30-28), Roger Federer (27-23) and Andy Murray (25-11), but when it comes to crowd support, Djokovic has been the rogue to their revered.
Federer has long been the darling of men’s tennis, arguably the most popular player of this century, if not all time.
He has won the ATPTour.com Fans’ Favourite award 18 times in a row, even during injury-plagued years, and Nadal isn’t far behind him in terms of popularity.
Murray, on the other hand, has always had the support of the crowds when competing at Wimbledon or the ATP Finals in London.
While the powers of his three biggest rivals have slowly waned, Djokovic remains the world No. 1 and the player the next generation is still struggling to topple in his role as antagonist.
However, he may have met his match in Daniil Medvedev, the Russian world No. 2 who defeated Djokovic in the US Open final in straight sets in September.
This rivalry has now spanned ten matches, with Djokovic leading 6-4, and the winner having alternated in each of their last six meetings, dating back to Cincinnati in 2019.
The unpredictable outcome, combined with the high level of play on display, has made for an exciting match-up, and they may meet again at the ATP Finals this year, with the pair separated in the round-robin stage and thus likely to meet in the final if they finish the tournament undefeated.
That may not happen – Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are among those hoping to have their say – but Medvedev appears to be Djokovic’s biggest obstacle in the coming years.
Medvedev could also be the reason why the 34-year-old keeps pushing for more silverware – a “great” rival to keep him on his toes and wary of what is expected of him.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy.
How the burgeoning rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev could motivate the world No. 1 beyond the ATP Finals
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: How burgeoning rivalry could spur on the world No 1 beyond ATP Finals
Djokovic vs Medvedev head-to-head
- 2021: ATP Masters 1000 Paris final – Djokovic won 4-6 6-3 6-3
- 2021: US Open final – Medvedev won 6-4 6-4 6-4
- 2021: Australian Open final – Djokovic won 7-5 6-2 6-2
- 2020: ATP Finals round-robin stage – Medvedev won 6-3 6-3
- 2020: ATP Cup semi-final – Djokovic won 6-1 5-7 6-4
- 2019: ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati semi-final – Medvedev won 3-6 6-3 6-3
- 2019: ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo quarter-final – Medvedev won 6-3 4-6 6-2
- 2019: Australian Open round of 16 – Djokovic won 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3
- 2017: Eastbourne semi-final – Djokovic won 6-4 6-4
- 2017: Davis Cup World Group first round – Djokovic won 3-6 6-4 6-1 1-0 RET
Djokovic broke down in tears during the US Open final.
He said he had never felt so loved by a crowd before ???? pic.twitter.com/qNHeMXOHf0
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) September 14, 2021