ATP star ‘happy to follow in the footsteps’ of idol Novak Djokovic after Next Gen Finals victory
Hamad Medjedovic has become the lowest ranked player to win the ATP Next Gen Finals, with the Serb paying tribute to his idol and mentor Novak Djokovic after winning the biggest title of his career.
The 20-year-old beat top seed Arthur Fils in the final, 3(6)4 4-1 4-2 3(9)-4 4-1, recovering well after missing two championship point opportunities in the fourth set.
And Medjedovic reflected on his victory after the match, “I can’t believe I have won this title but it’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024. Arthur is an amazing player – he’s top 40 for a reason – so I’m really happy.
“It was tough after the first set. I changed my clothes and recovered and started to play good again. I didn’t play good when I had match points in the fourth set. I wasn’t relaxed, I was very stiff. Thank God I recovered and I was just trying to stay relaxed as much as I could and I managed to do it in the end.”
It is well documented that Djokovic has supported Medjedovic financially over the years, with the world No.110 having a total prize money of $415,858 prior to winning the Next Gen Finals.
However, after going unbeaten in Saudi Arabia, Medjedovic has over-doubled his total prize money with a reward of $514,000.
Medjedovic was part of the Davis Cup squad alongside Djokovic last week and paid tribute to the world No.1, “Two of us from Serbia. He won the big Masters [ATP Finals], the real one, and I won the Next Gen. Obviously it’s a huge thing and I’m happy to follow in his footsteps in some way.”
Djokovic has since congratulated Medjedovic on social media by saying, ” Hameeeeee Idemoooo [Let’s go in Serbian].”
Inside the baseline…
This is a huge victory for Medjedovic, who was the big underdog in the final against the much higher ranked Fils. Although this does not count as an official ATP title, many players have used this as a big stepping stone like the aforementioned Alcaraz, Tsitsipas and Sinner. Djokovic does not just mentor anybody, so in some ways it should not be surprising that Medjedovic’s talents are now coming to fruition.
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