Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic - US Open 2021

Daniil Medvedev reveals what made him ‘feel sorry’ for Novak Djokovic

Daniil Medvedev has reflected on his only major title win to date, when he ended Novak Djokovic’s hopes of completing the calendar Grand Slam in 2021.

Medvedev beat Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final, 6-4 6-4 6-4, to win his first Grand Slam title and stopped the Serb from being the first man to win all four majors in one year since Rod Laver in 1969.

Despite their rivalry, Medvedev confessed to being a fan of the No.1, “I like when Novak wins Slams, if of course he’s not playing me in one of the rounds,”

Medvedev continued, “I like many things about Novak, he was so kind to me since I was a kid, since I first met him when I was 480 in the world. He was always the same, no matter if I’m No.1 in the world or No.480 and I give him a lot of respect for this.”

The 27-year-old admitted that although he was happy to be part of ‘history’, he felt bad that he had prevented Djokovic from completing a monumental achievement.

“At the same time, I have my name a little bit in the history, I didn’t let him win the calendar-year Grand Slam and I feel really sorry for him because I would, in a way, like him to do it,” said Medvedev.

He added, “But every time I play him I want to win, I’m competitive, I don’t care who I have on the other side of the net, if it’s my best friend, if it’s my worst enemy, I just want to win.”

Djokovic and Medvedev have now played each other on 14 occasions, with the Serb leading the head-to-head 9-5.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion won four consecutive matches against Medvedev after that US Open final, but the Russian got the better in their most recent encounter on the way to his third title in as many weeks.

Djokovic was full of praise for the No.6 after their battle in the Middle East, “He’s a former No.1 and a Grand Slam winner. Anyone that won a Grand Slam, was No.1 in the world, has a huge value.”

“Every time he steps out on the court, an announcer is announcing his name, reading what he has achieved, having a Grand Slam title and No.1 next to his game is a huge deal for our sport.”

With Djokovic currently unable to play tournaments in USA, missing out on Indian Wells and most likely the Miami Open, the next time he will have a possibility of playing Medvedev is on clay.

Despite previously confessing his ‘hate’ for the surface, Medvedev won his only meeting against Djokovic on the dirt in the quarter-finals of Monte Carlo in 2019.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.