Daniil Medvedev Australian Open 2022

‘Honest’ Daniil Medvedev reminds three-time Australian Open champion of legend Jimmy Connors

Seven-time Slam champion Mats Wilander drew comparisons between world number two Daniil Medvedev and 1974 Australian Open winner Jimmy Connors after the Russian ousted Maxime Cressy. 

As a serve-volleyer, Cressy proved a tricky opponent for Medvedev.

The US Open champion is used to sitting deep in the court to soak up pressure from his opponents, but the style adopted by Cressy really frustrated him, something Wilander can understand.

“Maxime Cressy takes the racquet out of your hand, [players today] are not used to playing a serve and volleyer,” Wilander said on Eurosport.

“Compared to my era when I used to play against John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg [where] you saw the style all the time.

“On today’s tour, you don’t really see it so of course you don’t know how to face it.

“Where do you stand to return? Do I stand far back? Do I come further in? In the end, it’s irritating.”

While in the end Medvedev was able to secure the win in four sets, he admitted that closing the match out before a decider was important in order to hold off the maverick French-American.

In addition, Medvedev opted for a certain amount of gamesmanship in shouting and somewhat disrupting play while facing Cressy, which is what particularly made Wilander think of Connors.

“It was very unusual for a player to say what Daniil did out loud and then you confess to the fact that “yeah, I was trying to get into his head,” Wilander continued.

“Everyone is trying to get into each other’s head, somehow, but you are trying to keep it within the rules.

“In the 80s, there was one particular player, leftie American, Jimmy Connors who definitely tried to get into his opponents’ head.

“It’s very honest from Medvedev.”

The 2021 finalist faces world number nine Felix Auger-Aliassime next for a place in the semi-finals.

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