‘I’ve been in those shoes’ – Novak Djokovic ‘relates’ to Daniil Medvedev’s fan anguish
Novak Djokovic texted Daniil Medvedev after his Australian Open final defeat to offer guidance on how to manage hostile crowds and said he was upset by his peer’s dejection.
20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic and US Open victor Medvedev share an amicable relationship despite competing against each other at the top level of the game.
Medvedev could have surpassed Djokovic as the new World number one if he beat Nadal in the Australian Open final, but now has a second chance to do so at the Mexican Open if he matches or betters Djokovic’s result at the Dubai Championships.
Following his Australian Open final defeat to Rafael Nadal, where he lost a two set lead, after a hostile battle with the fans Medvedev said “the kid [in me] stopped dreaming.”
The Russian number one also said he would opt to play in Russia instead of the French Open or Wimbledon should there be a fixture clash.
When asked about Medvedev’s frustration and dejection in a Dubai press conference, Djokovic said “I relate to that. We spoke. Actually we texted after the match.
“I really felt sad that he was experiencing those kinds of emotions because the inner kid is the reason why we are playing tennis. I mean, at least in my case and I think in his case.
“Most of the players pick up the racket when they were young because they fell in love with the sport, they have passion for the sport, they dream to achieve some of the greatest things this sport can offer them.
“Obviously losing, being two sets to love up in the finals, it’s a tough one to swallow. Of course, I’ve been in those shoes before. I understand how he feels,” Djokovic empathised.
“I had plenty of matches where I had the crowd on my side and crowd against me. This is part of the sport. You can’t always expect to have the support behind you. Sometimes you just wish things to be different.
“I wish him all the best. I think he’s a great champion, someone that is mentally very strong, already consistent with his results, soon to be number one in the world as well.
“I can relate to that. I felt sorry for him that he commented the way he did after the match. But I do understand,” he concluded.
Djokovic and Medvedev are battling against each other for the World number one spot. Djokovic is vying to protect his position whilst Medvedev is hoping to be the first new World number one outside of the ‘Big Four’ in 18 years.
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