‘It’s not a bad rivalry!’ – Daniil Medvedev ready for Novak Djokovic rumble
Daniil Medvedev is raring to go against Novak Djokovic after a dominant performance to reach the semi-finals of the Astana Open.
The world number four dismantled Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-1 in barely an hour to set his 11th career meeting with Djokovic. The victory for Medvedev is just his second over the Spaniard as he trailed 4-1 in the pari’s head-to-head entering the battle.
“It was great!” Medvedev said after the win. “Of course I know that Roberto can play much better than he did today. He’s proved that many times, not only against me. But that’s what tennis is, one day you feel bad, one day you feel worse.
“So I’m happy I managed to play the right game, to be really solid, to do everything I can to make his life difficult. I’m really happy to win [against] him.”
“It’s a little bit tough to say because there were some points where I was like ‘I’m not going to miss, Roberto you have to do the point if you want to win.’
“I tried to mix it up because as I said it’s not easy to play against Roberto. So I tried to mix it up to surprise him a little bit and it worked pretty well.”
A piece of Medvedev magic 🪄@DaniilMedwed #AstanaOpen pic.twitter.com/ewUMeljEos
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 7, 2022
Medvedev played exceptionally, hitting 21 winners to just four unforced errors. The Russian is in pursuit of just his second title of the year, after winning an ATP 250 event in Los Cabos in August.
The 2021 US Open champion was asked whether he wants to beat Djokovic more than anyone else on tour.
“Not really because I want to beat everybody.” he responded. “I would say Rafa [Nadal] even more because I lost two Grand Slam finals against Rafa. But I’m really happy to play against Novak.
“I thought about this before the match, we’ve only actually played one tournament together this year, which was Roland Garros. We meet again and I’m really happy. I feel like it’s not a bad rivalry. Of course not close to Novak against Roger or Rafa, but still. I need to be at my best tomorrow.”
A combination of Slam bans for both men and Medvedev’s mid-season hernia injury explains why the men have not yet crossed paths in 2022. Their semi-final match-up will be their first since last year’s Paris Masters final, a tie Djokovic won to move to 6-4 in the duo’s head-to-head.
Looking towards the end of the season, Medvedev is next in line to qualify for ATP Finals after Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas have already secured their spots.
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