The fittest tennis player on the circuit versus the eight-time tournament winner. On one side of the track, Daniil Medvedev, the champion last year in Paris-Bercy and in the ATP Finals, leader of the Russian team that won the ATP Cup a team tournament before this Australian Open, winner of 21 consecutive games, Unbeaten since last October 30, when he fell against Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals of the Vienna tournament, winner in his last 12 crosses against top ten players, executioner in the semifinal of Stefanos Tsitsipas this Friday (6-4, 6-2 and 7-5).
In front of him, Novak Djokovic, 28 consecutive victories in Australia, adding the eight singles of 2020 and 2021 in the ATPCup, undefeated on the ground Aussie since January 23, 2018, when he was surprised in the quarterfinals by the Korean Hyeon Chung, recovered from the abdominal injury that compromised his presence in this edition of the tournament after a very tough round of 16 matches against Taylor Fritz.
“Medvedev is the man to beat, said the world number 1 after beating Aslán Karatsev in the semifinals on Thursday. I played a final against Rafa, one of the best in history. Now I’ll do it in front of Novak, another of the best. I hope that experience can favor me, “said the fourth among the favorites, bringing the 2019 USOpen final against Nadal, whom he led to five sets after having lost the first two.
At 25 years old, the Russian resident in Monte Carlo uses intractable ways. Stefanos Tsitsipas was able to verify this, who had just become the second player capable of neutralizing two sets against Nadal in a major. For tennis, it would be good if he won the tournament he commented after his defeat.
ADVANTAGE OF THE SERBIAN IN THE FACE TO FACED
Djokovic dominates the series of games 4-3. Only one of them took place in a Grand Slam tournament, precisely in Melbourne, in 2019 the Serbian won in four sets. Medvedev took the most recent: in the group stage of the last ATP Finals, by a double 6-3. They face, perhaps, the two best setbacks on the circuit. Against Tsitipas, he dropped 46 winners, 17 of them in ace form.
From his 1.98, with a short movement and a very difficult-to-read direction, he has a service advantage. Not so in the rest, where you will meet the best in that luck. Djokovic, 33, the third in the bid to finish his career with the most Grand Slam titles, is looking for 18th in Melbourne, leaving two behind Federer and Nadal. He has all the pressure. I have nothing to lose, said his opponent on Sunday.
The Balkan has found his best tone in recent games and brings an immense background on the big stages. It will be his twenty-eighth major finish. He won how many he played in Melbourne. His adversary will not be afraid. He did not do it against Nadal in New York, when he was less of a player than now and seriously compromised the Spanish options. He knows how to handle delicate moments, although in some trances he gets carried away by his temperament.
It happened to him in the third round of this Australian Open, when he faced his coach, Gilles Cervara, who left the track without witnessing the reaction in the fifth set against Filip Krajinovic, which he fired with a 6-0. It happened again in the only delicate moment of his match against Tsitsipas, resolved with a parallel passing shot from the backhand that he celebrated with gestures dedicated to the decanted in favor of the Greek. At that moment I knew I had won the game he commented on the sensational blow with which he achieved the break that would become definitive.