Tennis: Medvedev puts all the pressure on Djokovic
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Daniil Medvedev will head into Sunday’s Australian Open men’s singles final with the intention of putting Novak Djokovic through hell, according to Mats Wilander. Medvedev beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in Friday’s semi-final to set up the clash with Djokovic.
Djokovic is the favourite as he aims to win his ninth title in Melbourne.
But the Serb believes Medvedev is the player to beat due to his impressive 20-match winning streak.
Wilander was impressed with the Russian against Tsitsipas, describing his performance as “close to perfection”.
And the pundit reckons Medvedev will be out to frustrate Djokovic on Sunday.
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“I’m a huge fan,” Wilander said on Eurosport. “He is a great character, and great for our sport.
“He is so smart, Medvedev. He knew what happened to [Rafael] Nadal against Tsitsipas, and that you just cannot let up at all.
“He played so well, close to perfection I think. It’s been unbelievable from Medvedev.
“The depth of his shots, his forehand is so deep. He only hit one forehand inside the service box. It’s incredible.
“How do you combat that? It’s very difficult. What are you going to do? It’s very unusual for any player. Also, his serve: it’s a huge weapon.
“The backhand down the line from Medvedev is as good as Djokovic’s and as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.
“While Novak is more confident that he is going to win, I feel like Medvedev is going to enjoy the battle more because he is out there to just cause hell for his opponent. He likes to see Novak frustrated.”
Analyst Mischa Zverev was also full of praise for Medvedev’s performance in the semi-final.
“His placement of his shots is incredible and his positioning on the court is tremendous,” Zverev said.
“I feel like the player who is fitter is going to win the match.”
Responding to Djokovic’s comments about pressure, Medvedev insists the world No 1’s experience undoubtedly makes him the favourite.
“I like that I don’t have a lot of pressure because he’s never lost in the eight times he has been here in the final,” Medvedev said.
“I just hope that I’m going to get out there and show my best tennis.
“I can win against some big names if I play well and that’s the main part. He has more experience, but more things to lose.”
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