Daniil Medvedev weighs in on Novak Djokovic absence from Australian Open

Daniil Medvedev reacts to US Open win over Novak Djokovic

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US Open champion Daniil Medvedev has delivered his verdict on world No 1 Novak Djokovic’s absence from the Australian Open and hopes the Serb can return to compete at Melbourne Park in the future. Djokovic was deported from Melbourne following his frustrating saga ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.

Djokovic, who has won the tournament on nine occasions, was sensationally deported from Australia on Sunday following a dramatic saga between the Serb and the country’s national government. 

He could be banned from re-entering from three years after his visa was cancelled. 

Medvedev, who is close with Djokovic after some great battles on the court in recent years, hopes the Serb can return in the future. 

“Yeah I mean, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena is definitely probably maybe his favourite place in the world, because, yeah, the amount of matches, the amount of finals, semifinals he won here is sensational,” Medvedev said when asked about Djokovic’s absence from the Australian Open.

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“You know, I remember last year where I was like, ‘Well, okay, that’s a good challenge, trying to stop him’. Was far, far away from doing that.

“So, yeah, actually I like challenges, so I would love, you know, to have this chance again to play him maybe in the final or something like this here in Rod Laver, even if he beat me or not, it’s a good challenge and I like challenges in my career.

“But, yeah, as I said, it cannot change my approach, because it’s still seven tough matches to win. 

“If we talk about US Open where I managed to beat him in the final, it was the same. 

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“You know, I had six tough matches against tough opponents to get in the final. Then I had Novak himself to beat. 

“He was going for something special. I managed to prepare the match well. Played quite good tennis. Served big. Managed to win the match.

“And same, you know, no matter how I do here, how far I go, if I’m in the final, who I play, it’s not gonna be easy and you need to show your best to win a Slam.”

Medvedev is the highest-ranked player at the tournament as the world No 2 following the Serb’s withdrawal. 

The Russian won in straight sets in his first round clash, defeating Swiss superstar Henri Laaksonen.

Medvedev won 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to secure a second round match with Australian home favourite Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios defeated Brit Liam Broady in style – including winning a point with an underarm tweener serve.

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