Tennis: Medvedev puts all the pressure on Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic knows there’s a “good chance” his impeccable record at the Australian Open will end soon, according to Mats Wilander. Djokovic has won all eight of the finals he has participated in at the Melbourne tournament ahead of Sunday’s encounter with Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic is favourite to win Down Under for a ninth time in his career.
But Medvedev has won his last 20 matches as he goes in search of his first Grand Slam success.
Three-time Australian Open singles champion Wilander believes Medvedev will cause Djokovic issues.
And he thinks the world No 1 will know his 100 per cent final record will have to end eventually.
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Wilander told Eurosport: “I think that Novak most probably doesn’t feel it right now but he most probably knows ‘there’s a good chance I’m going to lose a final here, is this the year?’.
“So he might be thinking about that but I think Novak is great at turning a final into just any tennis match and ‘I’m not losing to you today because I’m the best player in the world on these courts’.
“Now, the match up against Daniil Medvedev, we saw that match last year at the Australian Open, that was the toughest match I think Novak had in many ways, apart from maybe the final against Dominic Thiem.”
Wilander believes Djokovic does not like playing against Medevedev, but does not think the Russian shares the same view.
He is expecting a long match at Rod Laver Arena which could be decided by which player serves the best.
Wilander added: “So I think Novak doesn’t like playing Daniil Medvedev, Medvedev likes playing against Novak. Five sets is not going to worry Daniil Medvedec.
“He hits a very, very low bouncing backhand and it’s not easy for Novak to do anything with that ball, especially when it comes to Novak’s backhand.
“But we’re going to see some great ball striking, we’re going to see some really long rallies, unbelievable athletic ability, and it may come down to the fact of who serves better, because both of them have very underrated first serves and win a lot of free points, both of them return extremely well.
“So it’s going to be a dog fight and it’s going to take a long time.”
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