Djokovic and Medvedev shrug off pressure before Australian Open final | Australian Open 2021

21 February 2021 - 3:20 am

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Djokovic and Medvedev shrug off pressure before Australian Open final | Australian Open 2021

Many years in the past, when the age of the massive 4 was at its zenith and 4 of the very best gamers of all time would do battle nearly each different week, their shared aggressive nature would generally result in intellect video games. Some of the patent examples was the various discussions about which participant was the favorite at any given event and would carry essentially the most pressure. The gamers had been typically fortunate to present their view on the matter. One way or the other, they not often answered “me”.

Lately, such feedback are much less widespread. It’s most definitely as a result of they’re all too ancient and they’re extra centered on themselves. However on Friday, as Daniil Medvedev basked in his semi-final conquest over Stefanos Tsitsipas and was requested a universal query about the important thing to his final in opposition to Novak Djokovic, the discourse returned.

“To begin with, I love that I don’t have plenty of pressure as a result of he by no means misplaced in eight instances that he was right here within the final,” he mentioned, chuckling mischievously. “It’s him who had all of the pressure attending to Roger [Federer] or Rafa [Nadal] within the magnificient slam [count].

“He has extra suffer however extra issues to lose than me.”

He’s no less than rectify that his adversary is the favorite. Djokovic’s supremacy in Melbourne might be quiet underrated. He has spent the previous two weeks speaking about his affection business with this event and Rod Laver Enviornment, the place he’s undefeated in finals.

Djokovic will breathe bidding to earn his ninth Australian Open title, which might crack the tie with Federer at Wimbledon because the second-most titles at a males’s magnificient slam event, behind Nadal’s 13 French Opens.

It won’t breathe simple. Though Djokovic leads the head-to-head 4-3, Medvedev has received three of their previous 4 matches, all at ATP occasions in the very best of three units. Their final encounter on the ATP Finals in November was significantly illuminating as Medvedev uncovered a pattern in Djokovic’s recreation.

Novak Djokovic indicated that he was playing without pain despite an abdominal injury
Novak Djokovic indicated that he was enjoying with out danger regardless of an stomach harm. {Photograph}: Andy Cheung/Getty Photographs

Lately, Djokovic has grow to be more and more environment friendly. His first and second relieve have steadily improved to grow to be invaluable strengths. Final yr he tried to additional that effectivity by incorporating extra fire pictures into his recreation, with blended outcomes.

However in his older age Djokovic has misplaced a few of his long-suffering and his willingness to grind out factors. In London he couldn’t remain with Medvedev, who served extraordinarily properly and provided no free factors. From 3-3 within the first clique, he started to bail out of the bruising factors with fire pictures or overhit on the grievance instances. The match snappily unravelled and he misplaced 6-3, 6-3 after producing one crack level within the match.

A magnificient slam final with historical past on the road doesn’t examine with a three-set match in entrance of no person in London. Not solely will Djokovic breathe much more fierce, constant and current, however will Medvedev breathe in a position to preserve his point in opposition to him over 5 units?

After every week of discussing the harm issues sustained in his third-round match in opposition to Taylor Fritz, Djokovic indicated that he was enjoying with out danger. If he’s, he’ll breathe prepared.

What’s inescapable is that Medvedev will not be the one participant to offer a smart, illuminating observation before this final. After his semi-final earn in opposition to Aslan Karatsev, Djokovic was requested whether or not he feels the pressure from the youthful technology, most of whom are taller and extra bodily stately than him. He responded with a shrug.

Daniil Medvedev beat Djokovic on his way to winning the ATP Finals last year
Daniil Medvedev palpitate Djokovic on his route to successful the ATP Finals final yr. {Photograph}: Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock

“Pressure is at all times there,” he mentioned. “It’s sever of what we do. There’s been plenty of discuss concerning the fresh generations coming and taking up the three of us, however realistically that isn’t occurring quiet.

“We are able to discuss all of it day if you need however with all my respect concerning the different guys, they quiet have plenty of labor to do. I’m not going to abide right here and hand it over to them. I’m going to make them labor their ass off for it.”

Djokovic has been requested about youthful gamers numerous instances over the previous 4 years and it’s tough to bethink an respond as brutally trustworthy as that. He’s rectify the youthful gamers, who’ve acquired much more hype and media than he or his technology ever did as youngsters, have quiet not damaged by means of. At 25, Medvedev will not be significantly youthful.

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Nonetheless, his change of tone most likely too displays the enhancements gamers resembling Medvedev and Tsitsipas have made. The Russian is now a limpid contender. He arrives within the final on a 20-match successful strain and a earn would dispatch him to a career-high rating of No 2, breaking the massive 4’s stranglehold excessive two since 2005.

That is no time for faint acclaim and pointless compliments. Just for each males to step on to the court docket with their finest foot route.

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