To beat Novak Djokovic you have to bring your very best tennis. Sometimes even your best isn’t enough and when the world number one is playing well to beat him takes a special effort and Daniil Medvedev brought that on Thursday night.
I love watching the Russian play, he is super smart and his tennis is beautiful to watch. His game has been met with critics as it isn’t flamboyant but tennis is about results and this guy is getting them.
His style of tennis causes a lot of problems and to use that sentence against one of the best defenders the game is an incredible compliment.
Djokovic struggled to get to grips with Daniil’s game. We saw at the beginning of the year at the ATP Cup the world number one brought out a lot of drop shots in the win against the Russian. In fact we saw 26 from Djokovic when we usually see an average of 9 a match this year and a majority came within 3 shots of the serve being in play.
People often say that drop shots can be disrespectful, in this case it’s a mark of respect. Djokovic who is one of the best in baseline rallies knew he needed to mix it up and get away from being pulled into those rallies.
This was another fascinating battle, we saw Djokovic come to the net a lot to put volleys away but the relentless hitting from Medvedev was a joy to watch.
The forehand in particular was soo strong and accurate and the difference in the backhand was a problem for Novak. We saw him hit the backhand between 50-90mph, it wasn’t consistent and that is a good thing. He gave Djokovic a bit of everything so he couldn’t settle. He changed pace and created angles with perfection.
Over the course of the season there are performances which have stood out for me, this tops the lot. That was near on perfection!
The guy who lost all three of his matches in London last year is now the leader in the group and is looking tough to stop!