Daniil Medvedev will have a shot at proving himself against Novak Djokovic after identifying what went wrong in their US Open final showdown. Both men are playing in the last two events of the season – next week’s Paris Masters and the ATP Finals. Medvedev suffered a straight-set defeat to Djokovic in New York and has since confessed that he was “too stubborn”, though he knew exactly what to do the next time they met.
Djokovic has not played at tour level since he won the US Open in September. The world No 1 beat Medvedev 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 to lift a record 24th Grand Slam trophy, with the second set lasting a staggering 105 minutes. Djokovic is now set to return in Paris-Bercy next week.
While the 36-year-old took a brief break, Medvedev continued to play through the Asian swing and is now attempting to defend his title in Vienna. And the world No 3 has now had some time to reflect on his largely one-sided defeat to Djokovic, conceding that he should have changed his tactics during the match.
“Maybe I would take the set, but I don’t know about the match,” Medvedev said. While he wasn’t sure whether any changes would have helped him take the crown from Djokovic in New York, the Russian did know what he had to do next time they met on a tennis court.
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The 27-year-old added: “As for the position of how to answer Novak in the future, then yes. It’s tennis stuff. Especially against a good player on the serve at the net, if he goes to the outside, to my forehand, he might win three out of four or four and five points.
“You have moments, 30-30 or 30-40, where he would have been under pressure if I had managed to answer. You don’t need a break every time, you need a return at the right time.” Medvedev explained that he thought he would have been able to make a breakthrough by sticking to his guns during the match – but he later realised that was the wrong tactic.
“I was not able to answer him as I wanted, but during the match I believed that I could,” he continued. “After the match I thought I was too stubborn. I needed to change something. But if I had switched, I’m not sure I would have gotten it. It is very complicated.”
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Although Medvedev still didn’t know whether he could’ve won their US Open final meeting, the world No 3 might have a chance to put his new game plan to use over the coming weeks. The Russian could face Djokovic in the semi-final or the final of the upcoming Paris Masters.
As both men have qualified for the ATP Finals, they could also meet in Turin – either in the group stage or in a potential knockout match if they advance that far. Medvedev has already been able to defeat Djokovic this year, beating the world No 1 in the Dubai semi-final. It came weeks after the Serb defeated him at the same stage of the Adelaide International.
Djokovic leads their head-to-head overall by 10 wins to five losses. But Medvedev has been able to win some important contests, including their first meeting in the US Open final back in 2021. And he will be hoping to prove that he still has what it takes to dethrone the 24-time Major winner if they do get to face off again before the end of the year.
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