“Need to be best-ever version of myself”: Daniil Medvedev on facing Novak Djokovic in US Open final
After claiming a place in the 2023 US Open final, the World No.3 Daniil Medvedev will face the man Novak Djokovic whom…
After claiming a place in the 2023 US Open final, the World No.3 Daniil Medvedev will face the man Novak Djokovic whom he shocked two years ago at Flushing Meadows for his first major championship. Medvedev was pleased with his performance as he defeated defending champion Carlos Alcaraz on Friday night to advance to the US Open final.
“I said I need to play 11 out of 10, All three sets I won I managed to do it. In the third set I would say I was maybe nine and a half, maybe 10 out of 10, and as we saw it was not enough against Carlos,” Daniil Medvedev told ATP.
“I managed to play well, I managed to serve well, hit some lines in important moments, some great shots. Just really happy, but the tournament is not over,” he added. The 2021 winner is aware that work still needs to be done to beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
“Against Novak, it’s the same. He is always better than previous time he plays. For example, I beat him in the US Open final, he beat me in Bercy in a great match. Carlos beat him at Wimbledon, he beat him in Cincinnati,” Daniil Medvedev said. “Novak is going to be his best version on Sunday, and I have to be the best-ever version of myself if I want to try to beat him.”
In the 2021 final, Novak Djokovic was trying to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in the same season. Daniil Medvedev, on the other hand, defeated him in straight sets and sent him off the court. However, Medvedev anticipates a much improved Novak Djokovic this time.
“Novak, when he loses, he’s never the same after. So he’s different. It’s just a different mentality. That’s why he has 23 Grand Slams, [39 ATP] Masters 1000s, weeks at No. 1. So I have to use it knowing that he’s going to be 10 times better than he was that day. And I have to be, if I want to still beat him, 10 times better than I was that day. That’s what I’m going to try to do,” Daniil Medvedev said.
One thing Daniil Medvedev will hope to carry with him into the final is his serving level. The 27-year-old won 82 per cent of his first-serve points against Alcaraz. “Against someone like Carlos you have to serve well. You have no other choice. If he’s all over your serve, he’s all over you in a way. I managed to hit some good serves, to hit some good zones, to mix it up in important moments. We can call it lucky second serves, because when you go for it, there is part of luck. But you also take the risk, which if you’re lucky, this risk can pay off. Today was great, so as I said, it has to be the same on Sunday,” said the World No.3.
Daniil Medvedev will now try to mentally reset knowing that upsetting the defending champion was not enough to lift the trophy. “You want to fight ’til the end, you want to win. And that’s how you should be in the final of a Grand Slam,” Medvedev said.