Novak Djokovic is ailing, so Daniil Mevedev is becoming the top favorite at the Australian Open among bookmakers. The 25-year-old is the leader of a promising Russian generation.
last edit: Feb 13, 2021, 7:03 pm
Daniil Medvedev just twitched the corner of his mouth and scowled. Even after reaching the round of 16 at the Australian Open, the fourth in the world ranked remained true to his line of not celebrating victories. He had every reason to do so lately. As the leader of an up-and-coming Russian tennis generation, Medvedev is currently the hottest player on the tour – and suddenly a top favorite in Melbourne.
Because of the big question marks about the physical condition of world number leader Novak Djokovic, who skipped training the day before his round of 16 on Sunday due to his abdominal muscle injury, Medvedev has moved up to become the bookies’ first contender for the title. Even if the 25-year-old is from oneFavorite role doesn’t want to know anything. “I try to see myself as nothing,” he said soberly, “I’m just trying to win my matches.”
No place for Khachanov
Medvedev is currently doing this brilliantly. Although he made a little break in his third round game against the Serb Filip Krajinovic, the 6: 3, 6: 3, 4: 6, 3: 6, 6: 0 was his 17th victory in a row on the tour. And as if this record wasn’t fascinating enough: ten of these victories were against top 10 players, three timeshe defeated Germany’s number one Alexander Zverev. In the autumn, Medvedev not only won the Masters in Paris and the ATP Finals, but also the ATP Cup right before the Australian Open.
The title in the team competition also became possible because Medvedev is not Russia’s only promising young star. In Andrej Rublev, already number eight in the world at the age of 23, another potential Grand Slam champion was on the line-up.
The fact that Karen Khachanov (24), at least 20th in the world rankings, was no longer in the team, speaks for a great future of Russian tennis.
Karatsev surprises in Melbourne
This is also evident at the Australian Open. For the first time ever, three Russians are in the round of 16 in Melbourne – in addition to Medvedev and Rublev, the unseeded Aslan Karatsev (27) also made it into the top 16. But the hopes rest mainly on Medvedev, who was already defeated in the five sets in the final of the US Open 2019 against Rafael Nadal was very close to the first Grand Slam title.
“If he continues like this, he could become bigger than any ice hockey player or soccer player,” predicted Yevgeny Kafelnikov, two-time Grand Slam champion in the 1990s. Kafelnikov is already reporting great euphoria at home about the rosy future that is looming there.
“In tennis clubs the juniors no longer want to be like Kafelnikov or Safin,” said the Sydney Olympic champion: “
The y want to be like Medvedev, Rublev or Khachanov.” Marat Safin was the last Russian to triumph in a major tournament in 2005, in Melbourne. 16 years later, his designated successors are already in the same positionready.
Don’t miss any news!
Activate the notifications: