Season Portrait: Daniil Medvedev
Over the course of eight days, ATPTour.com is serving up a season snapshot of the eight players who qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals. The series is illustrated by intimate portraits shot by British photographer Simon Owen. So far, we have looked at Diego Schwartzman, Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas' year. Today, we examine Daniil Medvedev's season.
Daniil Medvedev turned a late-season surge into the biggest triumph of his career with an undefeated run at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Russian had finally returned to his giant-slaying ways at the Rolex Paris Masters, where he earned his first title of the year, and took that momentum with him to the season finale. Medvedev didn’t drop a set in the round-robin stage — avenging his disappointing 2019 debut, when he bowed out with a 0-3 record — and battled past the world’s Top 3 players to claim the trophy and finish the year on a 10-match win streak.
Perhaps just as memorable as the way Medvedev won was the way he celebrated his impressive feat. In typically cool Medvedev style, there were no tears, no shouting and no collapsing to his knees: just an understated smirk for a mission accomplished.
Proving once again that he can hang with the ATP’s biggest names, Medvedev defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Dominic Thiem on his way to the Nitto ATP Finals crown. He became the first player to defeat the world’s Top 3 at the season finale, and the first player to do so at any tournament since David Nalbandian’s 2007 Madrid run.
“I think it's not easy for guys to play against me when I play like this... I’m really trying to make my opponent crazy.”
The Road Ahead
In 2021, Medvedev will go for his biggest title yet as he seeks to become the first Russian man to win a Grand Slam championship since Marat Safin’s 2005 Australian Open victory. Medvedev, who reached the US Open final last year and the semi-finals this year, would become just the third Russian man to win a major singles title, following in the footsteps of Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Photo: Simon Owen/Wonderhatch