How Medvedev Compiled His 20-Match Win Streak
Russian seeks first Grand Slam title in Melbourne
The Russian followed in the footsteps of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro as only the sixth active player to claim 20 consecutive tour-level wins. Medvedev has triumphed at three events during his winning streak — the Rolex Paris Masters, the Nitto ATP Finals and the ATP Cup — and is now one win away from his maiden Grand Slam title.
One of the most impressive aspects of Medvedev’s winning run has been the level of opposition he has had to overcome to keep his run alive. Across his 20 wins, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has defeated 12 Top 10 opponents. Since 2000, only three other players have compiled winning streaks of 12 or more matches against the Top 10. Their names? Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
Longest Tour-Level Top 10 Win Streaks (Since 2000)
Medvedev will need to add a 13th Top 10 win to his streak if he is to capture the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup on Sunday. The 25-year-old will aim to become the first player to defeat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in an Australian Open final (8-0).
Ahead of his second Grand Slam final, ATPTour.com takes a look back at the 2019 US Open runner-up’s 20-match winning run.
2020 Rolex Paris Masters
Top 10 Wins: 2
Following a quarter-final loss to Kevin Anderson at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Medvedev returned to action the following week at the Rolex Paris Masters seeking his first title in 13 months.
The Moscow native moved past Anderson and Alex de Minaur to reach the quarter-finals, where he defeated World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-1. Following another straight-sets win against Milos Raonic in the semi-finals, Medvedev faced the man he defeated to win his most recent title at the 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters: World No. 7 Alexander Zverev.
Zverev entered the championship match in top form, with 12 consecutive wins and back-to-back titles in Cologne to his name. The German took the first set in the French capital, but Medvedev stormed back to claim his third ATP Masters 1000 trophy with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 comeback victory.
“Before the tournament, I was not in my best form, playing not so bad with zero finals this year,” said Medvedev. “I was complaining to my wife like, ‘Oh my god, I don’t have the level. I don’t even have one final. I am playing so bad.’ Finally, I am the winner of Bercy, a tournament that I love.”
2020 Nitto ATP Finals
Top 10 Wins: 5
In his second straight appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, Medvedev went 5-0 to capture the biggest trophy of his career. The World No. 4 shocked Djokovic with a dominant 6-3, 6-3 victory and repeated Paris wins against Schwartzman and Zverev to top Group Tokyo 1970.
In the semi-finals, Medvedev survived the biggest scare of his winning run. In a repeat of the 2019 US Open final, Nadal held a commanding lead. The 20-time Grand Slam champion served for a straight-sets victory at 6-3, 5-4, but Medvedev capitalised on uncharacteristic errors from his opponent and turned the match in his favour. Nadal was aiming to record his 72nd straight win in matches where he claimed the first set, but Medvedev ended that run with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory; his first ATP Head2Head triumph against Nadal (1-3).
With wins over the Top 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings en route to the championship match, Medvedev made history in his first final at The O2. The Russian recovered from a set down for the second straight match to defeat World No. 3 Dominic Thiem 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 and take the trophy. Medvedev is the only player to have defeated each member of the Top 3 in a single edition of the Nitto ATP Finals.
"I think it was the toughest victory in my life because Dominic is a really tough player to play. I think he was at his best," Medvedev said. "Maybe it's not the case, but that's what I felt during the match. He was really close to winning it [in the] second set. I managed to stay there."
2021 ATP Cup
Top 10 Wins: 3
After a well-deserved break, Medvedev carried his 2020 momentum into 2021 at the ATP Cup. As the No. 1 singles player for Russia, the three-time ATP Masters 1000 champion defeated Kei Nishikori and claimed his third wins in as many tournaments against Schwartzman and Zverev to reach the final.
Following countryman Andrey Rublev’s triumph against Fabio Fognini, Medvedev clinched his nation’s first ATP Cup crown with a 6-4, 6-2 victory against World No. 10 Matteo Berrettini. The Italian had not dropped a set en route to the final, but he could not stop Medvedev from breaking serve on three occasions to clinch the trophy for Russia.
“It's a really big achievement because I also didn't lose a match [in my last] 10 matches against Top 10 opponents... It's a big boost in confidence," Medvedev said.
2021 Australian Open
Top 10 Wins: 2
Aside from a five-set battle against 28th seed Filip Krajinovic in the third round, Medvedev has not dropped a set en route to his second Grand Slam final. Prior to the quarter-finals, the Russian also earned wins against Vasek Pospisil, Roberto Carballes Baena and Mackenzie McDonald.
To reach the final, Medvedev added two more Top 10 wins to his collection. The nine-time ATP Tour titlist beat ATP Cup teammate and World No. 8 Andrey Rublev 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals and World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in the semi-finals.
Medvedev enters his eighth ATP Head2Head encounter against Djokovic with a 3-4 record. If he can level that record at 4-4 on Sunday, he will become the youngest man to win a Grand Slam singles title since his opponent’s epic 2012 triumph at this event.
Medvedev has been tested throughout his 20-match winning run, but if he is to extend his undefeated streak, he will need to pass a test that no player has managed to overcome so far. Can he become the first player to defeat Djokovic in an Australian Open final?
“[Djokovic] is the favourite because… [in the] eight occasions that he was in the semi-finals, he won the tournament," said Medvedev. "I'm the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. I'm happy about it.”