Medvedev: ‘I Know What I’m Capable Of’
Daniil Medvedev revealed he is not feeling the pressure and believes he can win the title on Sunday at the Australian Open after he moved past fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up a clash against Rafael Nadal in Melbourne.
The Russian is aiming to become the first man to follow his maiden major crown with his second at the next Grand Slam event, after beating Novak Djokovic in the US Open final. His triumph over the World No. 1 in New York gave Medvedev a renewed sense of confidence, which he has used in Australia.
“I really don't have much pressure. I know what I'm capable of when I'm playing well. I know that I can beat anybody,” Medvedev said in his post-match press conference on Friday. “The second round against Nick [Kyrgios] was a tight one. But it gave me a lot of confidence in my own power, in my own tennis.
“I know [after the US Open] that I'm capable of winning seven matches in a row and the last one against Novak was epic. So, I knew before this tournament that it is possible. That is what I'm trying to prove.”
This fortnight the 13-time tour-level titlist has edged Kyrgios, Maxime Cressy and Tsitsipas in four sets, while he saved a match point en route to his five-set victory against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals. His two other wins at Melbourne Park came against Henri Laaksonen and Botic van de Zandschulp
It is a run the 25-year-old has thoroughly enjoyed as he aims to go one step further this year in Melbourne compared to 12 months ago, when he lost to Djokovic in the championship match.
“It's been great,” Medvedev said while smiling. “It's definitely been emotional. It started with the match against Nick, which was just emotional in all aspects. I think it started there and this energy kept on going with different ones in every match. Some matches were mad. The Felix match was just crazy in terms of tennis and the score. My matches with Stefanos are always emotional. It's been a great run and I'm happy that I have the chance to win the title on Sunday.”
The second seed will compete in his fourth major final when he plays Nadal on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday. It will be the second time the World No. 2 has faced the Spaniard in the championship match of a Grand Slam, after losing to him in a five-set thriller at the US Open in 2019. Medvedev’s other two meetings at this stage of a major came against Djokovic.
“They are really strong,” Medvedev said when asked about the Big 3. “It's really tough to get into the final, and I always have them there waiting for me. But it's fun. When I was eight or 10 years old I was playing against the wall and I was imagining that it was Rafa on the other side, or Roger [Federer]. Novak was still not yet there.
“Now I have the chance to play a second time [against Nadal]. [The] first one was close, an epic one. I'm going to try to prepare well, and [I] need to show my best, because that's what I took of the three finals that I played before, that you have to do better than 100 per cent in order to win.”
Nadal leads Medvedev 3-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, with the Russian’s only victory coming on hard at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2020.
On the challenge of facing the sixth seed, Medvedev added: “[It will probably be a] physical match. Rafa likes to drag people into long rallies. I like it too. I think it is going to be a great battle. But again, I remember last year's final in Australia, even if it was against a different opponent. I'm going to try to be more ready, more focused, fighting more, and give it everything I have in terms of tennis, both physically and mentally.”