Djokovic takes on Medvedev with Grand Slam history at stake
Posted On September 15, 2021
The Russian won the Toronto Masters title weeks earlier and won 14 of his last 15 games, dropping just one set in six wins at Flushing Meadows.
But it’s worth remembering that Medvedev was similarly placed when he won a 20-game winning streak in the 2021 Australian Open final against Djokovic and was seen by many as the favorite – only to lose in two sets.
Medvedev said he would be better prepared for the tactical changes Djokovic surprised him with in this final.
“I feel like I haven’t left my heart on the Melbourne court. Even though of course I wanted to, there was something wrong with this game, ”admitted Medvedev.
“That’s what I’m going to try to do on Arthur Ashe. No matter the score, I’ll just turn up the heat.
“(At the 2019 US Open) I was a bit underdog. Let’s be honest, I was already happy to be in the final. It was the first big breakthrough. Everything was positive which helped me to play well. I didn’t feel like it was a must to win.
“(This time) I want to do it some more. It’s normal. The more you lose something, the more you want to gain it, the more you want to gain it and take it.
“I lost two finals (of the Grand Slam). I want to win the third. “
Djokovic, although a favorite this time around, certainly won’t underestimate Medvedev.
Unlike the Russian, he has lost sets in all but one of his matches so far.
But when his opponents came towards him, Djokovic responded each time by upping his game. And when Zverev pushed him to a fifth set on Friday night, there was no panic – he instead played the one of his most determined tennis players of the tournament.
Despite such high stakes and such pressure, the world No. 1 is handling it incredibly well.
“I know we want to talk about history. I know it’s at stake. Of course, I’m aware of it, ”said Djokovic. “(But) I have my routines, I have my people. I isolate myself. I gather all the energy needed for the next battle.
“It will be a battle against another guy who has been in great shape, Medvedev. I think from an experience standpoint it’s different for him now. I’m sure he will give everything to win it, to win his first slam.
“I’m going to give everything I can possibly have in the tank to win this game. I’m not going to waste time or energy on anything that might be a distraction and drain myself of the life energy I need for Sunday.
“The work is not done. The excitement is there. The motivation is there, without a doubt. Probably more than ever.