Australian Open 2020: Medvedev gaining confidence, but accepts 'Big Three' hard to stop

By Sports Desk January 17, 2020

Daniil Medvedev accepts the 'Big Three' will be hard to stop at the Australian Open, but said he was gaining confidence from facing the all-time greats.

After a superb 2019 that included a run to the US Open final, Medvedev is considered one of the contenders in Melbourne, where the year's first grand slam starts on Monday.

But 14 of the past 16 Australian Opens have been won by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, and the trio are again the favourites.

Medvedev, the fourth seed who will face Frances Tiafoe in a tricky opener, said regularly facing the greats gave him confidence.

"I think playing against them from time to time, especially the further you go in the big tournaments, the more chances you have to play them," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"The more times you play them, the more you know where you are comparing to them. For example, match in ATP Cup, Novak was kind of all over me. I managed to get back, almost win the match. I mean, he still won it. They won the whole ATP Cup. But I felt I was really close.

"Matches like this give you confidence to see that you're able to do it, but it's really tough."

Medvedev's run to the final at Flushing Meadows was the first time he had been beyond the fourth round of a grand slam.

The Russian, 23, said he was eyeing at least the quarter-finals in Melbourne this year.

"It's always tough to answer. Good Australian Open is to win it, but if you ask me what I'm going to be happy about, it always depends of course who you play, who you lose to," Medvedev said.

"But I would say I will be happy with quarters. As I always say, for me the first goal is to win it step by step.

"If I'm in quarters, I'm not going to be there and say, 'Okay, I've done my goal, it's enough for this tournament.'

"Any tournament I play, I want to win it. But quarters will be satisfying, I would say."

Related items

  • Federer to miss French Open after undergoing knee surgery Federer to miss French Open after undergoing knee surgery

    Roger Federer will miss the French Open after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday, the 20-time grand slam champion has confirmed.

    The 20-time grand slam champion was due to play in his second tournament of the year at the Dubai Tennis Championships next week after losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open last month.

    Federer, 38, revealed on Thursday that he has been troubled by an issue with his right knee and underwent an arthroscopic operation in his native Switzerland, which should enable him to make a full recovery.

    The world number three will sit out the second major of the year at Roland Garros in May, but expects to be back for the grass-court season.

    Federer posted on Twitter: "My right knee has been bothering me for a little while.

    "I hoped it would go away, but after an examination, and discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery in Switzerland yesterday.

    "After the procedure, the doctors confirmed that it was the right thing to have done and are very confident of a full recovery.

    "As a result, I will unfortunately have to miss Dubai, Indian Wells, Bogota, Miami and the French Open. I am grateful for everyone's support.

    "I can't wait to be back playing again soon, see you on the grass!"

  • Teenager and ATP Tour debutant Nakashima through to Delray QFs, Garin wins in Rio Teenager and ATP Tour debutant Nakashima through to Delray QFs, Garin wins in Rio

    American teenager Brandon Nakashima reached the Delray Beach Open quarter-finals, while Cristian Garin moved through to the last eight of the Rio Open.

    Competing in his debut ATP Tour tournament, 18-year-old wildcard Nakashima defeated British qualifier Cameron Norrie 7-5 6-2 on Wednesday.

    Nakashima, who is coached by 1987 Wimbledon champion and two-time Australian Open runner-up Pat Cash, is the event's youngest quarter-finalist since Kei Nishikori won the tournament as an 18-year-old in 2008.

    "I always knew that I had the game to compete with these high-level pros. I just had to have the right opportunities," said Nakashima, who will face Yoshihito Nishioka after the Japanese blitzed Noah Rubin 6-1 6-2.

    "I was just hoping to play a good first-round match here, but after winning these two matches, I have a lot of confidence in my game now… Hopefully I can keep it going."

    Reilly Opelka – the fourth seed – dismantled Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 6-4 and Kwon Soon-woo prevailed 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-0) against Ryan Harrison.

    At the Rio Open, third seed Garin beat Federico Delbonis 6-4 6-3 en route to the quarters in Brazil.

    Garin, who claimed the Cordoba Open title almost a fortnight ago, hit 22 winners to earn a meeting with Federico Coria after the Argentinian's 6-4 4-6 6-4 victory over Carlos Alcaraz.

    Elsewhere, lucky loser Attila Balazs rallied past Thiago Monteiro 1-6 6-1 6-4 and Pedro Martinez trumped fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-4.

  • Defending champion Tsitsipas sets up Pospisil quarter-final in Marseille Defending champion Tsitsipas sets up Pospisil quarter-final in Marseille

    Stefanos Tsitsipas started the defence of his Open 13 Marseille title with a straight-sets victory over Mikael Ymer to reach the quarter-finals.

    Tsitsipas has made a disappointing start to the season, but took just 71 minutes to dispatch Ymer 6-1 6-3 on Wednesday.

    The ATP Finals champion lost just three points on his first serve and did not face a solitary break point in an emphatic win.

    Second seed Tsitsipas will face Vasek Pospisil in the last eight following the Canadian's 6-3 6-4 defeat of eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

    Sixth seed Benoit Paire made a surprise exit in his homeland, going down 3-6 6-4 6-4 to Alexander Bublik in the second round.

    It was anything but plain sailing for Felix Auger-Aliassime, who saved two match points before getting past Stefano Travaglia 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

    Auger-Aliassime's second-round opponent will be Pierre-Hugues Herbert, a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 victor in his match against Mikhail Kukushkin. 

    Egor Gerasimov also reached round two by knocking out fellow qualifier Dennis Novak.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.