Australian Open: Medvedev has 'nothing to lose' in final against Djokovic

By Sports Desk February 19, 2021

Daniil Medvedev believes he has "nothing to lose" in Sunday's Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic.

Medvedev reached his second grand slam decider after an impressive 6-4 6-2 7-5 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in their last-four clash in Melbourne on Friday.

The Russian fourth seed became the 25th man in the Open Era to record a Tour-level winning streak of 20 as he continued his incredible form.

Medvedev said in an on-court interview all the pressure in the final would be on Djokovic, who has won the Australian Open a record eight times.

Despite seeking his maiden grand slam crown, the 25-year-old – who has won three of his past four meetings with Djokovic – said he had nothing to lose in the final.

"I think he's the favourite because he didn't lose. In eight occasions that he was here in the semis he won the tournament. Me, I'm, how you can call it, I don't know how you call it in English, not an outsider, but I'm the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. And I'm happy about it," Medvedev told a news conference.

"I like to play against Novak. We have, since the first one when I was ranked 60, we had always tough matches physically, mentally. And he's one of the greatest tennis players in the history of tennis. So playing the final against him is superb. I'm really happy about it. Let's see what happens on Sunday.

"When I say no pressure, for sure when we get out there we both feel pressure. I want to win my first one. He wants to win number 18. We don't know for who the crowd is going to be. It's all the small details.

"I think if we talk in general, well, I have nothing to lose, to be honest."

Medvedev hit 46 winners and 21 unforced errors against Tsitsipas, overcoming a third-set blip to close out his victory.

As the Rod Laver Arena crowd attempted to get Tsitsipas back into the contest, Medvedev claimed a key break in the 11th game of the third set with a tremendous backhand pass down the line, which he celebrated with a dance.

"They [the crowd] were mostly for him, and that was, you know, the moment that I won the match, we should say. Of course you have to serve after, but that was important moment. So I wanted them to recognise me, I would say, because the shot was unbelievable, I think one of my best shots in my career," Medvedev said.

"Actually, my legs were facing the other way of the court because I didn't have time, so I have no idea how I made this, and I was really happy about it."

Related items

  • Nets win without Irving as James closes in on points record in Lakers loss Nets win without Irving as James closes in on points record in Lakers loss

    Cam Thomas starred off the bench as the depleted Brooklyn Nets came from behind to defeat the Washington Wizards 125-123 on Saturday.

    Already without Ben Simmons and talisman Kevin Durant, the Nets were dealt a further blow when Kyrie Irving was ruled out due to a calf problem.

    Irving's injury came just a day after news broke of his wish to leave the Nets, with the point guard having handed in a trade request.

    The former Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics star was not in attendance at the Barclays Center, though that decision was a joint one with the team's management.

    A bleak end to the week looked set to be compounded as the Warriors held a healthy 23-point lead, yet the Nets fought back partly thanks to Thomas' efforts.

    He scored a career-high, game-leading 44 points, while Edmond Sumner chipped in with 29 as the Wizards – who lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday – became the first team in the past 25 seasons to throw away 20+ point leads on consecutive days.

    Kristaps Porzingis top scored for the Wizards with 38 points.

    James gets closer but Pelicans end losing streak

    LeBron James is now just 36 points away from breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing NBA record, yet his efforts were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers against the New Orleans Pelicans.

    James added 27 more points to his total on Saturday, though the Lakers lost 131-126 to a Pelicans team that had suffered 10 straight defeats.

    While Anthony Davis was the Lakers' standout performer with a double-double of 34 points and 14 rebounds, Brandon Ingram's 35-point haul led the Pelicans, who moved onto .500 for the season.

    Curry concern for Warriors

    Stephen Curry scored 21 points, added six rebounds and provided seven assists but hobbled out of the Golden State Warriors' 119-113 win over the Dallas Mavericks with a knee injury in the third quarter.

    Curry must now await results of an MRI scan, which is set to take place on Sunday, to determine the severity of the issue.

    Reigning NBA champions Golden State nevertheless got the job done without him in the final quarter, getting over the line against a Dallas side missing their star man Luka Doncic.

    Draymond Green's 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists were crucial, with Spencer Dinwiddie's game-high 25 points not enough for the Mavs, who have lost seven in 11.

    Nuggets tie with Celtics

    The Boston Celtics lost for the fourth time in six games on Friday and the Denver Nuggets capitalised to tie level as joint-NBA leaders.

    Denver beat the Atlanta Hawks 128-108, with Nikola Jokic (14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists) claiming his 18th triple-double of the season while Jamal Murray turned on the style with his season-best tally of 41 points.

    The Nuggets are now tied with the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics on 37-16 for the season and have won 19 of their last 20 home games.

  • Victories from Randy Phillips and Blaise Bicknell put Jamaica 2-0 up against Estonia in Davis Cup tie Victories from Randy Phillips and Blaise Bicknell put Jamaica 2-0 up against Estonia in Davis Cup tie

    Singles victories from Rowland “Randy” Phillips and Blaise Bicknell gave hosts Jamaica a 2-0 lead over Estonia after day one of their group two Davis Cup tie at the Eric Bell National tennis Centre on Saturday.

    The day’s first match of the tie saw Jamaica’s Rowland “Randy” Phillips dominate Estonia’s top ranked player Kristjan Tamm 6-1, 6-1 in just one hour to give the hosts the lead.

    “Very solid and consistent on my part,” said Phillips on his performance after the match.

    Phillips noted that he did not expect such a one-sided match on paper as he is currently ranked 1387 in the ATP rankings while Tamm is much higher at 663.

    “It went a lot better than expected. He’s a tough opponent and maybe he didn’t play his best today but I took advantage of my opportunities,” he said.

    “I think the atmosphere unsettled him. The crowd helped me out a lot and gave me energy,” he added.

    With Jamaica hosting a Davis Cup tie for the first time since 2007, Phillips also spoke about what it meant to play at home.

    “Extremely special. It’s a dream come true. Looking over and seeing my family and friends after points kept me locked in and focused for sure,” Phillips said.

    With Phillips already in the win column, it was time for Blaise Bicknell, Jamaica’s highest ranked player at number 769 in the ATP rankings, to take the court against Kenneth Raisma who is ranked number 1640.

    It was the Estonian who was in the ascendancy early, racing out to a quick 3-0 lead before taking the first set 6-4.

    Bicknell was not done, however, and rallied to take the second set by a similar score before overwhelming his Estonian counterpart in the third, winning 6-0 and securing the lead for the Jamaicans heading into Sunday. The match lasted an hour and 46 minutes.

    Jamaica has a chance to clinch the tie on Sunday when Phillips and Bicknell take on Raisma and Jurgen Zopp in doubles.

    The 34-year-old Zopp, who retired from professional tennis in 2020, achieved a career high ATP ranking of 71 back in 2012 and reached the third round of the French Open in 2018.

    The match gets underway at 1:00pm (2:00pm ECT) and can be viewed on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

  • Real Betis defender Luiz Felipe sets remarkable red card record Real Betis defender Luiz Felipe sets remarkable red card record

    Real Betis defender Luiz Felipe has achieved a rather unwanted record following his latest dismissal for the LaLiga club.

    His 95th-minute dismissal in Saturday's 4-3 defeat to Celta Vigo was his third red card of the season in just 11 league appearances.

    It was a case of deja vu for the defender, who also saw red against the same opposition back in October – when he lasted just 20 minutes before he was given his marching orders.

    Felipe featured in just two of Betis' next seven games in LaLiga, before a second dismissal of the season came against Athletic Bilbao on December 29.

    Absent from the side for almost a month before returning in January against Getafe, Felipe retained his spot for the subsequent match against Barcelona and Saturday's clash against Celta Vigo.

    However, a third red of the campaign in that game gives Felipe a unique disciplinary record, having seen red in two of his last four appearances and three times in his last seven.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.