“Was a Worse Player Than Now”: Daniil Medvedev Recalls Encounter With Roger Federer Ahead of Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/04/2021, 5:04 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev speaks to the crowd holding the runners up trophy after losing his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


World number 3 Daniil Medvedev, who is looking to make a strong comeback on the ATP tour after testing positive for COVID-19, will play his first match at the Mutua Madrid Open against the young Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. 

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The 21-year-old Spaniard, who has been a steady performer over the last couple of years, has already beaten players like Karen Khachanov, Gael Monfils, Taylor Fritz, Marin Cilic, etc. His aggressive approach and his unexpected drop shots have already caused a lot of trouble to several opponents. 

Mar 28, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Daniil Medvedev of Russia hits a backhand against Alexei Popyrin of Australia (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

At the ongoing Mutua Madrid Open, Davidovich Fokina defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert in three tight sets to clash with Daniil Medvedev in the second round.  

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The Russian has a tough opponent in Davidovich Fokina; the Spaniard has already made an impact on the ATP tour for his all-round display of tennis and also for his effective use of drop shots. 

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Speaking ahead of his first-round encounter at the Madrid Masters, Medvedev talked about his rise to the top amongst several other things. 

When asked about the toughest opponent amongst Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, the Russian answered, “All three are tough, but when I played Roger, I was a worse player than now, which means nothing, because if I beat him now, it wouldn’t be the same as when he was 25. He’s still an amazing player and an idol to everyone.”

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Also, the Russian mentioned that each member of the Big-3 was a tough nut to crack on various surfaces. It’s easy to answer: Rafa at Roland Garros, Djokovic in Australia and Roger at Wimbledon,” Medvedev concluded. 

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Medvedev played against Federer thrice on the ATP tour, with their most recent encounter being the third round at the Miami Open a couple of years ago. The Swiss Maestro thrashed Medvedev in straight sets. 

Interestingly, Medvedev couldn’t defeat Federer in any of their encounters so far. While the Russian managed to beat Djokovic and Nadal, he is yet to face the Swiss Maestro consistently on tour to sense the smell of victory. 

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Sagar Ashtakoula

81 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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