Daniil Medvedev is one of the best tennis players to come out of Russia in a very long time. After a fantastic 2019 season, Medvedev established himself as one of the players to watch out for in the next decade.
In fact, he even broke into the top 5, achieving his career high ranking of number 4. Obviously, he formed a legion of fans. Interestingly, these were people who were impressed not just by his tennis but also his bad boy attitude. Well, many would like to know the inspiration behind the game of Medvedev.
Shockingly, Daniil’s favourites are not Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Instead, his favourite is another famous bad boy from his own country.
Daniil’s icon is none other than the resident Russian bad boy of tennis – former world no 1 Marat Safin. The topmost reason for that is watching Safin play in grand slams as a kid. Marat stood his ground against mostly foreign crowds as he cultivated a deeply devotional fan base. These were people who were attracted to his tough guy attitude.
However, Daniil also explained why his favourite was not another former world number one from Russia –
“For many Russian tennis players, Evgeny Kafelnikov was an idol, but I never saw him play.
“My favorite has always been Marat Safin. I saw how I always managed to make great results in the Grand Slam and thanks to him I decided to become a tennis player. I also followed Federer and Nadal’s careers closely” – the Russian said.
Know More – Who Is Daniil Medvedev’s Wife Daria Medvedeva?
Daniil Medvedev established himself as the breakout star by reaching the finals of the US Open 2019. However, his campaign was marred by controversies. This was largely because of his ugly confrontations with the crowd. Medvedev lost to Rafael Nadal in a closely contested final. This was called unlucky considering he had a more dominant campaign.
That’s where comparisons with Safin also started. Apart from the attitude similarity, both also shared the grand slam preference. Marat Safin won the US Open in the year 2000 at just 20 years of age.
However, attitude remained his biggest enemy. Even the end of his career was marred with conflict against US great Andre Agassi. This was because Agassi made the drug issues of Safin public.
Daniil Medvedev will have to learn from the mistakes of Marat Safin. This along with adopting his good qualities will make him great.