US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev continued his superlative run in the second half of the 2019 season as he claimed his third title of the year at the 2019 St. Petersburg Open on Sunday. The Russian won his 54th match of the year – most by any other player on the ATP Tour. The 23-year-old is undoubtedly the torchbearer of the next-generation players on the tour.
Dominating the 2019 hardcourt season
Before Daniil Medvedev took on Rafael Nadal in the final of the US Open 2019, the Russian had almost played 20 matches in the past month. He also played his 4th consecutive finals at the Flushing before making an appearance at the Washington Open, Montreal Open and Cincinnati Masters in the build-up to the US Open.
Last week, Medvedev went on to reach his fifth consecutive finals at the St. Petersburg Open, where he won the third title of the 2019 season.
His greatest achievement till date came at the Cincinnati Masters, where the young Russian overcame Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and then went on to win his first-ever Masters 1000 title defeating David Goffin in the final in straight sets.
In an era, where the young players are struggling to be consistent on the tour to Medvedev has improved matches after matches. The 23-year-old has already proved that he has the caliber to win the Grand Slam title in the near future. Though Rafael Nadal has won the Canadian Open and the US Open, the North American summer hardcourt season will be marked as Medvedev’s season.
Ability to upset the ‘Big Three’
It’s been three years since a Non -“Big Three” player last won a Grand Slam. However, Medvedev remains the only player who came so close to win a Major for himself, before eventually squandering his opportunity against Rafael Nadal. He can make tactical alterations against the ‘Big Three’ which he gave an insight during the US Open 2019 finals.
Medvedev’s emergence has given genuine hope that he can be the first youngster to truly step up and win a major title. The Russian has already defeated Novak Djokovic twice this year and was very close to defeat Rafael Nadal in the US Open finals, which proves that he has the ability and the right mindset to upset these goliaths of the game.
Getting the fundamentals right
In an era where players are adapting to play and aggressive game and trying to incorporate more power in their game, Medvedev has adapted very consistent and simple game. The world No. 4 might not have a strong forehand and backhand, but he always has his basic right.
Medvedev is a counterpuncher who possess shots that can disturb his opponents’ rhythm. Daniil Medvedev’s game has shades of Novak Djokovic in it – like his ability to return as many balls in the court which makes him stand out among the next-generation. He has a very consistent groundstroke which he hits low and flat, unlike many other young players who try for more topspin.
Moreover, his speed, as well as his fighting spirit, mean that he forces his opponents to extend rallies by chasing down almost unreturnable balls. He also sometimes surprise his opponents by frequently coming to the net and force them in an awkward position.
Daniil Medvedev is certainly the player to look out for in the coming big events, who can give a tough challenge to the ‘Big Three’ as he is celebrated for having mental fortitude in tough situations. The Russian often takes risks where others would not, like serving aces on his second serve, which makes him the future Grand Slam champion.
Furthermore, Daniil Medvedev has shown consistency on the tour unlike the other next-generation players like Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, who have failed to reach the finals of a Grand Slam event.