“God for Me”: Daniil Medvedev Pays Tribute to Novak Djokovic After Australian Open 2021 Final

Published 02/21/2021, 7:10 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev after their final match REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


The love affair between Novak Djokovic and Melbourne Park continued as he won a record 9th title at the Australian Open. Djokovic proved that he is the ‘King of Melbourne Park’ as he defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the final.

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Despite having entered the final on the back of a 20-match winning streak, Medvedev was completely overplayed by Djokovic. The Serbian raced off with a 3-0 lead at the start of the match and displayed his brilliance when it mattered the most.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Daniil Medvedev showers praise on Djokovic

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During the post-match presentation ceremony, Medvedev was quick to acknowledge Djokovic’s historic feat. Despite losing his second Grand Slam final, Medvedev was gracious in defeat and shared an interesting anecdote with the audience.

The Russian talked about having practiced with Djokovic for the first time in Monaco years ago. Being a shy individual, Medvedev hesitated in striking a conversation with Djokovic.

But to his surprise, Djokovic himself came up to Medvedev and chatted with him about the game, which left a deep impression on the Russian. Recalling the incident, Medvedev hailed Djokovic as his god and complimented him for his friendly nature.

“Just to tell you a small story. First, I practiced with Novak when I was No.500 in the world or No.600 in the world in Monaco. He was already No.1, just won Wimbledon.

“I thought he is not gonna speak to me or something because the guy was a god for me,” said Medvedev. “Because I was shy, so I didn’t speak, so he was asking me questions and talking to me like a friend.

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“I was really surprised then, it never changed since I was No.600 in the world or No.4 in the world,” added Medvedev.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Tournament winner Novak Djokovic of Serbia and runner up Daniil Medvedev of Russia pose for a photo holding their trophies after their final match REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Apart from being a champion on-court, the story offered the fans some insight into Djokovic’s nature off the court. The 18-time Grand Slam champion returned the favor by paying his respects to Medvedev in his post-match speech.

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With the victory, Djokovic is now just two Grand Slam titles away from equaling his arch-rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Which Major will he conquer next?

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Kshitij Tayal

394 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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