“Still Too Far Ahead”: Daniil Medvedev on Surpassing Rafael Nadal in Rankings

Published 03/01/2021, 10:45 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev has shared his thoughts on upstaging Rafael Nadal in the singles rankings by reaching the final of the ATP Rotterdam event, which got underway on Monday.


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Medvedev replaced Dominic Thiem as the new World Number 3 after extending his unbeaten run from last year to the final of this year’s Australian Open.

However, the tournament didn’t end well for him as he was routed in straight sets by top-seed Novak Djokovic in the title clash.


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Rafael Nadal will lose his No.2 spot in the rankings if Daniil Medvedev makes Rotterdam final

While the sobering loss in the final snapped his unbeaten streak, Medvedev has a chance to exact a measure of revenge on the ‘Big Three’ by knocking the 20-time Grand Slam winning Spaniard off the second spot in the world rankings.

Having won back-to-back hard-court titles at the Rolex Paris Masters and the ATP Finals last year and following up with his maiden appearance at a Grand Slam final, Medvedev will fancy going the distance on his preferred surface in the Dutch city.

Speaking at a pre-tournament press conference on Monday, the World Number 3 said he isn’t thinking too much about the approaching landmark and will try his best not to let it put undue stress on his game.

Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in action during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

While admitting that there’s “a bit of pressure” knowing that he is a few wins shy of becoming the World Number 2, Medvedev said it’s a “normal part of a tennis career”.

Daniil Medvedev says thought of upstaging Rafael Nadal will enter his mind when the final “comes closer”

He added that some element of pressure isn’t something that a professional tennis player is unfamiliar with at different stages in his career.

However, the Russian said that he would start feeling real pressure if he reaches the quarters or the semifinal of the tournament.

He added that for now, his focus is purely on clearing the first and second rounds as the final is “still too far ahead”.

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP)JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images ORG XMIT: Tennis: G ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1K48IA

The Russian will open his Rotterdam campaign against Dusan Lajovic of Serbia on Wednesday.


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Medvedev said he is simply devoting his time and attention to getting ready for his opening round fixture and is “not thinking all about this, for sure”.


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He added that the thought of upstaging Nadal would enter his mind as the final “comes closer”.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.