Tennis: Medvedev puts all the pressure on Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the two best male players in the world, according to seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Mats Wilander. Djokovic and Medvedev go head-to-head on Sunday in the Australian Open final. World No 1 Djokovic is favourite to win his ninth title in Melbourne.
But Medvedev is on a winning streak of 20 matches and will fancy his chances of a first Grand Slam win.
The Russian was ranked fourth in the world heading into the tournament.
World No 2 Rafael Nadal was knocked out in the quarter-final stage by Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier this week.
The Spaniard is level with Roger Federer on most men’s career Grand Slam title wins.
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But Wilander snubbed Nadal in his assessment of the two players participating in Sunday’s final.
“I’m really looking forward to Djokovic against Medvedev,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“I think these are the two best players in the world at the moment, especially on these faster hard courts in Melbourne.
“Obviously we’re not 100 per cent sure how Djokovic is feeling physically, and Medvedev is not going away physically. He can be there for four hours, five hours, no problem.
“Before the match I think it is 51-49 in favour of Djokovic, but there are going to be a lot of long rallies and the conditions are going to suit both players.
“Medvedev is definitely the one younger player that Novak has had the most trouble against, but he has never lost in the final here – he is 8-0 in finals.”
Meanwhile, Alex Corretja claims Medvedev is in a better shape than Djokovic and will give the Serb plenty of problems.
“The only thing I see a little bit different is that Novak Djokovic has won 17 Grand Slam titles, with 8 of them in Melbourne,” Corretja said.
“But if you just think about the shape of both of them, I think Medvedev has been showing that he is a guy coming to the tournament in a better shape and he kept that momentum going.
“He is going to be so, so difficult to beat and Novak will need to be at his best and will need to be very clear on his game plan and the way he wants to play because both are unbelievable defenders, they both like to attack but they usually don’t like to be in the attacking side all the time.”
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