Dubai: Success breeds success and Daniil Medvedev rode on the crest of that success to clinch his third final in as many events after knocking out world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.
“I managed to get the confidence going. A lot of times I was hitting some good shots, but not always made the right decision during the matches. Most occasions I would hit at the right direction of the player and so not win the points,” the third seed spoke on the past when he was not as successful.
15-match winning run
“Now I feel I can choose the right side to hit passing shots, and return on the line to make the opponent play. That’s what confidence does, I could feel it and know how to keep it going. At least, few times in my career I proved I can do it and that’s what I’m trying to do right now. Just continue to ride the wave,” said the 2021 US Open winner.
Incidentally, it was the Serb world No 1 who lost to Medvedev in the 2021 US Open finaland that confidence must have also made him believe that he could win against Djokovic. The loss also brought a 15-match winning run come to an end for Djokovic, which included the Australian Open title.
Former world No 1 Medvedev feels that the 22-time Grand Slam champion was not at his best in the semifinals in Dubai, the five-time champion missing some shots.
“Every time I beat Novak, it is an amazing feeling. He’s probably the greatest tennis player of all time, or at least one of the two or one of the three. Beating him in US Open final was my best memory because that’s my only slam. To beat someone like him in the final is just a dream come true and will remain forever in my memory. In terms of comparison, maybe this one is a little bit less because it’s not the final, it’s semis. Every time it gives you extra boost to the confidence that I was able to beat Novak, I can beat anybody.”
Medvedev is wary of Andrey Rublev and calls the defending champion a dangerous player when he meets him in the final.
“Andrey is amazing player, he’s a player that can win Grand Slams, can win Masters. Probably gets a little bit tight in important moments, but doesn’t get tight on 500s. He has a lot of them. We had some tough battles even when I won, but last two occasions he won. I’m expecting tough match physically and mentally. Have to be at my best and serve well. I’m looking forward for a great final,” said the world No 7.