Daniil Medvedev, who is currently playing at the 2024 Australian Open, shared insights into his early encounters with Novak Djokovic, highlighting aspects of the World No.1 that people may not be aware of. Despite their intense on-court rivalry, Medvedev emphasized Djokovic’s positive off-court demeanor.
Recalling their first meeting during Russia’s 2017 Davis Cup tie against Serbia, Medvedev revealed a humorous exchange during their initial practice session. Djokovic, aware of the upcoming Davis Cup, invited Medvedev to join time, offering to travel together.
Initially hesitant, Medvedev declined the invitation, citing pre-arranged travel bookings. However, regretting his decision, Medvedev later approached Djokovic and accepted the offer.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m a shy person. At first, I say, No, no Federation already took tickets for me.’ It was one stop, three hours away and something. I was there, maybe I actually should have said yes. In one hour when the practice finished. Novak, really, can I come with you? ‘Yeah’, I was, ‘Okay I will come.’”-Daniil Medvedev in the post match press-conference
Medvedev emphasized Djokovic’s down-to-earth nature, noting that despite his rise from being ranked 400th to reaching No.3 in the world, Djokovic has consistently treated him with respect and kindness.
“I think that’s what sometimes people don’t know about Novak. He can be tough on the court, like I can be. He can be this and that. But me, since the first time I met him, I was 400 in the world. Now, I’m No.3 in the world. Was No.1 in the world. I feel he treats me like before.”-Daniil Medvedev in the post match press-conference
Daniil Medvedev overcomes fatigue to cruise into the Australian Open last 16 with a commanding win
He will next face Portugal’s Nuno Borges, who caused an upset by defeating 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov. In comparison to his second-round match against Emile Ruusuvuori which finished at 3:40 am, Medvedev expressed the impact of a late-night finish on him, having gone to bed at 7:00 am.
Reflecting on the match, he acknowledged the difficulty but highlighted his satisfaction with his performance, particularly in the third set.
“It was not easy, I’m not feeling fresh, I’m not feeling 100 percent. It was tough, especially after the last match I had. I felt it was hard for me when I ran, so I tried to always give him a tough shot so I didn’t have to run. Finally, especially in the third set, I managed to pull off some good shots and am happy about my game.”– Daniil Medvedev in the post match interview