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“I want them to go seven hours:" Medvedev's hope for Djokovic v Sinner

  • Gill Tan

Daniil Medvedev is looking forward to the seventh instalment of Djokovic vs Sinner just as much as the rest of us. 

“I think it's going to be a great match,” said the No.3 seed after securing his own ticket to the Australian Open 2024 men’s semifinals with a five set win over ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz. 

MORE: Australian Open 2024 men’s singles draw

“If I’m 100 per cent honest with you, if you ask me who – let’s say I’m in the final – who do I want to play: Novak, who never lost here [and] is going for some crazy stats, or Jannik, who is not losing a set even when he’s 5-1 down in the tiebreak, I’m like, I don’t know!,” he said. 

“I want them to go 7 hours 30, tiebreak 30-28 in the fifth, and then maybe let’s see if they are a little bit tired on Sunday.”

“I'm going to prepare [for] my match, but if I have some time to watch, I'm going to enjoy it,” added the 27-year-old.

“They had a great rivalry end of the season with Turin/Davis Cup, so really, really going to enjoy it,” said Medvedev, referencing the dramatic trio of contests in November featuring the pair. The Italian earned two wins over the world No.1 and 24-time major champion and memorably saved three consecutive match points against Djokovic en route to his Davis Cup victory.

At ease at Melbourne Park, Medvedev isn’t stressed about having been broken in a total of 18 service games, and by all five of his men’s singles draw opponents.

“I’m really not too much worried about this, especially when you win matches,” he said. “Good that I manage to be in the semis getting broken 18 times.”

“Novak I think got a lot of broken also,” Medvedev said, referencing the eight games dropped by the Serbian to Dino Prizmic, Alexei Popyrin and Taylor Fritz. 

Medvedev shares a word with Terence Atmane following the Frenchman's retirement through injury in the first round

Medvedev reckons that certain conditions at Rod Laver Arena have helped facilitate some of the breaks. 

“There is one side against the wind,” he explained. “It’s a very tough side to serve because unless you serve 220 kilometres per hour like Hubi [Hurkacz], basically it’s much easier to return from there and you always put pressure on your opponents.

“I feel like I’m actually serving good,” he added. He is winning an average of 75 per cent of first serve points, even though only 61 per cent of his first serves are landing in.

Heading into Friday’s semifinal, the third seed will aim to stop adding to his double fault tally, which has crept to 37, the most of any player remaining in the men’s singles draw.

The AO draw, as always, starts with 128 players and quickly whittles down to two – a moment that Medvedev covets, having experienced it at Melbourne Park twice before, having lost to Djokovic in four sets in the final of AO 2019 and Rafael Nadal at AO 2022.

“I always like [the] ending of the tournaments,” he said. “Maybe my first final on ATP Tour or second, you're like, wow, it's strange, there's always so many people in the beginning and then it's so quiet, and on Grand Slams it's even more strange.”

“But once two, three finals, I got used to it, and actually [it’s] the best feeling,” said Medvedev. “You know if there is almost no one left in the tournament, that means you've done a great job, there's no one to disturb you, it's just you, so go try to win it.”

“I like this feeling…hopefully I can be here on Sunday,” he said with a smile.