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Medvedev determined to add to his Australian Open story

  • Leigh Rogers

Daniil Medvedev is ready to embrace the spotlight at Australian Open 2023.

The 26-year-old is a two-time finalist at Melbourne Park and looms as a title contender once again.

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“If people consider me as a favourite, it's actually good,” said Medvedev, who opened his 2023 season with a semifinal run at Adelaide International 1.

“Because I worked all my life to be one of the top players in the world, so I'm happy that I'm part of them right now.”

The world No.8 has reason to feel confident ahead of his seventh Australian Open campaign too. He owns an impressive 19-6 win-loss record at the tournament and has advanced to the second week in his past four visits.

“I like coming to Australia,” said Medvedev, whose Australian Open story began with his Grand Slam main-draw debut at AO 2017. “I want to even say it feels, in a way, like home.”

He has scored four top-10 wins at the Australian Open across the past two years, including memorably saving a match point against Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in a thrilling 2022 quarterfinal.

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Medvedev’s AO 2022 campaign, however, ended with a heart-breaking loss to Rafael Nadal in one of the most enthralling men’s singles finals in tournament history.

Although disappointed after that five-set battle, Medvedev issued an ominous warning.

“I'm going to work even harder to try to be a champion,” he declared.

Since then, Medvedev has spent 16 weeks at world No.1. He rose to the coveted position in February, becoming the first man outside of the Big Four (Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray) to sit atop the ATP Tour rankings since 2004. 

He also celebrated major off-court highs during 2022, welcoming a first child, a daughter, with wife Daria in October.

“(It’s) a lot of fun and a lot of good feelings,” Medvedev said of fatherhood. “But I am a competitor and I want to continue going to tournaments, trying to do my best. Nothing has changed, I still want to win.”

Medvedev has extra motivation too, after falling before the quarterfinals at both Roland Garros and US Open this season.

In New York, where he was the defending champion, he lost to Australian Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round and subsequently surrendered his world No.1 ranking.

“After Australian Open I cannot find huge result from myself,” he admitted. “I didn't play bad … but I would expect more from myself.”

These lofty expectations, combined with his steely focus, suggest that Medvedev’s next Australian Open chapter could prove his best yet. 

“I'm confident I'm going to be able to do something big in the future,” he said at the end of the 2022 season.

“(I) just need to continue working.”