A clash of generations. In an interview to Eurosport, the 33-year-old Djokovic, into his ninth Australian Open final, said, “Everyone talks about the new generation coming and taking over, but realistically that isn’t happening still.” The world No.1 added: “With all my respect to the (younger) guys, they still have a lot of work to do. I’m not going to stand here and hand it over to them. I’m going to make them work their a#$ off for that.”
World no. 1⃣ @DjokerNole is unbeaten in #AusOpen semifinals & finals 🤯Will he maintain that perfect record tonigh… https://t.co/2TjcA4voMQ
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1613868613000
The ATP Tour’s next generation story has seen seasons come and go, leaves have coloured and fallen. And they’re still climbing. Medvedev made the 2019 US Open final, falling to Rafael Nadal in five sets.
Dominic Thiem, the most consistent of the fresher faces, ran Djokovic close in Melbourne 12 months ago.
The Austrian then went on to win the US Open, a tournament in which Djokovic beat himself, and where the other members of the sport’s hallowed trinity – Roger Federer and Nadal — didn’t enter.
1⃣ 🆚 4⃣ for the 🏆We 👏 can’t 👏 wait 🎆@ROLEX | #AusOpen | #AO2021 https://t.co/3AgzRIeq9c
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1613860633000
Medvedev’s tennis is cerebral, well thought out, but it’s also instinctive. An athlete’s reflex. It’s equally intriguing, a mix of tempers.
So far this #AO2021, Medvedev has hit a slightly higher proportion of rally shots from inside the baseline compared… https://t.co/WUJAOEDip7
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1613867835000
The 25-year-old is creaseless calm off the court, while, on it, at times he’s a ticking time bomb. “When Novak says he’s not gonna hand anything to somebody, I believe him,” the Russian said with a smile. “To win a Slam, especially against somebody like Novak, is already a big motivation. I don’t think there is anything that can make it bigger. I’m motivated without those words.” If it was the gauntlet that Djokovic threw down, it has been picked up.
Accelerator 🔛The 🛣️ to the #AO2021 men’s singles final for @DaniilMedwed 🇷🇺@Kia_Worldwide | #Kia |… https://t.co/hfdqcwekys
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1613862755000
Medvedev’s winning streak of 20 matches, stretching back to last November, includes a win over Djokovic, who it appears, has sufficiently recovered from his ‘injury’ scare. A ‘torn’ abdominal muscle.
In the driver’s seat.The 🛣️ to the #AO2021 men’s singles final for @DjokerNole 🇷🇸@Kia_Worldwide | #Kia |… https://t.co/FvQcbJbTop
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1613862626000
The Serb, on a race of his own, having never lost an Australian Open final, also leads the head-tohead 4-3, with their only meeting in a major coming in Melbourne Park, where Djokovic emerged victorious in four sets, two years ago. Game wise the finalists are a perfect match, a whole different level of geometry.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) 1613874959000
Djokovic, the 17-time major winner, will marry math with mind, like he has done so many times in the past, perhaps better than anyone in the history of the sport.