US Open 2019: Novak Djokovic names unsung contender as one of tournament favourites

Highlights – Daniil Medvedev vs Rafael Nadal

The Serbian was recently beaten by Medvedev in the semifinal of the Cincinnati Masters in a three-setter 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. The 23-year-old Russian then went on to win the tournament by getting the better of Belgium’s David Goffin in straight sets 7-6, 6-4.

Djokovic was full of praise for the youngster and believes that he deserves to be in contention for the US Open. However, he was quick to add that Grand Slams are a completely different ball game and it’s about how one handles the pressure.

“He deserves to be in the mix, certainly, with all his results. He’s working his way to top 5 of the world. He’s definitely one of the best players in the world at this moment. He deserves to be in the contention for the championship in New York.

 

“But again, it’s best of five. It’s for two weeks. It’s a Grand Slam. It’s a different environment, a different experience. It just takes, you know, much more, I think, than just your game.

 

“I think it takes patience and ability to know how to deal with all the off-court things, the importance of a slam.

 

“He’s been doing well, you know, in most of the tournaments. Slams, he still has, you know, yet to break to the last, so to say, 8 or last 4 of the slam, as is Zverev, for example, you know, who is again an amazing player, struggling in Grand Slams.

 

“Because Grand Slams are just different tournaments, you know. They have so many challenges on and off the court for a tennis player. It messes up with your mind at times. But that’s why, over the years, you know, you gain experience that helps you,” Djokovic said after his loss to Medvedev in the semifinal of Cincinnati Masters.

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