Daniil Medvedev has reached his second successive Australian Open final after defeating fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinal. The reward for his last-four win on Friday is a mouth-watering summit clash against Rafael Nadal in Melbourne. Undoubtedly, Medvedev will have a difficult task in hand to win his first Australian Open, but he will be full of confidence after clinching the final Grand Slam of last year – US Open – against Novak Djokovic. In their ATP Head2Head series, Nadal leads Medvedev 3-1. The 25-year-old player’s only victory came at the Nitto ATP Finals in 2020. On Friday, Medvedev asserted that he is not feeling the pressure ahead of the big clash since he knows what he is capable of.
“I really don’t have much pressure. I know what I’m capable of when I’m playing well. I know that I can beat anybody,” Medvedev said in his post-match press conference on Friday. “The second round against Nick [Kyrgios] was a tight one. But it gave me a lot of confidence in my own power, in my own tennis. I know [after the US Open] that I’m capable of winning seven matches in a row and the last one against Novak was epic. So, I knew before this tournament that it is possible. That is what I’m trying to prove.”
Daniil Medvedev, who is a 13-time tour-level titlist, has overcome Nick Kyrgios, Maxime Cressy and Tsitsipas in four sets in Melbourne. He has also saved a match point en route to his five-set victory against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals. His two other wins were against Henri Laaksonen and Botic van de Zandschulp at Melbourne Park.
The return of @DaniilMedwed 🇷🇺
The world No.2 is back in the #AusOpen men’s singles final, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(5) 4-6 6-4 6-1.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 28, 2022
“It’s been great,” Medvedev said. “It’s definitely been emotional. It started with the match against Nick, which was just emotional in all aspects. I think it started there and this energy kept on going with different ones in every match. Some matches were mad. The Felix match was just crazy in terms of tennis and the score. My matches with Stefanos are always emotional. It’s been a great run and I’m happy that I have the chance to win the title on Sunday.”
Medvedev then spoke about the challenge of facing the sixth seed, Nadal. He explained, “[It will probably be a] physical match. Rafa likes to drag people into long rallies. I like it too. I think it is going to be a great battle. But again, I remember last year’s final in Australia, even if it was against a different opponent. I’m going to try to be more ready, more focused, fighting more, and give it everything I have in terms of tennis, both physically and mentally.”
Asked about the ‘Big 3’, Medvedev said, “They are really strong. It’s really tough to get into the final, and I always have them there waiting for me. But it’s fun. When I was eight or 10 years old I was playing against the wall and I was imagining that it was Rafa on the other side, or Roger [Federer]. Novak was still not yet there.
“Now I have the chance to play a second time [against Nadal]. [The] first one was close, an epic one. I’m going to try to prepare well, and [I] need to show my best, because that’s what I took of the three finals that I played before, that you have to do better than 100 per cent in order to win.”