Daniil Medvedev, who saw his 20-match winning streak come to an end at the hands of Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final on Sunday, says that the experience will make him stronger in the future.
“It’s definitely tough,” said Medvedev, after losing 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to Djokovic in Melbourne. “I don’t like to lose matches. [It] doesn’t matter if it’s a first round or a final of a Grand Slam… I feel like it’s the kind of match I won throughout this tournament, [but] he won today.
“I think I got closer [to winning a major title], because I always say experience is the key for me. Next time if I play Novak, I [am] for sure going to do some things [differently] on the court, maybe also differently off the court. [It] doesn’t mean that I will succeed, but that’s [the] life of a tennis player.”
The 25-year-old, who will rise to a career-high No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on Monday, went on to compare the Melbourne final to the 2019 US Open final, when he lost to Rafael Nadal in five sets. He admitted, “I would say [that the] US Open hurt more because I had more chances finally to win it, than I had today.
“But both losses hurt. The only thing that keeps me warm is that I always try to do my best on the court. Today, I was not happy with myself during the match. I felt like I [was] doing my best, but it [was] not there. It happens. This is also life.”
Medvedev, who would have risen to World No. 2 with his first Grand Slam title, believes that the Big Three – Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer – are “just better than other tennis players”.
“When they’re in the zone, and I’m not shy to say it, I feel like they’re just better tennis players, which shows [in] facts and numbers, than the rest of us,” he said. “When we are also in the zone, we can bring [a] big fight [to] them, we can win some matches [and] maybe some big titles. But it’s just that the percentages are on their side. I rank them [as the] toughest opponents of my life.
“I’m 25 now. To win nine Australian Opens, I need to win [one title] every year until I’m 34. I believe in myself, but I don’t think [I’ll be] able to do it. Same with Rafa, 13 Roland Garros [titles]… We’re talking about some cyborgs of tennis in a good way. They’re just unbelievable.”
Medvedev, who helped Russia capture the ATP Cup title prior to the Australian Open, will next compete in Rotterdam at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, an ATP 500 indoor event that begins on 1 March.