Many would argue there are three contenders at this years Australian Open, newly crowned Grand Slam Champion Dominic Thiem, 20 time major champion Rafael Nadal and 8 time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic but you would be silly to rule out Daniil Medvedev.
Daniil who is a former major finalist in New York over twelve months ago as well as ATP Finals champion and three times Masters 1000 champion has to be considered a favourite.
The form he is in right now is quite phenomenal. Let alone a 14 match unbeaten run for the Russian and there have been a sensational 9 wins against top 10 opponents in that time including all three mentioned at the beginning of the piece.
Of course there have been longer unbeaten runs on the tour over the years but I don’t think there have been many at the level Medvedev has been playing at, to add more weight to the argument three more of those wins have come up against former top ten ranked players too.
I like a lot about his game, a criticism is he is boring to watch but I just don’t think that is the case. He has tremendous ground strokes and an exceptional tennis brain and is able to figure things out.
Four times in this period in latter stages he has had to figure things out:
Final – Paris Masters – 5-7 6-4 6-4 vs Zverev
Semi-Final – ATP Finals – 3-6 7-6 6-3 vs Nadal
Final – ATP Finals – 4-6 7-6 6-4 vs Thiem
Semi-Final – ATP Cup – 3-6 6-3 7-5 vs Zverev
Big moments in this run and he has clawed it back, it hasn’t been luck but a show of his brilliance and the way he can change matches around. What he did in London as a unbeaten champion and beating Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem to win the title was outstanding.
In Paris a week or so before I remember the final against Zverev and he was struggle for a set and a bit to get up the court but he changed it around and continued to push and find his depth.
A lot of the time it is fine margins, he’s pulled out the best when it matters if he hadn’t I don’t think we’d be having this conversation right now. He seems so focused and up for the next battle that you’d be silly to rule him out.
He does have a favourable path to the final four, it might just be Rublev or Agut to cause him issues but he also has a tough opener in Vasek Pospisil to kick off his hopeful fortnight of tennis down under.