AAP Tennis

Medvedev ready to challenge for Open glory

By AAP Newswire

He's been anointed by Novak Djokovic and John McEnroe as the biggest threat to the big three in tennis, so little wonder Daniil Medvedev says he's not at Melbourne Park to make up the numbers.

"Any tournament I play, I want to win it. A good Australian Open is to win it," Medvedev said on Saturday.

After crashing out of last year's Tour Finals with three consecutive round-robin losses, the Russian rediscovered his mojo with four wins from five matches at the season-opening ATP Cup.

His only defeat was a third-set tiebreaker against Djokovic, who later nominated the world No.4 and 2019 US Open runner-up as the most likely young gun to break his, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's 15-year grand slam dominance.

The heavyweight trio have won 55 slams between them, including 13 of the past 14 Australian Opens.

But Medvedev feels ready to challenge for major spoils over the coming fortnight.

"The further you go in the big tournaments, the more chances you have to play them. The more times you play them, the more you know where you are comparing to them," Medvedev said.

"For example, match in ATP Cup, Novak was kind of all over me. I managed to get back, almost win the match.

"I mean, he still won it. But I felt I was really close. Matches like this gives you confidence to see that you're able to do it.

"But it's really tough."

The 23-year-old embarked on an incredible six-final run on hard courts after Wimbledon, winning four titles, and will be fourth seed in Melbourne, meaning he can't face world No.1 Nadal until the semi-finals and seven-times champion Djokovic or six-times winner Federer until the title decider.

"Last year was only my third season, if I'm not mistaken, on the ATP Tour, like a full season with all the ATP tournaments. Was a great one," he said.

"Still in the end, missing some tournaments, trying to recover for the last two tournaments of the season, I felt that I was kind of burned out.

"I felt that I needed some rest, some, I would say, restart. Again, I had great five matches in ATP Cup, won four of them. Feeling great about my game and myself."

Medvedev will get an early test of his title credentials in a tough opener on Tuesday against American Frances Tiafoe, a quarter-finalist last year.