And to think that it all started on Instagram. On Saturday, after his great victory against Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev was fatally questioned about the scope of his victory, combined with that of Dominic Thiem against Novak Djokovic earlier.
What to make people miserable? “I saw a post on Instagram on the semi-finals, explained the Russian. The comment that got the most ‘likes’ read: ‘My head tells me that Dominic and Daniil will be in the final, my heart goes to Rafa and Novak’. This time the head won. It’s great that we managed to beat the two greatest players in the history of our sport with Roger (Federer). It’s great for tennis“.
Great, but above all logical. Because, in view of this Masters, but also in the light of this so special 2020 season, the two men have created a tendency that is difficult to deny: the “Big 3” can be shaken by the same men regularly. “We’re starting to take our marks, commented Medvedev soberly. Dominic won his first Grand Slam, he’s playing amazing tennis right now so it’s not going to be easy. I hope to play well. In which case I know that I can give him problems“.
Because, as surprising as it may seem, his toughest opponent in this Masters will be neither Novak Djokovic, beaten in groups, nor Rafael Nadal, but indeed a Thiem who has regained his cruising speed after a slight logical stalling post -US Open. An opponent he knows like the back of his hand, or almost: “The first time I played it was in Umag, Croatia (September 2011), he rewound […] It was on earth. He destroyed me 6-2, 6-0 I think. In my memory, I pulled off a winning tweener. I had forgotten this match, he reminded me of it during an interview. I had been behaving awfully during the game, ten times worse than today. After the match, he said to me: ‘You might have a good future, but you have to be calmer. It’s funny to remember that when we’re going to face each other in the final“.
Sunday should be another melody. A match that carries with it the hope of ending 2020 in style, despite everything. In Flushing, the two men had not really made the pleasure last (victory in three sets for Thiem in the semifinals). This time, all the ingredients are there. “Like I said before Dominic is an amazing player, argued Medvedev. I trained twice with him on the central. Points and games were all tight so you can expect to see great tennis“.