After securing his first appearance in the last 16 of a Grand Slam tournament following a 6-2 7-6 6-3 straight set win against Belgian David Goffin, young Russian Daniil Medvedev will be hoping to carry that form into the round of 16 game of the Australian Open against world number one, Novak Djokovic.
In what must be a surreal experience for the 22-year-old, to play against one of the players he would have grown up watching, he has a high level of respect for the Serb’s record in Grand Slam tournaments.
However, he still believes that Djokovic isn’t the player that he used to be, even though the 31-year-old seeks to win his third consecutive title.
"What I can only say is that probably he is not playing as he was before," he said, per Reuters.
"Before, when he was young, I was just watching on TV but it was just something insane when he was playing Andy (Murray) or somebody for five hours and you couldn’t see one down (level), it was only up.
“It isn’t the same now, you always have more chances to beat him and that’s why he’s lost three times to ‘next-gen’ players in the last year."
Medvedev may regret embroiling himself in this 'war of words' with the number one seed though.
Despite possibly not being 'the player he once was', Djokovic still has 14 grand slam titles and was once in the position of Medvedev- the young fledgling playing against one of the biggest names in the world of tennis, so has the benefit of experience over the Russian.
Djokovic has beaten Denis Shapovalov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mitchell Krueger to reach this stage of the tournament, with only one of those matches not being won in straight sets, so it would be unfair to write off either of the players going into the round of sixteen
The winner of the match will be rewarded with a quarter-final matchup against either 23rd seed Pablo Carreno Busta or 8 seed Kei Nishikori, to vie for a place in the semi-final of the Australian Open.News Now - Sport News