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Daniil Medvedev has been warned he is not yet at the level of Novak Djokovic despite being on the brink of regaining the world No 1 spot at the Miami Open. After his straight sets wins over Andy Murray, the Russian will face American Jenson Brooksby for a place in the last eight. Progressing to the semi finals would be enough for the 26-year-old to rise back to the top of rankings for the second time this year.
Medvedev captured his first Grand Slam title in 2021 when he beat Djokovic at Flushing Meadows to claim the US Open. However, a big chance of a second Slam went begging in Melbourne this year, when he relinquished a two-set lead in losing a thrilling Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal.
And now the legendary Mats Wilander, himself a seven-time Grand Slam champion, has told Medvedev that now he’s achieved two major goals in his career, he needs to concentrate on a third one. Speaking to Eurosport, the player turned pundit said he needs to progress his game on all surfaces if he is to regularly challenge for major titles.
“Daniil Medvedev has achieved the two goals in his tennis career (winning a major and becoming the world No 1),” he said. “So 75% of the year is not played on Daniil Medvedev’s favourite surface. So he needs to turn that ratio around where 75% of the time he feels like he’s playing in an environment that makes him play his best tennis.
“That’s not the case with Daniil Medvedev. But because he’s won a Grand Slam because he has become the world No 1, he’s achieved that. Forget it now, Daniil, it’s time to go back to work and become a better tennis player.”
The next Slam is the French Open in May and Wilander, 57, thinks that despite his lack of game time this year due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, it’s Serbian star Djokovic who will go in as favourite.
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“He’s going to be well rested in his mind, in his heart, and physically he has been able to set up his training schedule perfectly,” added Wilander. “Of course he would have liked to have played more matches in general but if he gets two or three tournaments, and maybe 10 to 15 matches, he goes into Roland Garros as the favourite to win the tournament.”
Djokovic, 34, will be the defending champion in Paris, with Medvedev’s run to the quarter-finals in 2021 representing his best run at the tournament to date. Nadal meanwhile, is expected to recover in time to participate.
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