Beyond Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal: Cervara Envisions Medvedev's Major Rivals



by JOVICA ILIC

Beyond Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal: Cervara Envisions Medvedev's Major Rivals
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Daniil Medvedev is 1-4 in the Major final, playing all five against Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic! Daniil's fifth Major final came in September at the US Open, falling to Djokovic in straight sets. The Russian's coach Gilles Cervara would love to see his pupil battling in more Major finals, but this time against someone outside the greatest players of all time.

Cervara is curious about what would happen if Medvedev meets Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz in the title clash at a Major, hoping to see that in the future. Daniil's first Major final came in the 2019 US Open, battling against Nadal and falling in five sets after a massive battle.

A year and a half later, Medvedev fought against Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final, failing to become the first player with a win over the Serb in the title clashes in Melbourne. Later that year, the Russian claimed his first Major trophy, defeating the Serb in the US Open final in straight sets after a rock-solid performance.

Novak chased the elusive calendar Grand Slam, falling on the last step and handing the first Major trophy to Daniil. Medvedev's third consecutive hard-court Major final came at the last year's Australian Open. The Russian challenged Rafael Nadal and earned a massive chance to move over the top.

Daniil led 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 before Rafa bounced back and performed one of the finest comebacks of his career, prevailing in five sets after five and a half hours. After a couple of tough losses at Majors, Medvedev became the title candidate again at this year's US Open, advancing into his third title match in New York.

Novak scored a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 triumph in three hours and 16 minutes, fending off a set point in the second set and sealing the deal in the third for his 24th Major crown.

Gilles Cervara spoke about Daniil Medvedev's rivals in the Major finals.

The Serb overcame physical issues and toppled a much younger opponent with a rock-solid display behind the initial shot.

Novak lost serve once in the third set and kept the pressure on the other side. Djokovic stole Medvedev's serve three times, enough to emerge over the top and avoid a four-hour marathon. Novak made an early break and served well to claim the opener 6-3 in 48 minutes.

The second set witnessed an incredible battle, with two rivals fighting for an hour and 45 minutes. Novak denied a set point in the 12th game and erased the deficit in the tie break to open two sets to love advantage. Djokovic broke Medvedev two times in a row in the third set, sealing the deal and leaving the Russian with one Major title.

"I would love to see Daniil with more Major titles. All of his finals came against Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, which presents a massive difference in comparison to other potential opponents. I would love to see Daniil facing someone else in a Major final, like Carlos Alcaraz or Jannik Sinner. I would be very interested in the outcome in that case," Gilles Cervara.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal Daniil Medvedev