Daniil Medvedev details why Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner are nightmare rivals

Medvedev may be one of the best in the game but it hasn't been easy for him against Alcaraz and Sinner in the last year and a half.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Daniil Medvedev details why Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner are nightmare rivals
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Daniil Medvedev was asked to break down the difference between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner compared to the rest of the top players and the Russian tennis star had a detailed answer on why the Spaniard and Italian have become such strong forces.

While world No. 5 Medvedev has been one of the best and most consistent players for years, it has been extremely tough for him versus Alcaraz and Sinner in the last year and a half. 

After beating Alcaraz in their first meeting when the Spaniard was 18 at 2021 Wimbledon, Medvedev has since lost to the Spaniard in four of their last five meetings - all of their last five matches have come since the beginning of 2023. 

For years, Medvedev has been known as one of the top defenders on the ATP Tour but even he has had a very hard time taming Alcaraz's powerful shots and some of their recent matches haven't even been close. And now, the Russian former world No. 1 admits it is the three-time Grand Slam champion's strength in shots that causes him the most trouble. 

“Carlos has a very big power quality. When he was like 17, he could miss a lot. So you're like, 'Ok, he has these crazy shots, but at least he misses,'" Medvedev said of Alcaraz.

"When he's in the zone now he doesn't miss much. You could see at Roland Garros in some moments he was missing and struggling, and that's amazing, because he played two big top players Jannik and Zverev... Even not playing his best and missing. Every time he hit a rocket on the court, the other guy would be in such trouble. That's his big quality. Very, very strong shots. 

"The position doesn't matter. It's easy for him to generate power from slow balls… Sometimes many players have trouble… That's his biggest quality in my opinion.”

Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz
Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

Medvedev details why Sinner is such a tough opponent

After having a strong finish to 2023, Sinner further elevated his game at the start of 2024 and now he is a Grand Slam champion and also the world No. 1. And it was Medvedev who was beaten by Sinner in this year's Australian Open final after the 22-year-old Italian came back from two sets down to win 3-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-3. 

Once, Medvedev had a perfect and dominant 6-0 head-to-head versus Sinner. But since earning his first win over Medvedev last October in the 2023 Beijing final, Sinner has won their last five meetings. 

Explaining how Sinner became such a nightmare opponent, Medvedev said that the 22-year-old now rarely has bad days and in order to have a chance against him, a player must step and hope that everything aligns that day. 

“Jannik is a bit different, but kind of the same. Great quality of strokes. The motion is different so the way the ball is coming is different. Even if Jannik has very big power, Carlos has even more," Medvedev said of Sinner. 

"Jannik started to find it at the end of last year in Canada when he won his first Masters... He started missing less. We always knew it was tough to play him. He can hit winners from every position on the court, but he could miss. Now he doesn't miss much. It's not easy. In order to beat him you know you have to step out there, you need to be able to hit winners from every position on the court yourself. 

"It's not easy to play them. It's a great challenge. They are already great champions of the sport. They have a great career ahead of them to make history.” 

When Medvedev could face Alcaraz and Sinner at Wimbledon?

Medvedev, seeded at No. 5, survived a scare on Wednesday as he had to work hard before fending off world No. 102 Alexandre Muller to set up a third-round meeting against Jan-Lennard Struff.

If Medvedev manages to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinal, he would very likely meet top-seeded Sinner there. If that happens, it will be their first meeting on grass. 

Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner
Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner © Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett
 

In the case Medvedev makes the semifinal, he could possibly meet Alcaraz there in a rematch of the 2023 Wimbledon semifinal. Last year, Medvedev was bounced in straight sets by eventual champion Alcaraz.

But for now, Medvedev has take care of the business against Struff.

Daniil Medvedev Carlos Alcaraz Jannik Sinner
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