Daniil Medvedev has something for Novak Djokovic that Serb will like very much

Medvedev addresses his French Open chances and title favorites.

by Dzevad Mesic
Daniil Medvedev has something for Novak Djokovic that Serb will like very much
© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Daniil Medvedev has declared Novak Djokovic "a big French Open favorite" despite the Serb's inconsistent play as the Russian tennis star highlights the Serb has had success at Roland Garros and simply knows how to deliver when the time comes to perform on the biggest possible stage.

So far this clay season, Djokovic is just 4-2 and he hasn't yet won any titles this year. And this week in Rome, Djokovic's rough 2024 season took another hit after the current world No. 1 suffered a shock 2-6 3-6 loss to Alejandro Tabilo in the third round at Foro Italico. 

Heading into the French Open, this is undoubtedly one of the worst preparations three-time French Open champion Djokovic has had going into a Grand Slam in years. 

But on the other side, it hasn't been ideal for his competition either as Carlos Alcaraz has played just one clay tournament so far while Jannik Sinner is skipping Rome and in a big danger of also missing the French Open due to a hip injury. 

However, Medvedev believes that if those three play, they should be considered the top French Open favorites. When it comes to his own chances, Medvedev acknowledged he doesn't have a strong French Open history but remains hopeful that he could do something at Roland Garros this year.

"I think we should go by the ranking: Novak. Jannik, if he plays. I don't know. Carlos, if he plays. I don't know. Then it's me, No. 4. Who won Monte-Carlo? Stef. If he wins here, could be big favorite, for sure. If he wins two Masters 1000s, he's one of the favorites, too," Medvedev said.

"I think if Novak and Carlos play, they're two big favorites. They like the surface. They can win Grand Slams. But now it's maybe little bit more open than it was ever before. Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don't play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me."

Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic
Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Medvedev on once again failing to win the same tournament twice 

At this year's Rome edition, Medvedev returned as the defending champion - and not only that he was aiming to defend a title for the first time in his career, but he was also hoping to finally clinch two titles at the same tournament. 

On paper, a player not winning the same tournament twice is not really that weird but in Medvedev's case it is because the Russian has 20 titles in his collection and all of them have come at 20 different places. 

In Rome, Medvedev managed to just reach the round-of-16 before Tommy Paul ended his campaign with a 6-1 6-4 win on Tuesday. 

"Well, it's disappointing, to be honest. I wanted to do better here. I was not even close. What can I say? The more titles I win, the more chances I have to defend. So the more tournaments in a year I'm going to play where I already won, maybe not defend, but at least win twice the same tournament, that's what I'm going to try to do," Medvedev said of failing again to win the same tournament twice.

"Again, mentally I had to be better today. When I'm not good mentally like I was today, cannot win. That's what I had to do much better. Disappointing, but that's how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is pretty important one."

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev © Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

Medvedev on if he was mentally or physically drained going into the Paul match

On Monday, Medvedev needed nearly three hours of play before completing a 7-6 (6) 2-6 7-5 win over Hamad Medjedovic. Considering the number of injuries and players' complaints about the schedule and calendar being too demanding, a reporter asked Medvedev if it was true that players really feel physically and mentally drained after surviving a big fight and then having to play the next day again. 

Answering the question, Medvedev said he didn't experience any problems in that aspect versus Paul and noted he didn't want to speak for other players.

"I don't have an answer. First of all, sometimes the perception is not the reality. First of all, we would need to actually check it by the stats if it's true, which could be true. I don't really have an answer," Medvedev said.

"I was physically feeling very good today. Mentally yesterday, I didn't drain myself out. It's not like I was arrive at the hotel and I was completely dead. I was feeling good today in terms of mental and physical. Tennis was not there.

"Again, I think depends the person. Don't really have an answer. At least for my case, I think I'm able to do it. I hope I'm going to show it many more times."

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev © Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

In just over a week, Medvedev will be starting his eighth French Open run. Heading into this year's French Open, Medvedev's 2021 quarterfinal remains his best result at Roland Garros.

Daniil Medvedev Novak Djokovic French Open