Promising Serbian junior Hamad Medjedovic, 17, says some see the similarities between his game and the game of world No. 3 Dominic Thiem. Medjedovic, who is preparing to make a switch to senior tennis, had a chance to train with 2020 US Open champion Thiem in Vienna last year.
"A lot of tennis players and coaches have told me that my way of playing is similar to Thiem's. I even had the opportunity to play with him, we trained together with him in Vienna, and then I saw that we were similar, on the forehand, for example," Medjedovic exclusively told Sport Klub.
Medjedovic was impressed by the personality of Novak Djokovic
Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, invited Medjedovic for a practice and the 17-year-old was impressed with the way he was treated by the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
Medjedovic also had a chance to train with Filip Krajinovic, Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic, Egor Gerasimov and Ricardas Berankis. "That means a lot because they are at the top of tennis and it is good to see that you can compete against them in rallies.
Of course, I'm not even close to that level, but I realized that it's nothing frightening. Before that training with Nole, I was excited, he is a modest and normal man, he approached me and greeted me, hugged me. During the training, it was great, we did everything and some points, and at the end of the training, I only remember one sentence he said to me.
It reads 'believe in your shots.' That left a strong mark and I am guided by that, to believe in myself," Medjedovic said of practicing with some big names, most notably Djokovic. 19-year-old Iga Swiatek, who claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at this past French Open, credited her work with her psychologist after winning it all at Roland Garros.
"For now, I'm not considering that, my team points out to me the mistakes I make, for now it is enough to consult with them. It’s also a classic workout - just as I practice my shots, I practice my mental strength.
Generally, these are situations in life where you need to stay calm and collected. For example, I think about how when I enter the nervous phase, it can only be negative for me, I fall both tennis-wise and physically-wise, I go into a bottomless pit.
When that wave of anger strikes me, I try to explain to myself that it is not good for me and that it will only make it worse," Medjedovic said, when asked about potentially working with a psychologist.