We sat down with the Davis Cup 2021 title winner to hear how he would construct his ideal tennis player. Read on to discover the super player he would build using the qualities of Novak Djokovic, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Reilly Opelka.
Daniil Medvedev has a smile on his face and is comfortable with the challenge. It's about building his perfect player using the best strengths of some of his opponents.
One name comes up repeatedly: Novak Djokovic. In addition to their close friendship, the Russian reveals his admiration for many of the Serb's qualities.
We start with the forehand. He doesn't hesitate for a second with this one. His perfect player would have that of compatriot Andrey Rublev. "The forehand would be my friend Andrey, because his forehand is a bomb," he says. And Djokovic takes the backhand. "We all know it's one of the best backhands in the history of tennis, I think".
An important part of any tennis player is talent. And Daniil has a very specific answer for this one: "I’ll go with two players because I feel like we all have a lot of talent but I’ll go with young ones so I’m going to say [Carlos] Alcaraz and [Jannik] Sinner. They have a similar age, they just played a tough match in Paris, which Carlos won, so I’ll go with these two".
Mentality? A straightforward and unequivocal answer: "Novak's. The way he handles himself on the court in tough situations is extraordinary and I try to learn a lot from him.”
And also from the World No.1 he would choose another aspect: physicality. "We've had some physical matches and many times I feel like he’s tired and then on the next point he’s capable of running, running and running and then the next day he’s capable of doing it again. So I’ll go with Novak again.”
But there's more... Daniil would also keep the return of Novak: "You can really choose Novak in many aspects! And his return is really special".
For the serve, something surprising yet effective. His perfect player would have the serve of an American. "I’ll go with my good friend Reilly [Opelka] because he has a pretty huge serve and I’m sure he’s going to like that I said him.”
What if we turned the perfect tennis player into someone who is fun? "The funniest? - he replies. "Andrey Rublev. He’s really funny.
See the video interview here: