On 19 November, Spain will face Russia in Group B at Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals
He’s the Cincinnati Open champion, the Rogers Cup runner-up, and the US Open finalist – and later this year Russia’s Daniil Medvedev will hope to lead his nation to glory in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals.
More than that, it’ll be a Flushing Meadows rematch in two months’ time when he is likely to face Rafael Nadal on Tuesday 19th November in a Group B singles clash, as both men will battle to get their nations into the quarter-finals. Medvedev will be hoping to reverse the outcome from New York, though, when he lost narrowly in a five-set thriller to the Spaniard.
Although the 23-year-old is used to big-match nerves, he’s expecting to feel a little apprehensive before he steps into the Caja Magica.
“You become nervous because you don't only play for yourselves but you play for your team and your country, so it's just something different that makes it special,” he says.
Russia qualified for the finals after beating Switzerland 3-1 in Biel, thanks to a point from Medvedev and two from Karen Khachanov – and they’ll have to work hard in November, having been drawn in a very tough group – alongside hosts Spain and defending champions Croatia. Nevertheless, he hopes that there will be some fans cheering him on.
“It's not going to be our fans who are the loudest against a home crowd, but we hope that there will be some for us,” he smiles.
Medvedev made his Davis Cup debut in 2017 – and found himself with a very famous opponent.
“My first time, it was actually against Novak Djokovic, and it's funny because we were practising like one week before, and he invited me to go with him on his private jet - I took the invitation!” he laughs. “I won the first set. I remember I had cramps after, but anyway, it's a strong memory to remember about my first time.”
As an established star now, Medvedev himself will be a tough prospect for anyone to face in Madrid – and he knows the whole country will be behind him and the rest of the squad, both on and off the court, hoping for a famous win.
“Everybody would be so happy,” he says. “That's why Davis Cup is special, because there is many parts of the team - everyone who is there, any doctor, physio, anybody from the federation, the secretary, they are part of the team, which is not the same in individual tournaments, so every one of them will be really happy. The country's fans will be proud.”
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