Novak Djokovic continues his hunt for a seventh Australian Open title on Monday, taking on Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the quarter-finals. Medvedev is one of a group of Russians showing a lot of potential on the men’s tour currently. That includes Karen Khachanov, one of the few players to beat Djokovic since his return to the top of the game. Check out the Djokovic vs Medvedev H2H matches.
Medvedev was impressive in seeing off David Goffin in straight sets to make his first grand slam fourth round. The Russian troubled Goffin on serve repeatedly, picking up two breaks in each set of the 6-3 7-6 6-3 win. He will have been disappointed to have given up break leads in the latter two but brushed it off to win the sets anyway. He continues a good run of form that saw him make the Brisbane final thanks to wins over Raonic, Murray and Tsonga.
Djokovic recovered from a suprising third set collapse to eventually see off the talented Canadian Denis Shapovalov. He was cruising at 2-0 in sets and 4-1 up in the third, only to drop five straight games and the set. “Other than the little letdown that I had when I was 4-1, 4-2 up in the third set, other than that I thought I played well, especially in the fourth set. I expected Denis to come out and be aggressive.” he said on the match, definitely disappointed with that third set. “I just stayed solid from back of the court and served well, played the right shots. At 4-1, I was agitated. As I said, should not happen to me. I know better. I have experience. But it does happen, I guess. I allowed him to come back to the match.”
Djokovic has twice met Medvedev, winning on both occasions in 2017. While the Russian is much improved over a year later, it could be too early for him to strike. It takes a mammoth effort to beat a fully fit Djokovic over five sets, especially in the early rounds of a tournament. Medvedev is going to have to wait to improve on his career high of 16 but the way he is playing right now, it doesn’t seem unrealistic to expect he is a top 10 player at some point this year.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in straight sets