Daniil Medvedev must be ’10 times better’ to beat Djokovic in US Open final

US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev admits he will need to be 10 times better than he was during his triumph over Novak Djokovic in 2021. Medvedev meets the Serb again in Sunday’s showdown and pointed out that the 23-times Grand Slam champion is constantly improving. 

The 27-year-old won his first and only major to date by defeating Djokovic in the US Open final two years ago. A surprising straight-sets victory saw him past one of the greatest players of all-time on Arthur Ashe. 

But Medvedev realises that he will not have it that easy again on Sunday. He expects Djokovic to play far better, pointing out his record of always overcoming a setback by winning his next match. 

The world No 3 predicts that he will need to play at least 10 times better than he did in 2021 to beat Djokovic. “Against Novak… he is always better than the previous time he played,” he said. 

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For example, I beat him at the US Open final – he beat me in Bercy in a great match. Carlos beat him at Wimbledon – he (Djokovic) beat him in Cincinnati.

“I think the only way I can use it is, as I say, thinking that Novak, when he loses, he’s never the same after. So he’s different. It’s just a different mentality. 

“That’s why he has 23 Grand Slams, whatever, Masters 1000s, weeks at No 1. So I have to use it knowing that he’s going to be 10 times better than he was that day. And I have to be, if I want to still beat him, 10 times better than I was that day. That’s what I’m going to try to do.”

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Medvedev reached the final with a stunning four-set victory over reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz. He rated his performance as a ‘12 out of 10’ display. 

“I said I needed to play 11 out of 10. I played 12 out of 10, except the third set. That’s the only way. 

“I don’t know if he’s still 20 or 21, but [he is] so young, already two Grand Slams, world No 1 for many weeks. It’s honestly just pretty unbelievable and I think nobody has done it before him. To beat him, you need to be better than yourself and I managed to do it.”

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