Stefanos Tsitsipas has backed fellow ATP NextGen star Daniil Medvedev to win the Australian Open and believes his triumph could be good for tennis.
Tsitsipas, who defeated Rafael Nadal in a stunning five-set comeback win in the quarterfinals, flatlined against the Russian, going down 4-6, 2-6, 5-7 in Friday’s semifinal.
After the match, the Greek was all praise for Medvedev.
“Everyone saw what just happened today,” Tsitsipas said. “He put up a show, he became Daniil Medvedev for three sets.”
"I took a lot of experience." 💯
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 19, 2021
Medvedev is now on a 20-match unbeaten streak and is looking forward to challenging Novak Djokovic’s dynasty in Melbourne on Sunday.
“Let me tell you that he’s a player who has unlocked pretty much everything in the game. It’s like he’s reading the game really well,” said Tsitsipas of his semifinal opponent.
“So he makes it very difficult, and I’m sure all the hard work that he has been putting and the hours on the court have benefited a lot. He tricks you.
“You know, he plays the game really smart. It’s really interesting to see that.”
Despite being in their 30s, the Big 3 have maintained their stranglehold on the Grand Slams. They have won 14 of the last 15 majors.
Dominic Thiem won the 2020 US Open, in which Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did not participate, while Novak Djokovic was disqualified for hitting a lineswoman with a ball accidentally.
According to the 22-year-old Tsitsipas, who has beaten Federer and Nadal at majors, Medvedev winning a major will ‘spice’ things up.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Daniil win the tournament. But, you know, it’s a strange scenario,” he said.
“I played Rafa here two years ago. I found his performance against me that day phenomenal. I was 100% sure he was gonna win the tournament. And I ended up being wrong.
“Look, I’m not a betting website. I don’t know what to say. Might be Medvedev, would be good for him, good for tennis.
“Why not? I mean, see Rafa, Novak, Roger in the Grand Slam victories, so, you know, spice it up a little bit, change the name list. Wouldn’t be bad.”