Tennis

Novak Djokovic weakness picked out ahead of Daniil Medvedev Australian Open final

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic discusses injury issues

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Novak Djokovic isn’t as fit as Daniil Medvedev, according to Mats Wilander. The Serb will go up against the Russian in Sunday’s Australian Open final. And it promises to be quite the showdown at the Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic was too strong for Aslan Karatsev on Thursday, beating the Russian 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to make the final Down Under.

The Serb will now face off against Medvedev, who blew Stefanos Tsitsipas away with a blistering performance on Friday.

Many are expecting Djokovic to reign supreme, with the 33-year-old previously winning eight Australian Open titles.

But Wilander thinks Medvedev’s superior fitness could swing the battle his way, telling Eurosport: “I’m a huge fan of Daniil Medvedev.

“Ever since that US Open situation where the crowd was against him then turned the crowd to his favour in 2019.

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“He’s a great character and great for our sport. Daniil Medvedev is so smart, he saw what happened to Tsitsipas against Nadal – you can’t let up – he played close to perfection.

“Daniil Medvedev’s backhand down the line is as good as Novak Djokovic’s, is as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.

“It’s very difficult to read his backhand, he takes it so early. But we can’t forget Daniil’s serve, it’s a huge weapon.

“The psychology in the match will be key – whereas Novak is more confident he is going to win, I feel like Daniil Medvedev is going to enjoy the battle more because I think he is out there to cause hell for his opponent and if he wins great.

“He likes to see Novak frustrated and I think he feels like he can frustrate him. In the end, Novak, I think the confidence is there to win the match.

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“The fittest player here is going to win this match, and I feel that Medvedev doesn’t look like he is going to get tired.

“Novak could maybe get a little frustrated playing Medvedev, then suddenly might he feel it in his legs.

“I do agree from the first point I think Novak is confident that he can handle it and then you get into that hour, hour and a half, two hours and Medvedev is doing the same thing and you run out of ideas. But of course, Novak has never lost on that court and that is key.”

Fellow Eurosport pundit Alex Corretja is expecting the players ‘to try and kill each other’.

“I think they are going to kill each other!” he said.

“I am expecting a very long match, both play a very similar game style.

“They both need their serves, their backhands are both unbelievable. Forehands – Novak moves his wrist a little bit more, but not too much more, than Daniil.

“I think they will play like a mirror to each other, unbelievable back-hand cross court, they change down the line, both great competitors.

“The only thing I see a little bit different is that Novak Djokovic has won 17 Grand Slam titles, with 8 of them in Melbourne.

“But if you just think about the shape of both of them, I think Medvedev has been showing that he is a guy coming to the tournament in a better shape and he kept that momentum going.

“He is going to be so, so difficult to beat and Novak will need to be at his best and will need to be very clear on his game plan and the way he wants to play because both are unbelievable defenders, they both like to attack but they usually don’t like to be in the attacking side all the time.

“It’s going to be interesting to see who is getting the dominance to the other side of the court and in which moments.

“They both rely on their serves, especially Daniil, even if Novak has improved so much.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it went on for more than 3.5 or 4 hours because this is pretty much what I am expecting.

“If both players are healthy, we are going to have a hell of a match. Maybe I am leaning really slightly towards Novak but just slightly, maybe 55-45 in favour Novak.”

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