Novak Djokovic's major sponsor Head have admitted they "got ahead of themselves" after declaring the Serbian this year's Australian Open champion even before he took to the court for the tournament final. Then he won his second, which came at the Australian Open. Medvedev, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 4 in the world, made his second Grand Slam final at Melbourne Park after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open semifinal.
After the Medvedev outplayed Tsitsipas 6-4 6-2 7-5 in Friday night's semi-final in a manner that suggested he could be ready to graduate to his maiden grand slam triumph, the vanquished Greek shrugged that he wouldn't be surprised if the 25-year-old Russian won Sunday's final. And now he will try to win in his second try, which comes at the Australian Open on Sunday (at 7:30 p.m. local time, 3:30 a.m. EST) - against Djokovic.
"First of all I like that I don't have a lot of pressure because he has never lost in eight times he was here in the final", he said.
"But if you just think about the form of both of them, I think Medvedev has been showing that he is a guy coming into the tournament in better shape, and he has kept that momentum going".
While much was made of Medvedev's unshakeable demeanor ahead of Sunday's clash it was short-lived, as a courageous first-set stand that saw the Russian claw his way back from an early break eventually went begging to an unforced error that gave the set to the Serbian star, 7-5.
The Russian, riding a 20-match winning streak into Sunday night's men's final against Novak Djokovic, has struck the ball harder and positioned himself more offensively on court than the Serb on his journey through the draw. "The love affair keeps going".
Medvedev also had won his past 12 matches against Top 10 opponents.
"The confidence, when you beat everybody, is just great", Medvedev said, "because I think people start maybe to be a little bit scared about you". He goes down the line, cross, forehand, backhand. "He doesn't miss. That's what is the most, the toughest, part of playing against him", Medvedev said. "I think that's where I should be good, also".
That's how Medvedev produced the shot of the day - week? tournament? year? longer? - against Tsitsipas, ranging wide of the deuce court's doubles alley for a forehand return of serve, before sprinting to his left, sliding with his feet at an awkward angle and producing a down-the-line backhand passing victor that was simply spectacular. I honestly just watch, like, him engaging the crowd.
"I think they will play like a mirror to each other with unbelievable backhand cross-courts, and they will change it up with down-the-line shots".
Djokovic was upset in the 2014 quarter-finals by Wawrinka, the eventual champion, but was back to his punishing best a year later.
Medvedev appeared to have a tiny opening at 4-2 in the third, getting to 15-30 on Djokovic's serve with a forehand victor and waving to the crowd to make noise.
He had broken to begin that set but Djokovic then reeled off four games in a row. "I want to win my first one. He wants to win No. 18".