‘Rafael Nadal replied that there was a time when…’, says young star

Daniil Medvedev says he’s happy to play Novak Djokovic today, but admits it’s Rafael Nadal he really wants to beat. Medvedev, 26, has only one win in six matches against Nadal. Medvedev has had several heartbreaking and devastating losses against Nadal, most notably falling in five sets to the Spaniard in the 2019 US Open final and 2022 Australian Open final, respectively.

Today, Medvedev faced Djokovic in the semifinal of the Astana Open. “I wouldn’t say it because I want to beat everyone and actually Rafa [Nadal] even more because I have lost two Grand Slam finals against Rafa, but I am very happy to play against Novak,” Medvedev told Amazon Prime.

“I thought before the match that we have only played one tournament together this year and it was Roland Garros, so this is the second one and we meet again and I am very happy. I feel like it’s not a bad rivalry, not of course close to Novak’s against Roger (Federer) or Rafa, but still, and I need to give my best tomorrow”, added Medvedev.

Last season, Medvedev and Djokovic met three times, each of their matches being a final. In the 2021 Australian Open final, Djokovic defeated Medvedev in straight sets to win a record ninth Australian Open title. Eight months later, Medvedev defeated Djokovic in straight sets in the US Open final.

By beating Djokovic in the US Open final, Medvedev became a Grand Slam champion for the first time in his career. Later, the two met in the final of the Paris Masters. There, Djokovic defeated Medvedev in three sets. In this match, Djokovic has a 6-4 lead against Medvedev.

Eala praises Rafa Nadal

Only 17 years old and already 281st in the world, Alexandra Eala, a member of the Rafael Nadal structure, recently distinguished herself by winning the US Junior Open for girls. A victory which notably allowed him to pocket the tidy sum of 15,000 dollars.

Far from trivial for a player of her age. Asked by the site, the young Spaniard revealed one of her conversations with Rafael Nadal precisely about this sum of money. “He’s very nice. I told him that the 15,000 dollars I had won were probably not as important as his achievements and he replied that there was a time when those 15,000 were everything to him too. So you can see that he had humble beginnings, started from the bottom, and really worked his way up.”

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