Daniil Medvedev, the Russian second seed at the US Open, has said that he is simply happy and “excited” to be there at the Flushing Meadows knowing that fans will once again be in attendance at the last Grand Slam of the year.
Two years back, Medvedev had credited his US Open final appearance to the crowd, which had jeered the 25-year-old all through the tournament in 2019 till he reached the title showdown against Rafael Nadal.
However, the Russian’s battling performance against Rafael Nadal in the title clash, in which he rallied from two sets down to force a fifth set, won him admiration and support from the crowd, leaving people with a soft spot for the world No. 2.
“[I’m] really happy that there is going to be full crowd capacity in New York,” Medvedev said in his pre-tournament press conference on Friday evening. “That’s just huge. That’s cool. Actually, it’s funny because I don’t know, it’s tough to say if it’s going to be the same people or [if] nobody remembers two years ago.
“I just hope, because it finished on a good note, it’s going to continue the same way. I love a New York crowd. It was an amazing experience in 2019 in every aspect. I’m just curious to see what it’s going to be like again on my first match. I’m going to try just the best I can to show a good level of tennis and by this way to make fans support me.”
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is aiming to overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, all tied on 20 majors, by triumphing in New York to clinch a record-breaking 21st major title. With victory, the 34-year-old will also become just the second man in the Open Era alongside Rod Laver to complete a Grand Slam at the US Open.
Although Medvedev is full of respect for the Serbian, whom he fell to in the Australian Open final in February, he is determined to stop Djokovic from creating more history over the next fortnight.
“He [Djokovic] is just amazing,” Medvedev said. “I want to say I’m going to try my best to keep it at 20 for all of them. I’m sure Novak wants 45 slams, playing until he is 55. But we’re here to try to keep up his level and to beat him.
“We’re here to not let him win the US Open. If I talk just for myself, I want to win the US Open. I don’t care if it’s in the final against a qualifier or against Novak. I just want to win this tournament.”
Medvedev has arrived in New York in strong form. He captured his fourth ATP Masters 1000 title in Toronto and also reached the semifinals in Cincinnati. The Russian, who faces Richard Gasquet in the first round, is fully focused on maintaining this level at the US Open as he targets his first major title.