Standing at a lanky 6ft 6in and pencil-thin, he has emerged on the forefront of the following wave trying to smash the ‘Huge Three’ monopoly of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
After reaching the 2019 US Open last, the place he misplaced to Nadal, he has labored onerous on his sport and health to race via the rankings and goes into Sunday’s Australian Open last in opposition to Djokovic on a 20-match win streak, demonstrating his psychological and bodily stamina.
Having fun with a career-high rating of 4, he has come to phrases along with his immense potential.
Earlier than his rise in 2019, he may let his feelings get in the best way and by no means shied away from admitting he didn’t do all the pieces as professionally as attainable.
He competed onerous and did his work on the observe court docket, however his weight loss plan and restoration routines weren’t what they need to be, with the 25-year-old having fun with sweets and croissants.
And if a protracted match went late, he would usually skip the ice tub.
“I assumed it was going to be one of the best relaxation, to simply lay on the mattress and watch some TV. And actually, it isn’t,” he mentioned final yr.
However Medvedev, nicknamed Bear, has modified and it has paid dividends.
Throughout his 20-match run, he has crushed each top-10 participant besides Federer, who has been out injured.
When knowledgeable of this, he replied: “It is nice to know this. It is a pity that Roger shouldn’t be enjoying,” suggesting he was additionally assured of taking his scalp.
Medvedev is an clever man. He excelled in physics and maths in school, graduating early and enrolling at a college in his native Moscow to check utilized economics and commerce.
He opted as an alternative to play tennis full-time, transferring to the south of France, the place his sister lived, to profit from its high-quality teaching and amenities.
Fluent in Russian and English, he’s additionally usually heard conversing in French along with his coach, Gilles Cervara, who has helped steer him to the place he’s at present.
Regardless of leaving college early, Medvedev stays a tactical thinker, or as commentator Jim Courier put it this week: “He is a grasp chess participant on court docket”.
Medvedev retains opponents guessing along with his flat and low groundstrokes, whereas altering up the tempo and angles, mixing impenetrable defence with opportunistic offence.
His semi-final opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas as soon as known as Medvedev’s enjoying fashion “boring” however even the Greek star has been gained over.
“Let me let you know that he is a participant who has unlocked just about all the pieces within the sport,” he mentioned after crashing to him in straighht units.
“He tips you. , he performs the sport actually good. It is actually fascinating to see that.”
Whereas the Russian has refined his sport, a key rule nonetheless applies and that’s to “battle like loopy”, a trait drilled him into by one in all his first tennis coaches when he was nonetheless a small boy.
“Her golden rule was, ‘The one who wins the match is the one who made extra balls over the online’, which is simple to know,” he mentioned.