World No. 2 Novak Djokovic showed his class as he ran the legs off Russia’s top player Daniil Medvedev to send Serbia through to the final of the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia.
Djokovic defeated Medvedev 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 using a clear and effective tactic in their semi-final matchup – make Medvedev run.
Djokovic’s well-chosen shots forced the six-foot-five Medvedev to cover an incredible amount of ground as he was forced to chase down shots throughout their three-set encounter.
And, eventually, the Russian was simply unable to keep pace with Djokovic’s powerful, precise attack as the Serbian star claimed the win to send his nation through to the tournament finale.
Any players scouting Medvedev ahead of the upcoming Australian Open will have paid close attention to the way Djokovic broke down the lanky 23-year-old, as the Serbian superstar mixed up his game with deft drop-shots and sliced backhands taking the pace out of Medvedev’s powerful baseline attack and forcing him to charge around the court, often playing shots at the limits of his reach.
But, despite his effective play in the first set, Djokovic dropped the second when Medvedev came storming back into the matchup by winning the first four games of the second set.
It prompted Djokovic to destroy one of his rackets in frustration, but the Serbian, roared on by a supportive crowd, picked up his form to close out the match and send his nation into the final.