For an athlete who is hailed for his mental strength, mind games mind not quite make a difference but Russia’s Daniil Medvedev has tried his hand at it ahead of what promises to be a brutal, battling final at the 2021 Australian Open.

Medvedev insisted the pressure was all on Novak Djokovic in the upcoming final, moments after the Russian breezed past Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the semis on Friday.

Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev outplays Stefanos Tsitsipas to set up final against Novak Djokovic

Medvedev, now into his second Grand Slam decider on the back of a 20-match winning streak, said the world No 1 has “more things to lose” on Sunday.


Djokovic, with 17 major titles, has won all eight of his Australian Open finals and is looking to close the gap on the record of 20 Slam trophies held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“I like that I don’t have a lot of pressure because he never lost in eight times that he was here in the final,” said the 25-year-old world number four.

“So it’s him who has all the pressure, getting to Roger and Rafa in the Grand Slams (list).

“So I just hope that I’m going to get out there, show my best tennis. As we see I can beat some big names if I play good.

“For sure he has more experience, but more things to lose.”

Medvedev, a 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 winner against Tsitsipas, has now beaten 12 top-10 players and lifted three trophies during his winning run.

Friday’s win included “one of my best shots in my career” – an off-balance backhand that rocketed past Tsitsipas to break for 6-5 in the final set.

“That was the moment that I won the match,” he said. “The shot was unbelievable, I think one of my best shots in my career.

“Actually, my legs were facing the other way of the court because I didn’t have time, so I have no idea how I made this, and I was really happy about it.”

He said the lessons learned in his debut Slam final, when he came from two sets down to give Nadal a huge scare at the 2019 US Open, would help him on Sunday.

“It’s experience, it was my first Grand Slam final against one of the greatest. On Sunday I’m going to come against one of the other greatest,” he said.

“I played against Rafa in this crazy US Open match. It’s an experience that maybe, if we’re going to have some crazy match, can turn some things for me and not against me.”

(With AFP inputs)

Watch the post-match reactions here: