Smart Medvedev keeping one move ahead of his rivals

© Reuters. Tennis: US OPEN

(Reuters) – Russian Daniil Medvedev has become one of the smartest players in the men’s game and like one of his nation’s great chess players he invariably selects the right move.

The 24-year-old will face Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the U.S. Open semi-final on Friday with the winner being tipped to go on and lift their first Grand Slam title.

He is yet to drop a set so far, and fuelled by the experience of reaching last year’s final against Rafa Nadal, Medvedev is looking increasingly hard to stop.

Former champion Mats Wilander says the third seed’s ability to out-smart opponents is a major weapon.

“Daniil doesn’t play the scoreboard, he plays tactics, he plays momentum and he just keeps plugging away,” Eurosport analyst Wilander said looking ahead to Friday’s clash.

“He’s a chess player. He hits the shot that he thinks is right for the moment, not because of where the score is.

“He’s just a really good tactician on court and he’s going to look for solutions in any situation.”

Three-time Grand Slam runner-up Thiem leads their head-to-head 2-1 but Medvedev prevailed easily in their last meeting, an outdoor hardcourt clash in Canada last year.

His unpredictable game has made him one of the most awkward opponents on the Tour.

“I don’t see why he can’t win a Grand Slam,” Wilander said. “There are some players that don’t like to play against Medvedev because he has such an awkward style so he’s going to be winning matches and have good head-to-heads against very good players.

READ  10 top-rated jackets and tops that are perfect for fall

“It doesn’t matter who they are, they won’t like playing against him. He is building that reputation that it is tough to play against him and he doesn’t give you anything for free.

“You really don’t know what he’s going to do next with the second serve, you don’t know when he’s going to smack the forehand or push it back. He’s very unpredictable, the only predictable thing is that he’s going to play smart.”

While Medvedev was booed last year by Flushing Meadows crowds and in the past was known for being volatile, Wilander said his personality is good for the sport.

“Every moment of the match he seems to be completely engaged emotionally,” seven-time major winner Wilander said. “I like the way he is in court — angry, smiling, he looks like he’s having a really good time and enjoying his tennis.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

READ  From lost customers to keeping lights on at plants, here's what the UAW strike can cost GM



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here