The longer a series goes on, the closer it gets to its end (even on Netflix). And when two series clash, one of them is necessarily doomed. On Sunday in Melbourne, Daniil Medvedev’s was literally executed. The Russian, who remained on twenty consecutive successes since November (including twelve victories over top 10 players), will only go the distance one round against Novak Djokovic, the king of Melbourne.
The world number one easily won the final, in just three sets (7-5 6-2 6-2) and barely two hours of play. This is his eighteenth grand slam title, two units from the record co-owned by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He won half of it in Australia, where he is unbeaten in nine finals. Djokovic is the tough one in Melbourne, his best surface. He is, more generally and indisputably, the best player in the world.
Like Nadal at Roland Garros
From how many victories did we understand that he was impregnable? It was probably not as immediate here as for Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros (winner in his first four participations). Djokovic’s series at the Australian Open is less impressive in numbers (he still lost eight games, against only two for Nadal in sixteen appearances) but just as relentless in practice. Moreover, Nadal himself had taken a beating last year (6-3 6-2 6-3). Daniil Medvedev, a boy full of humor and irony, will perhaps know how to smile.
If he had been able to recover two sets behind to push Nadal into five sets in his first grand slam final (lost), in 2019 at the US Open, Medvedev was this time completely powerless. Dominating Djokovic in Melbourne, trying to outflank him from the baseline, trying to exhaust him in long rallies, risk putting pressure on him, in the end only constitute unnecessary and discouraging posturing. It’s like trying to get rid of Captain Haddock’s bandage.
“Wait a few more years”
Speaking of bandage, Djokovic always wore one, imposing, on the right side of his lap strap. His injury in the third round, against American Taylor Fritz, who led two sets to one, was his only real scare of the fortnight. The day after a rather disappointing women’s final, won with increasing margin by Naomi Osaka over Jennifer Brady (6-4 6-3), the same scenario happened again: a close match until the last game of the first round , where the underdog, under pressure, makes the mistake and loses his service game and, with it, the round, his confidence, his hopes, his tennis.
We will not bet that we will one day see Jennifer Brady in the final of a grand slam tournament. Now thirteenth player in the world, the American has beaten a player better ranked than the 25th place on her road. On the other hand, it is almost certain that we will see Daniil Medvedev again in a grand final. “You will win others, predicted Novak Djokovic by urging him all the same to” wait a few years “.