Daniil Medvedev backed to unseat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at top of world rankings

Daniil Medvedev at Shanghai Masters

Marat Safin has backed Daniil Medvedev to follow in his footsteps and become a world number one – and he believes he can help him get there.

Safin had a hugely distinguished career, becoming the only Russian man to win the US Open when he defeated Pete Sampras in the 2000 final, and then beating both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (albeit a youngster at the time_ en-route to winning the Australian Open in 2005.

He was also word number one himself for a nine-week spell in 2000, making him uniquely qualified to assess the best Russian talent today.

“Russia is coming back strong and I’m happy to be part of this group,” Safin told the Moscow press as he prepares to captain Russia at the ATP Cup.

“Hopefully they will do a great job during preseason with their own coaches and then maybe I can be useful for them during the ATP Cup and yeah, looking forward to my new job.

When asked about Medvedev specifically, Safin added: “I believe he can be number one in the world.

“His all-around game… we just need to work on certain small things.

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“I’m sure that his coach knows what to do and I wish him the best to start the year well by winning the ATP Cup.”

No Russian man has topped the world rankings since Safin in 2000, with Yevgany Kafelnikov also reaching the summit in the mid-1990s.

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