Former world No 1 picks Daniil Medvedev as the ‘best player who has one Slam’ over himself

Ewan West
Daniil Medvedev celebrates after winning the US Open
Defending champion Daniil Medvedev earned his spot in the ATP Finals after winning the US Open.

Andy Roddick has named Daniil Medvedev as the best player who has won one Grand Slam title over himself and described the world No 3 as “a Hall of Famer.”

The former world No 1 labelled Medvedev as “one of the most underappreciated players ever” and asserted that the Russian is a better player than he ever was.

Medvedev was beaten by world No 4 Jannik Sinner in five sets in the final of the 2024 Australian Open last week and has earned high praise for his run in Melbourne.

The 27-year-old broke the record for the most time spent on court at a major tournament with a remarkable 24 hours and 17 minutes amassed during his gruelling title charge. To reach the final, he won three five-setters and two matches after trailing 0-2 in sets.

Medvedev, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2021 US Open to win his only Grand Slam title to date, has been a runner-up in five other major finals. His other four final defeats came against tennis legends in Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

This has sparked some debate over whether the former world No 1 is the best player to win a single major title, with 2003 US Open winner Roddick another strong candidate. Roddick was also a four-time Grand Slam runner-up – losing to tennis great Roger Federer in all four finals.

READ MORE: Daniil Medvedev hailed as ‘authentic’ and an ‘extraordinary man’ for Australian Open efforts

Speaking on the Served with Andy Roddick podcast, Roddick weighed in on the topic and lauded Medvedev for his career achievements.

“I know we always celebrate the winner and people are gonna knock Medvedev for being up two sets [and he] let it go – that’s trash if you do that. Because that’s in no way representative of what he did this entire tournament and what frankly he’s done for five or six years,” the American said.

“One of the most underappreciated players ever. And I’ll throw myself under the bus on this one. Twitter the other day, there’s some conversation going and I get looped in and they’re going, someone said, ‘Medvedev’s the best player ever that has one Slam.’ And I was the answer of the counter.

“And I’ll just tell everyone right now, he’s better than I ever was. He has 20-something-odd titles. He’s won however many Masters Series events, one World Tour Finals, has been No 1 in the world, oh by the way – beat Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam final.

“[He] Has put himself there, I mean he’s been in back-to-back Grand Slam finals. This guy is better. If anyone calls him a ‘one Slam wonder’, they’re idiots and don’t know what they’re talking about.”

The 32-time ATP titlist gave further thoughts on Medvedev’s run in Melbourne and how he will respond to his brutal final defeat in his Betway column.

“We’re rightfully celebrating Sinner, but Medvedev is a badass. He has nothing to hang his head about and left everything in Melbourne. It doesn’t really matter how great your fitness level is – that cumulative effect of time on court is eventually going to add up,” he explained.

“His superpower is playing extended rallies and asking the question over and over: ‘Can you punch me out over time?’ He plays the most effective version of tennis that he’s capable of and it has gotten some amazing results.

“This is his sixth major final now and I don’t feel like we give him enough credit. I’ve never left a final watching Medvedev and thought he’s blown it or given it away. He makes someone earn it every single time.

“He’s played Rafa twice, Novak twice and an in-form Sinner. It’s just the way it goes. I lost four finals and won one. Sometimes you just come up against someone better on the day.

“We’re acting like this one’s going to be the thing that breaks him, but he’s done it before and has come back extraordinarily. I’m not worried about him showing up and being at the business end of every hardcourt Slam over the next couple of years and, personally, I’d love to see him win another one.

“He has beaten all the best players on the biggest stages and is no doubt a Hall of Famer in his own right.”

READ MORE: Aryna Sabalenka ‘has every right to think she’s the best player in the world’, says former world No 1