Daniil Medvedev makes brutally honest Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic admission

Ewan West
Daniil Medvedev addresses the media
Daniil Medvedev speaks at a press conference

Daniil Medvedev has admitted Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic are all better than him in terms of “peak performance.”

The world No 4 declared, though, that he is enjoying and embracing the “big challenge” of trying to overcome his three main rivals.

Medvedev is in action at the 2024 Italian Open, where he is the defending champion and one of the leading favourites for the title.

The 2021 US Open champion is looking to win the same tournament twice for the first time in his career, with his 20 ATP titles having come at 20 different events. He has not won a title since his 2023 Italian Open triumph.

The 28-year-old Russian will take on 14th seed Tommy Paul in the fourth round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome today. Medvedev holds a 3-0 record against the 26-year-old American.

Djokovic, Sinner and Alcaraz are ranked first, second and third respectively in the ATP Rankings. Sinner and Alcaraz both withdrew from the Italian Open due to injury, while Djokovic suffered a shock third round exit at the hands of Alejandro Tabilo.

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Medvedev holds losing records against Djokovic (5-10) and Alcaraz (2-4), while he has a 6-5 edge over Sinner — but he has lost his last five matches with the Italian.

The former world No 1 revealed he does not place himself in the same category as the current top three as he discussed his competitors.

“I think in every sport you can see it where you are up against someone really strong, and the moment you think maybe they become weaker, or at least you feel like it, there are new guys coming that try to beat you, and manage it to do it sometimes,” he told the Roland Garros website.

“For me it’s a big challenge to try to beat these guys, Novak, Rafa [Nadal] is still there – I wanted to say only Novak, but no, Rafa is back, let’s see how far he can go.

“Jannik, Carlos, Novak, I feel like they are all better than me, if we talk about peak performance; so for me it’s a big challenge to try to beat them when I play them. I’m happy to take this challenge and make a big improvement on myself when I manage to beat them.

“That’s what I believe because for example Australian Open (2024 final against Sinner) was peak of my peak, yes, I was tired physically, this, that, and maybe I would win if I would not be tired, but this is if. The fact is I was at my peak and I didn’t win.

“It’s not an easy feeling. They play very good. I feel like they have better shots than me. But every time I come to play them, I’m thinking about how can I win this match, be better than last time, if I lost the last one. And if I won the last one, how can I still be better?

“Because they’re going to come up with something new. And honestly, I like this feeling. In a way sometimes you prefer to play a final, maybe against someone else, where you have more chances to win.

“But it’s a great feeling to be able to overcome this, like I did once with Novak in the US Open [in 2021], and it’s a feeling that is a good one.”

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