Daniil Medvedev’s ‘surprise’ reaction to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s famous ‘fun’ flight selfie

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on a plane together.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal sent tennis fans into a frenzy recently when they enjoyed a mile-high reunion after “bumping into each other” on a flight to the United States.

World No 1 Djokovic posted a selfie on February 23 as the two tennis greats made their way to Los Angeles for the upcoming Indian Wells Masters and it was accompanied by the caption: “Great company on the way to USA.”

And while fans were delighted to have the two legends in the same location, their decision to make their way to US so early raised a few eyebrows as the Indian Wells event only starts on March 7 and players often rock up only a couple of days before tournaments.

Djokovic, though, has been enjoying the sights and sounds of Los Angeles since arriving as he has been pictured at an LA Lakers NBA game and also watched an MLS match between LA Galaxy and Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami.

Nadal, meanwhile, has been posting several videos and photos of his training at the Tennis Garden in Indian Wells.

However, one of those who were surprised by their early arrival was world No 3 Daniil Medvedev as he joked that it was unlikely that they knew beforehand they would be on the same flight.

“I saw it a little bit,” he said. “First of all, I was surprised. Where are they going so early. Indian Wells? Why so early (smiling)?” he teased.

“It’s fun. I guess they didn’t for sure talk to each other before to choose the same flight. I guess it was a surprise for me. When you see another tennis player on the plane like this, it’s a good surprise, which especially them for are rivals for 20 years. It’s a fun picture.

“It shows you on tennis tour, you see other players in the plane, you laugh about it, take a picture. Maybe they talked a little. Then you forget about it. They go Indian Wells, prepare their way. That’s how tennis tour is. Friendly, easygoing.”

Medvedev will be one of those who arrive late in Indian Wells as he is still competing at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

After taking an extended following his Australian Open final defeat to Jannik Sinner, the Russian returned to action this week and he has extended his stay as he has reached the semi-final after beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 6-3.

The world No 4, though, has struggled with a virus in recent days, but he is on the mend.

“I was feeling better,” Medvedev said. “I don’t know what happened yesterday. A few people around me got a small virus, so maybe it is this. Some days that happens but I am happy today happened. I am not at my best shape yet but we have some more matches.”

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