‘I have to be best ever version of myself’ to beat Novak Djokovic in US Open final – Daniil Medvedev

‘I have to be best ever version of myself’ to beat Novak Djokovic in US Open final – Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev has asserted that he will need to be the “best ever version” of himself if he is to defeat Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2023 US Open.

The world No 3 also declared that he was “in the zone” in his semi-final victory over Carlos Alcaraz and highlighted the quality of his movement.

Medvedev produced a superb display to down the defending champion 7-6(3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the last four at Flushing Meadows on Friday.

The Russian had failed to win more than three games in any of the five sets in his two prior matches with the 20-year-old Spaniard this year.

His final showdown with Djokovic in New York is a repeat of the 2021 title match, where he prevailed in straight sets to win his only major title.

In his post-match press conference, Medvedev rated his own performance against Alcaraz highly and suggested he will need to be even better in the final.

“I managed to do it. All four sets I played great, but especially – you know, third set I played, let’s call it like this, I said I need to play 11 out of 10, all the three sets I won, I managed to do it,” assessed the 27-year-old.

“In the third set I would say I was maybe 9 1/2, maybe 10 out of 10, and as we saw it was not enough against Carlos. I managed to play well, I managed to serve well, hit some lines in important moments, some great shots. Just really happy, but the tournament is not over.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, against Novak, it’s the same. He is always better than previous time he plays. For example, I beat him [in the 2021] US Open final, he beat me in [Paris] Bercy in a great match.

“Carlos beat him Wimbledon, he (Djokovic) beat him in Cincinnati. Novak is going to be his best version on Sunday, and I have to be the best ever version of myself if I want to try to beat him.”

The 2021 US Open winner was also asked to assess the level of his defensive play and movement against Alcaraz.

“It was great, because there were some points I lost, but after the point I was, like, wow, I have caught some balls that were really tough (smiling). I was like, okay, that’s good. That means that next point I can do the same. Maybe either he’s going to miss or I could make a better shot,” said Medvedev.

“I was in the zone. So when I’m in the zone I’m a great defender. I run well, even there were some moments where I was, like, damn, I should have started to run faster, because sometimes you tend to look what your opponent is doing.

“But against Carlos it’s dangerous because he plays so fast, dropshots so fast so you don’t have this time to look. Every time I looked and was slow, I was, like, next time have to do better and I managed to do better next time.”

READ MORE: Daniil Medvedev ‘happy’ he ‘managed to get in Carlos Alcaraz’s head’

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