Road to Boston: Daniil Medvedev Team Europe
Daniil Medvedev has already ensured his own slice of history as the newest Grand Slam champion and the nature of his victory only adds weight to his breakthrough at Flushing Meadows.
The Russian pulled off arguably the greatest spoil in the men’s majors when he denied Novak Djokovic the Grand Slam at the final hurdle of this month’s US Open.
Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg will be buoyant in the knowledge his leading charge arrives for his Laver Cup debut with unparalleled confidence.
Medvedev’s US Open triumph capped an already impressive season in which he has ascended to the top two, picked up four titles and notched the runner-up showing at the Australian Open.
How it started
Medvedev hit his straps from the off as he went unbeaten in Russia’s triumphant ATP Cup campaign, claiming victories over the likes of Team World player Diego Schwartzman and Team Europe teammates Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini.
It took defending champion Djokovic to halt his nine-match winning streak Down Under in his second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open. Medvedev did not drop a set against Team Europe teammates Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in succession to reach the title match.
Less than a month later, he completed his rise to world No.2 with victory in the Marseille final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert for his 10th career title.
First grass-court title follows
After a quarterfinal finish in Miami, Medvedev made the switch to clay, typically his least successful surface.
Having fallen in the first round at Roland Garros in his first four attempts, he reached the quarterfinals before eventual finalist Tsitsipas ensured his longer-than-expected stay was over.
Medvedev accepted a wildcard to prepare for Wimbledon at the Mallorca Open and departed the Spanish isle with the trophy after he eased past Sam Querrey.
A comeback win from two sets down against former finalist Marin Cilic at the All England Club pitted him against Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, but hopes of a third straight Grand Slam quarterfinal were dashed in five sets.
How it’s going: Maiden Grand Slam trophy
Toiling in a sweltering Tokyo summer, Medvedev’s bid for an Olympic medal in Tokyo came unstuck against Pablo Carreno Busta in the quarterfinals but better was on the horizon across the Pacific.
The Russian collected his fourth Masters 1000 title in Toronto, beating Team World’s Reilly Opelka, before a semifinal finish in Cincinnati, where he lost to compatriot Rublev for the first time in five showdowns.
Medvedev was ruthless at Flushing Meadows as he stormed through to his third straight US Open semifinal, for the loss of just one set en route.
He soundly defeated Team World player Felix Auger-Aliassime and with history on the line in the final, stopped Djokovic from becoming only the second man in the Open Era after Rod Laver to complete the calendar-year Grand Slam.
“You never know if you’re going to achieve it in your career,” Medvedev said after his victory. “Again I was always saying, ‘If I don’t, I just want to know that I did my best to do it’… I don’t know how I’m going to feel if I win a second one or third one. That’s my first one, so I’m really happy.”
Medvedev on playing Laver Cup:
The world No.2 said he was excited to lead Team Europe in his maiden appearance at the Laver Cup in Boston.
“Playing as part of a team is special for us, as we don’t get the chance to do that often,” Medvedev said. “I’m also looking forward to being on the same side of the net for once with some of my biggest rivals on the tour.”