On the men’s side, in a match to be played at Rod Laver Arena today 21 February at 2:00 pm IST, Novak Djokovic is seeking his 21st successive victory at the Australian Open to land an unprecedented 9th title.
Djokovic, who has won all 8 Australian Open finals he has previously contested, is transparent in his strong desire to overtake 20-time Grand Slam champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the men’s all-time leaderboard.
While Daniil Medvedev is looking to equal Naomi Osaka’s 21-match win streak by defeating Djokovic, which would see him lift his maiden major trophy.
The Russian’s astounding unbeaten run goes all the way back to October. The 25-year-old lifted the Paris Masters and ATP Finals trophies in late 2020 before spearheading his nation’s ATP Cup title triumph earlier this month.
Medvedev also has Grand Slam final experience at the 2019 US Open final. Medvedev hauled Nadal into a decider at Flushing Meadows, only to fall narrowly short.
With 17 major titles, Djokovic is the favorite entering his 28th Grand Slam final. However, Medvedev has won three of their past 4 encounters, most recently a comprehensive 6-3 6-3 triumph at the ATP Finals.
Djokovic on Medvedev: “I’m ready for the battle for the toughest match of the tournament, without a doubt,”
“Medvedev is playing at an extremely high quality. He’s the man to beat.”
Medvedev is in the form of his life, having earned his 20th match win in a row by beating fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in Friday’s semi-final.
Medvedev on Djokovic: "I know that to beat him you need to just show your best tennis, be at your best physically maybe four or five hours, and be at your best mentally maybe for five hours.
“When he’s in the zone he doesn’t miss. He goes down the line, cross, forehand, backhand, he doesn’t miss. That’s what is the most, the toughest part of playing against him.”
Djokovic ended the 25-year-old Russian’s 20-match winning streak by beating Medvedev in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Medvedev loses his second Grand Slam final following 2019 US Open defeat.
Djokovic keeps gaining on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings, now up to 18 overall, two away from the men’s record shared by his two rivals.
Djokovic has won six of the last 10 major tournaments and is assured of remaining at No 1 in the rankings at least through 8 March. That will give him 311 weeks in the top spot, breaking a mark held by Federer.