Deportations, exclusions and injuries. Those three words are the ones that graph the mismatch between Novak Djokovic (planet number seven) and Daniel Medvedev (number four) in the 2022 season. The curious thing about this fact is that, both the Serbian and the Russian finished the year 2021 as the two best players in the world and having played three finals between them.
Throughout the year 2022, Djokovic has faced the revocation of his visa to compete in Australia and has been denied access to several countries for not having the Covid-19 vaccine. That is why in the first four months of the year, from January to April, he only competed in two contests: Dubai and Belgrade. Likewise, she could not be part of the game during the US Open and the American tour of the United States and Canada, who deprived him of entry.
This lack of competition made it easy for Medvedev to rise to the top of the world ranking for the first time in his career, a position he held for 16 weeks. But, after achieving this achievement, the Russian decided to undergo surgery for a small hernia and was inactive for a month and a half. In addition to this, he also had to be absent from the tournaments in Great Britain due to the sanction they implemented against the Russian and Belarusian tennis players.
Without being able to meet for much of the 2022 tour, they could only meet at Roland Garros (Novak was a quarter-finalist and Daniil eighth-finalist) and during the current ATP 500 in Astana, which will see them meet for the 11th time in their career. In history, the one who is ahead is the Serbian with a 6-4 lead. The most remembered match without a doubt is the final of the US Open 2021, which led to the first major for Medvedev, who ended up ruining the Grand Slam dream for Djokovic, winner of the remaining three majors in 2021.
“The next game against Medvedev is going to be a big challenge” Djokovic sentenced at a press conference about the duel that is in the future on Kazakh soil, the first between them in 2022.