Medvedev floats Alcaraz theory that threatens Djokovic and Nadal
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Daniil Medvedev has questioned whether Carlos Alcaraz could overtake Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam record. The long-time rivals are currently tied on 22 titles each – the most for a men’s singles player in history. But Medvedev has suggested that Alcaraz could overtake both of them to make history ahead of their Indian Wells final.
Medvedev and Alcaraz are set to do battle for the Indian Wells crown on Sunday – their second meeting and first in two years. Since they met at Wimbledon in 2021, both men have gone on to become world No 1s and Grand Slam champions at the US Open.
Alcaraz’s achievements have been especially notable, as he became the youngest world No 1 in ATP history and was the first teenager to lift a Grand Slam trophy since Nadal 17 years prior. He can continue to add to his list of achievements by winning Indian Wells, which would make him the second player after Nadal to lift three Masters titles before turning 20.
And Medvedev is well aware of the talent he faces in the championships match, as he floated a theory that Alcaraz could go on to win enough Grand Slam trophies during his career to break the record – leaving Djokovic and Nadal’s GOAT race under threat. The world No 6 made the claim as he explained his first impressions of Alcaraz when he was just 17 and outside of the world’s top 50.
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The 27-year-old was asked whether he watched Alcaraz’s matches for enjoyment or to scout competition, and went on to share how the teenager’s ability surprised him, “I would say, to be honest, more enjoying his tennis. But when I say “enjoying,” even kind of surprised,” he said.
Comparing Alcaraz to his generation of rising stars including Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, Medvedev continued: “Because again, I feel like me, Zverev, Tsitsipas, [Jannik] Sinner would be tough to say, he’s younger, but who else, Andrey Rublev, we all have great skills, we all can some of us serve better, some of us are better at the net, some of us have better forehand, backhand.
“Then Carlos, when he was there at like 17, I was, like, Wow, this guy, he’s strong, but you never know, sometimes guy hits strong and then makes a lot of unforced. Let’s see how he does. Then in one year he’s No 1 in the world. There are matches where he doesn’t miss much, hitting just stronger than his opponents.”
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Medvedev also reflected on Alcaraz’s last Masters win in Madrid where he beat Djokovic and Nadal back-to-back and said the remaining question was simply to see how far the younger Spaniard could go. “That’s like surprising or amusing to see, because, well, you’re like, If this guy is on fire, what can you do?” he added.
“I remember Madrid I didn’t watch the matches but when he beat Rafa and Novak back to back on clay, that’s amazing at 18 years old. So he has amazing skills. The question is, we know that he knows how to use them. Then the question comes, does he win 10 Grand Slams, five, or 23 and maybe he beats the record.”
For now, both men will be hoping to add another Masters title to their collections with Alcaraz winning Miami and Madrid last year while Medvedev has a coincidental record with the 1000-point events – winning all four that are played after Wimbledon in the calendar while Indian Wells is his first final of the five that are played before.
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