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Daniil Medvedev knew that he would need to be near-perfect to beat Novak Djokovic in the US Open final a Flushing Meadows. The world No. 3 fell a little short in his quest, losing in straight sets to the legendary Serb, but now he has been asked to make his perfect player.
In an interview with the ATP tour, the 2021 US Open champion was tasked with taking the best elements of different player’s games to create a combined super player that would be even more invincible than Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal combined.
Unsurprisingly, all three of those aforementioned superstars made it into Medvedev’s perfect player – as well as himself.
When it came to the perfect forehand it was Federer who got the nod. “No, I’ll go for Roger. Just because his forehand is so good, I think that was his best shot,” said Medvedev. “Also, the way he sets up for the slice with his forehand. As soon as you go to his forehand you are in trouble.”
A more unlikely pick was for the backhand, with Medvedev choosing Austrian Dominic Theim because he loves it when he “smashes his backhand down the line or cross court”.
Nick Kyrgios got the nod to provide the serve. Speaking about the Australian bad boy, Medvedev said: “Especially for his height, he has one of the best serves ever. And Nick, regarding height, power that he has and precision is probably the best.”
It was only a matter of time before world No. 1 Djokovic appeared in the perfect player lists and the Serb was initially selected for his superior return ability. American veteran Steve Johnson was included for his slicing prowess as well as Federer and the Swiss superstar was back once more when Medvedev made his pick for someone at the net, with Kyrgios also included here once more.
The Russian said: “I played both Roger and Nick and when they go to the net it’s just so tough to do anything against them.”
After picking Corentin Moutet for touch, Medvedev selected himself for speed, insisting that he loves “the way I run” but he did also pay tribute to Carlos Alcaraz, claiming that the Spaniard was one of the fastest players he has seen in his life.
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After choosing Djokovic for flexibility and Nadal for mental toughness, he selected both of them for competitiveness, pointing to their leading Grand Slam title records as the reason why.
Medvedev’s final pick was for celebrations and for his one he opted to stick with himself, saying “I like my celebrations” before admitting that he likes to try new things on the court.
The Russian can take some solace from knowing that he will never have to face the perfect player that he had built, but after losing the US Open final this month to Djokovic he has already experienced the nearest living thing to it.
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