Daniil Medvedev ready for possible Rafael Nadal battle with confident prediction

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Daniil Medvedev has fired a warning to his competitors at the National Bank Open in Toronto this week, remarking that he expects to be in the final. Medvedev, the world number two, is the top seed for the tournament with Rafael Nadal standing as the second seed leaving the tantalising prospect of a final between the two stars.

Asked about his expectations for the competition, Medvedev responded in typically confident fashion as he looks to get his hard court season underway successfully. The Russian said: “I am the top seed, so anything except the final will not be a good result.

“I want to play good tennis. I know when I play good tennis on hard courts, I am hard to beat. 

“I am keen to win. I know I am capable of beating a lot of guys on hard and I know I can win big tournaments. 

“At the same time, everybody plays well, everybody can beat everybody. It is unpredictable.”

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Medvedev went on to speak about the added pressure that comes with going into tournaments as one of the top seeds and favourites, as well as the difficulties of dealing with losing when you are in that position. He said: “Each week, you are going to play strong opponents who will want to beat you as you are No. 2 in the world.

“I played quite good tennis at Wimbledon, but being top four in the world, even though it was a tough five-set battle against Hubert Hurkacz, to lose in the fourth round at a Grand Slam was not a good result.”

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The National Bank Open is an event which will provoke good memories for Medvedev as it was the first Masters 1000 final he reached.

On that occasion, the event was held in Montreal and the 25-year-old eventually succumbed to Nadal having beaten Dominic Thiem among others en route to the final.

Medvedev comes into the tournament off the back of an unsuccessful Olympic campaign where he was defeated by Nadal’s compatriot Pablo Carreño Busta in the quarter-final.

Medvedev had sparked some controversy at the Tokyo 2020 games after he was heard asking who would be responsible if he died on the court- a response to the brutal heat and humidity players were forced to deal with in Japan.

Medvedev will face either Daniel Evans or Alexander Bublik in the second round, while Nadal will come up against the winner of Lloyd Harris and Brayden Schnur. Both players were given byes in the first round owing to their status as top seeds in the competition.

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