Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: Decoding the key stats (2021)
The 2021 ATP Tour ended with world number three Alexander Zverev winning the ATP Finals. Zverev won after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the final, who finished as the Tour leader (wins). World number one Novak Djokovic also finds a spot in the top four of this list. Djokovic and Medvedev met in three finals this year. Here, we decode their numbers in 2021.
Why does this story matter?
Djokovic, who finished as the year-end number one for a record-breaking seventh time, won five titles this year, including three Grand Slams. He faced Medvedev in three of the five finals. Djokovic beat Medvedev in the Paris Masters and Australian Open final, while the Russian overcame the former to win the US Open. The rivalry between the two heavyweights headlined the 2021 ATP Tour.
Here is the head-to-head record
Although Djokovic leads Medvedev 6-4 in the ATP Head-to-head series, the competition has been neck-to-neck. The two players have won alternatively since 2019 when Medvedev beat Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters. Notably, Djokovic won the first two complete encounters between the two players (2017 Eastbourne and 2019 Australian Open). Medvedev retired through injury in the first-ever match between them.
Djokovic defeated Medvedev to win his ninth Australian Open title
At the start of the year, Djokovic defeated Medvedev to win a record-extending ninth Australian Open title. This was his 18th major title. The world number one overcame Medvedev in straight sets (7-5, 6-2, 6-2). Djokovic clinched his third successive Australian Open title after winning it in 2019 and 2020. He achieved this feat for the second time, having done it before, from 2011-2013.
Medvedev downed Djokovic to win the US Open
Medvedev avenged his Australian Open loss by thrashing Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open final. The Russian denied Djokovic the historic Calendar-Year Slam. Djokovic was also chasing his 21st major title. Medvedev became the third Russian after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin to win a Grand Slam. The former dropped only one set en route to his US Open title.
Djokovic outplayed Medvedev to win his sixth Paris Masters title
In November, Djokovic outplayed Medvedev to win a record-extending sixth Paris Masters title. The Serbian captured a record-breaking 37th Masters 1000 title with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the world number two. He broke a tie with Spanish ace Rafael Nadal, who owns 36 Masters 1000 titles. By winning the semi-final, Djokovic had assured himself of a seventh year-end number one finish.
Medvedev attained this distinction in 2021
In 2021, Medvedev became the first player outside the Big Four (Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray) to enter the Top 2 since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005. Medvedev occupied the second spot in the ATP Rankings after winning in Marseille.