“The Three Knights of tennis,” said the smiling world No.1, before firing a warning to the duo. “Roger and Rafa inspire me. I think as long as they go, I’ll go. I think in a way it’s a race who plays tennis more and who wins more. It’s a competition between us in all areas. But I think that’s the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit.”
Medvedev, who arrived on court as the “man to beat”, riding a scintillating 20-match unbeaten streak, underlined the task of snatching away the elite prizes from this formidable trio.
“When they’re in the zone, and I’m not shy to say it, I feel like they’re just better tennis players, which shows facts and numbers,” said the Russian as one of the chasing pack.
“For sure, when we are also in the zone, we can bring them big fight, we can win some matches, some maybe big titles. But it’s just that the percentage is on their side.
“I’m 25 now. To win nine Australian Opens, I need to win every year until I’m 34. I mean, I believe in myself, but I don’t think I’m able to do it. Same with Rafa. I mean, 13 Roland Garros… We’re talking about some cyborgs of tennis, in a good way. They’re just unbelievable.”
Djokovic’s joint coach Goran Ivanisevic hailed the world No.1’s mindset, bouncing back from a turbulent tail end to 2020.