Tennis stats don’t usually lie. After Daniil Medvedev took out Novak Djokovic last week in Cincinnati, a lot of tennis experts and amateurs are having a look at how he did it.
For the junior tennis player, the most important thing to realize is not necessarily what Medvedev did to change his own game. It’s what those changes did to Djokovic’s game.”
“He was more aggressive” has been the most used comment. That doesn’t actually tell us how, so we looked into it.
The First Two Sets
Sets one and two were fairly routine. Djokovic made sure he looked after his serve while getting as many balls in play and running his opponent from one side of the court to the other. Sounds pretty familiar so far right?
Medvedev played his usual game, using his first serve as his main weapon. He stands a long way back to return serve, which plays into the longer rally game of Djokovic. Up until late in the second set, even the commentators were calling Novak’s play “a clinic”.
Medvedev didn’t have a break point on the Djokovic serve until 3-4 in the second set. He converted with a backhand return of serve winner up the line. It was one of the few times Medevedev had actually attacked the Djokovic second serve.
The Third Set
The serving stats below tell the story of how Medvedev turned the match around.