‘Facing Rafael Nadal on clay is my dream Masters 1000 match,’ says Daniil Medvedev

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev played four matches on the hard court within 15 months in 2019 and 2020. Top-3 rivals are yet to face on Nadal’s favorite surface, and Medvedev would love to challenge the greatest clay-courter of all time, even without standing a big chance. Asked about his dream Masters 1000 clash, Daniil said he would love to fight against Nadal in Monte Carlo, Madrid or Rome. The Russian noted that some players from the upcoming generations born after 1995 have already beaten Rafa on clay, admitting he would love to achieve that himself. Nadal and Medvedev met in the 2019 Montreal final for the first time, with the more experienced player dropping only three games in a commanding victory.

A few weeks later, the same rivals reached the US Open title clash and turned into an instant classic that lasted four hours and 51 minutes. After an epic battle, Rafa prevailed 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, finding an extra gear in the decider’s closest stages to defend the lead and secure the fourth US Open crown. In November that year, Nadal and Medvedev met for the third time and embraced another open war at the ATP Finals. Trailing 5-1 in the decider and facing a match point in the seventh game, Nadal performed a remarkable comeback to notch a 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 triumph in two hours and 46 minutes.

Daniil Medvedev wants to face Rafael Nadal at clay Masters 1000 tournament.

In the final set, Raf broke back at 4-5 and grabbed the tie break 7-4 to emerge at the top. A year later, Rafa and Daniil gripped another marathon in London, this time with a different outcome. Seeking the first ATP Finals crown, Nadal led 6-3, 5-4 against Medvedev in the semis, but instead of bringing the encounter home in under an hour and a half, the Spaniard allowed the opponent to bounce back and score a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 triumph! Medvedev prevailed in two hours and 35 minutes, scoring a vital break at 4-5 in set number two when Rafa served for the victory and never looking back. 

“I would like to play Rafa at one of the clay-court Masters 1000 events. I probably would not have many chances, but playing Rafa on clay is a great challenge. I did not have this moment so far, so it would be a great experience. I want an almost impossible challenge to make, but some people of my age have already beaten Rafa on clay, so I would love to try,” Daniil Medvedev said.