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Is Daniil Medvedev ready to make Grand Slam move at the US Open? Five major talking points from Montreal and Cincinnati

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 19 Aug 2019
  • Five major talking points from the Masters 1000 double-header in Montreal and Cincinnati
  • Daniil Medvedev, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all feature
Medvedev on the charge (Photo by: Adam Lacy/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Has Cincinnati champion, Daniil Medvedev played his way into US Open contention following a sensational three weeks on North American hard courts? We look at five talking points from the Masters 1000 double-header in Montreal and Cincinnati. 

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Is Medvedev ready to make his Grand Slam move?

Daniil has been on fire on the North American hard courts, reaching finals in Washington and Montreal before capping an excellent three weeks with a title run in Cincinnati on Sunday. That 14-2 run included victories over three top-ten players, with the marquee success being the win over Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati semi-finals. His only defeats were against Nick Kyrgios, who had one of his freak weeks in Washington, and Rafael Nadal in the Montreal final. Can he reproduce these performances and results at the US Open?

After what he has done in the last three weeks, it’s impossible to ignore Medvedev in US Open conversations, but he wouldn’t be the first to play well in these build-up tournaments and fail to deliver under the extra scrutiny of Grand Slam tennis- another young gun, Alexander Zverev readily comes to mind. Medvedev does tick a lot of boxes, he is confident, and generally appears to have a very good head on his shoulders. He has a game style that clearly thrives on hard courts as he has won more matches on the surface than anyone else over the last couple of seasons. His combination of power and baseline doggedness makes him a tough man to beat. I also don’t think he will have any problems stringing together consecutive best-of-five-set matches, given the amount of winning he has done within a very short space of time in the last few weeks. 

Medvedev has never been past the fourth round of a major, with his best Grand Slam performance being his fourth round run at the Australian Open earlier this year, that could be about to change for the new world No. 5 at Flushing Meadows.

Should we be worried about Roger Federer’s chances at the US Open?

Federer has played only one match since Wimbledon, and looked horribly out of nick in his shock 6-3 6-4 loss to Andrey Rublev in Cincinnati. He will have to play infinitely better if he is to make any impact at the US Open. The great man was quick to play down his early exit in Cincinnati, opining that it gives him extra time to rest and prepare for the US Open, but without much match practice, can he just walk into Flushing Meadows, and suddenly find his best form?

Nadal set to make US Open charge

Rafael Nadal looks to have set himself up for another strong charge at the US Open with a title run in Montreal. The great Spaniard has played well at Flushing Meadows in the last couple of seasons, winning the title in 2017 and reaching the semi-finals in 2018 (when he unfortunately had to retire against Juan Martin del Potro due to a knee injury). The world No. 2 got the near-perfect preparation with his title run at the Rogers Cup, winning the tournament for a second straight year, and the manner in which he blew away the in-form Medvedev in that final suggested that his game is in perfect working order. He wisely pulled out of Cincinnati, giving himself two full weeks of rest and practice ahead of what should be another strong run in New York.

Is Nick Kyrgios really good for the game?

It has become a famous line used by commentators- Nick Kyrgios is good for the game- but is that really the case, or should the ATP come down harder on the Australian in a bid to curb his persistent tantrums? The 24-year-old was again at it in Cincinnati, hurling abuse at chair umpire, Fergus Murphy, refusing to shake the umpire’s hand, and appearing to spit in Murphy’s direction at the end of a tempestuous second round meeting with Karen Khachanov. The governing body hit Kyrgios with a heavy fine, but shouldn’t they take a stronger stance against the Australian?

No one else standing out outside Big 3 and Medvedev 

It wasn’t like the Big Three totally bossed Montreal and Cincinnati, but we all know that when the majors come around, they will be there or thereabouts come the business ends those competitions.

Looking through performances across Montreal and Cincinnati, far from it actually, but no one else, apart from Daniil Medvedev gave any indication that he could challenge the established order in New York. Former champions, Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka fell early at both tournaments, while young guns, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who was 0-2 in Montreal and Cincinnati, and Alexander Zverev appear to be struggling with their games at the moment.

David Goffin made the Cincinnati final, but he got a light draw as the bottom half disintegrated, and isn’t really a contender for the US Open title, is he? Neither is Richard Gasquet, who also cashed in on that Cincinnati bottom half to make the semis, and definitely not Roberto Bautista-Agut, who was the only man apart from Medvedev who made quarter finals at both tournaments.

Karen Khachanov showed flashes of good form in his semi-final run in Montreal, and could be dangerous in New York, but no other person put his name forward as a potential contender during the Masters 1000 double-header. 


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Is Daniil Medvedev ready to make Grand Slam move at the US Open? Five major talking points from Montreal and Cincinnati

Has Cincinnati champion, Daniil Medvedev played his way into US Open contention following a sensational three weeks on North American hard courts?

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