World no. 1 Daniil Medvedev is yet to win a notable title in 2022. The Russian lost the Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal and two more titles clashes on grass before lifting the season’s first trophy in Los Cabos. It allowed him to maintain the ATP throne, but he can slip from his hands if he fails to defend 2000 points at the upcoming US Open.
The doubles legend Todd Woodbridge believes Medvedev will lose the US Open crown, as he has not played on the desired level in the opening eight moments of the season. The Aussie recalled that epic Australian Open clash against Rafael Nadal that left ‘scar tissue on the Russian’s game.
Rafa trailed 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 before performing an incredible comeback and scoring a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 victory in five hours and 24 minutes! Nadal was almost done and dusted when he faced those three break points in the third set’s sixth game.
Still, he overcame them and gained a massive boost that allowed him to raise his level. Nadal claimed the third set after breaking the opponent with a backhand down the line winner in game nine and forged an early advantage in the fourth.
Rafa held at love in game ten to wrap up the set and force a decider after four hours and 12 minutes. Pushing strong, the Spaniard placed a forehand down the line winner in the fifth game to open a 3-2 gap and take a significant step towards the finish line.
Todd Woodbridge shared his thoughts about that epic Australian Open final.
Nadal survived a massive scare in the sixth game after fending off three break points and secured the eighth to forge a 5-3 advantage. Medvedev made one last push and broke back in game ten for 5-5, extending his chances and fighting like a lion despite wasting a colossal advantage.
Staying composed and using his vast experience, Rafa seized the third break chance in the 11th game and sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later for the record-breaking 21st Major crown. “Daniil has had that steady progression the whole way.
This year there has been nowhere else to go when you are No. 1. I think it will be tough for him to defend his title. I think he will go well, but there will be the expectation of points to maintain that No.1 ranking. There are just all these variables.
Whereas in the previous 12 months, he learned to get rid of the distraction and play great tennis, the distractions have crept into his game and have built pressure on him. I think how his year has played out greatly with the Australian Open final loss.
To lose a match from that position leaves scar tissue. It changes a player’s mentality until he can win another one. You very rarely get second chances at those levels. I think Daniil had to unravel that mentally,” Todd Woodbridge said.