16-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has heaped praise on his younger rival Daniil Medvedev after being beaten by him in their last two meetings. Medvedev is now ranked at a career high fourth in the world behind the three legends Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.
Medvedev is considered a future star by many in the sport and has had a breakthrough year performing well in almost all the competitions he has played in.
The 23-year-old has yet to win any Grand Slam titles but reached the final of the US Open earlier this year before losing a five-set nail biter to Nadal. Despite the defeat, the Russian has won three titles this year, and AFP reported that world number one Djokovic commended him for improving his game.
"The last several months he's been playing the tennis of his life," Djokovic said while at the Shanghai Masters.
"He's played finals at least in every event in the last whatever, five, six events, which is amazing."
Djokovic, who is looking to defend his Shanghai Masters title, is on course to face Medvedev again in the semi-finals if they both get that far in tournament. The Serbian admitted that he finds it difficult to find weaknesses in the young Russian’s game.
"He's improved his movement and his fitness. He's got a strong serve, and he uses his angles very well," Djokovic said, "his backhand is very powerful.
"He has cut out the mistakes in his game and he’s now able to hit anything from that corner.
"Forehand used to be slightly weaker for him, but now he's improved on that also making him pretty much a complete player."
Medvedev opened his Shanghai Masters campaign with a victory over Britain’s Cameron Norrie in straight sets on Tuesday October 8th.