Daniil Medvedev has hinted that Novak Djokovic was sending him messages of encouragement during a crucial Davis Cup finals tie – and may now owe him dinner.
Djokovic’s Serbia were left nervously watching the final doubles match of the round-robin stage to see if they would progress to the quarter-finals, with a Spain win knocking them out and a Russian Tennis Federation win seeing them advance.
Medvedev was not playing the tie but watched on as Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev won in straight sets to ensure the Russian Tennis Federation topped the group and Serbia qualified as one of the two best runners-up.
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“It’s funny, because during the match, we were getting messages from some people in Serbia, let’s call it that, because I won’t say who, and not just me, but a lot of us saying, go ahead, guys, we believe in you,” revealed Medvedev ahead of Russian Tennis Federation’s quarter-final against Sweden.
“We just wanted to win the game, and we are really happy that we did.”
Asked whether world No 1 Djokovic owed him a dinner at a restaurant, Medvedev joked: “I think we’re not going to do it during the tournament. But maybe one day we’ll see.”
Medvedev and Djokovic have struck up a close relationship this season, practising together at the Paris Masters and at the ATP Finals.
The session at the Paris Masters was the first tournament that Djokovic had played since his devastating defeat to Medvedev in the final of the US Open.
Speaking about their Paris hitting session, Medvedev said: "Since I have become top 10, I haven't played him in training sessions. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if he had trained a lot or not," he said ahead of the tournament earlier this month.
"I had anticipated this as a good training session and it was wonderful. We played for two hours, one set, and it was great. Then we talked for 15, 20 minutes, I love talking with him. I think I can say that he’s a friend… It's really seldom that No 1 and No 2 have a training session together."
Djokovic and Medvedev were also seen laughing together as they watched a video ahead of their quarter-final matches in Madrid.
Russian Tennis Federation play Sweden in the last quarter-final on Thursday. Great Britain face Germany on Tuesday while Serbia take on Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
The semi-finals are in Madrid on Saturday followed by the final on Sunday.
Former world No 1 Mats Wilander said that he would like to see more “fireworks” between the pair and doesn’t think a close friendship benefits Medvedev.
“I am not sure I necessarily like that Novak and Daniill are hanging out and practicing together,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“I like to see a little more fireworks between them because there were no fireworks at the US Open in the finals, there were no fireworks in Melbourne in the [Australian] Open final.
“I think this [relationship] is great for Novak in the long run. Novak learns a lot about his opponents by practising with them, and I think Daniil is going to learn that Novak is the greatest player of all time by practising with him. So I think it can only help Novak.”
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