Daniil Medvedev praised Nick Kyrgios for playing at Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal’s level after losing to the Australian at the US Open.
Kyrgios ended Medvedev’s reign at Flushing Meadows with an impressive 7-6(11) 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Medvedev will lose his No. 1 ranking as a result, with Nadal in pole position to replace him, and the Russian could not fault Kyrgios’ display - despite a bizarre moment in the third set.
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“It was a high-level match,” said Medvedev. “I’ve played Novak, Rafa. They all play amazing. Nick today played kind of their level, in my opinion. He has a little bit of a different game because he's not like a grinder in a way. At the same time he can rally.
“He's tough to play. He has an amazing serve. But from baseline it's not like when the point starts, you know that you have the advantage. He plays good. He has every shot.
“It was a really high-level match from him. If he plays like this till end of the tournament, he has all the chances to win it. But he's going to get tough opponents, so it's not sure.”
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Next up for Kyrgios is Karen Khachanov, while Nadal is in last-16 action against Frances Tiafoe on Monday evening.
Live projections show Nadal is set to become the world No. 1 after the tournament is over, while Casper Ruud or Carlos Alcaraz could yet take top spot depending on results.
Medvedev, meanwhile, admitted to being disappointed but says losing his top ranking will give him motivation going forward.
“I mean, now that you say it, I remember it,” Medvedev said. “So that's not nice because honestly after such a match, when you lose in Grand Slam, look, I'm trying to look good here, but I'm disappointed.
“Not going to cry in the room, but I'm a little bit disappointed. For few days I'm going to be just a little bit sad, looking at my phone, my laptop or watching some series.
“Yeah, it was not the first thing on my mind walking after the match, saying, ‘Damn, will not be the world No. 1 any more’.
“I actually don't know which place I will be. Probably 3, 4. I guess Carlos will pass me. I don't know actually.
“But that's motivation, try to do better. Obviously it was the last slam of the year. Didn't do well enough. Didn't win in Australia when I had the chance.
“Didn't get the chance to play Wimbledon. Roland-Garros, lost fourth round. Here fourth round. Yeah, should do better. Should get more points if I want to be world No. 1 again.”
Medvedev said he felt sick heading into the match with Kyrgios, hitting out at the air conditioning across the events in the North American swing.
“Nick played good. I mean, it was pretty even till the third set, then he got a little bit the better of me,” he said.
“Physically I started feeling little bit worse in the third set, so I think that was a little bit the key. I don't know how he was. Maybe he was also. Yeah, physically I started just feeling a little bit more tired.
“It's a pity because today I felt a little bit sick. The thing is in USA I get sick [at least] once for sure in the swing because the AC is just crazy. Last year it happened in Cincinnati. So that was a good thing because, I mean, usually you don't get sick two times in two, three weeks.
“The thing is that in the lounge or somewhere I can cover myself. But even in the locker room, I don't know in Fahrenheit, but probably like 68 degrees or something. You go shower, you sweat. If you get little bit relaxed for few minutes, like after the match you sit there five minutes, you can get sick.
“I felt my throat a little bit today. I think that physically maybe that played a little bit of a role. At the same time it's not an excuse at all because Nick played good, he beat me in Montreal, I was not sick.”
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