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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday February 24 2022

 
Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal each passed their quarterfinals tests in straight sets on Thursday at Acapulco.

Photo Source: Guillermo Sanchez

Last month Rafael Nadal achieved one of the greatest victories of his career in Australia, defeating Daniil Medvedev from two sets down to claim his record 21st major title.

Tennis Express

Tomorrow Medvedev will attempt to take some revenge. The 26-year-old soon to be No.1 eased past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka on Thursday in Acapulco, 6-2, 6-3, and Nadal battled past American Tommy Paul, 6-0, 7-6(5) to set the pair’s sixth head-to-head meeting.

Nadal has handed the Russian some very difficult defeats, including a five-set victory in the 2019 US Open final, a comeback from match point down at 5-1 down in the third set at the ATP finals in the same year, and – of course – last month in their epic Australian Open final.

Medvedev said he hopes to take a page from the Big Four playbook by learning from his tough losses in the same fashion that Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have done over the years.

“It’s always special to play against him,” Medvedev said. “And kind of a chance to get my revenge. Have to learn from the best, Rafa, Roger, Novak and Andy, always when they were losing a tough fight they were trying to get their revenge. Sometimes they managed to do it and sometimes not – that’s what I’m going to try to do if I play Rafa.”


Nadal will be full of confidence after notching his 13th consecutive win on Thursday against Paul. The Spaniard had never started a season with more than 11 wins on the trot before. He owns the 4-1 edge over Medvedev and will be ready for a battle.

"Everybody knows how difficult it is to play against Daniil,” Nadal said after the match. “I know I have to play at my highest level if I want to have any chance, and that's what I'm going to try. I have to play my game. Everybody knows how difficult the final was in Australia. Tomorrow is going to be another battle. I know he's playing well, plenty of confidence... I am excited to play that match."

Medvedev, who improves to 12-2 in 2022, learned that he will become the ATP’s new No.1 next week after Novak Djokovic lost to Jiri Vesely on Thursday in Dubai. The Russian said he didn’t know that Djokovic's loss clinched it, but when he started getting messages on his phone, he realized he had made it.

He will be the 27th player to reach the ATP’s top ranking when the rankings are released on Monday February 28.

 

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