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At the back end of 2021 it looked like Daniil Medvedev was going to have the tennis fraternity bowing at his feet following his destruction of Novak Djokovic in that season’s US Open decider.

His character was shining through and he had everyone in fits with his ‘L2 plus left’ celebration after finally cracking through for his maiden major.

Fast forward to January 2022 at the Australian Open, he looked unperturbed en route to the final where he wasn’t facing Djokovic, but an unlikely foe in Rafael Nadal, who was returning from an injury layoff.

The Medvedev era looked well and truly set in when he led the great Spaniard 6-2 7-6 3-2 and boasted 0-40 on his opponent’s serve.

Australia was his, as was a second Grand Slam. But Nadal somehow produced one of the greatest all time comebacks seen in the sport’s long history, leaving Medvedev devastated and reeling.

Since that night, others have entered the fray, younger than Medvedev and just as hungry for success.

Two of those being Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.

The emergence happened in the blink of an eye, and what looked like Medvedev taking over in the post Big Three era now looks to be the Spaniard and Italian.

It seems like a huge statement to make but when you look at recent records in progressing to the final at the last two majors played, but it makes one wonder whether the 28-year-old has missed his chance at conquering another Grand Slam.

Alcaraz already has two majors at 20, while Sinner gave Medvedev one of the most shocking senses of déjà vu in sport by emerging victorious from two sets down in the 2024 Australian Open decider.

They sit higher in the rankings and have either equaled or beaten the Russian’s Slam tally already, with plenty more development to come over the years.

Take Indian Wells for example, Alcaraz looked a class above in the final, and has not dropped a set against Medvedev in the two meetings since the US Open semi last September.

Medvedev has won one out of his past five matchups against Alcaraz and is in the midst of a five-match losing streak against Sinner following their Miami contest this week.

No matter how close the former World No.1 seems to get to titles, he continues to be thwarted by this younger brigade.

Alexander Zverev has gone through it and so has Stefanos Tsitsipas, but now Daniil Medvedev might have to adjust to life as a second fiddle because it looks like these two young bulls have his measure.


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