French Open: Daniil Medvedev says Alex de Minaur can beat anyone

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Grand Slam winner Daniil Medvedev says Alex de Minaur “can beat anyone” on current form, and Novak Djokovic’s possible retirement could open the door for the Australian star to make a French Open debut after 20 years.

After losing three of the last four sets to de Minaur at Roland Garros and dismissing a blister on his foot as an excuse, Medvedev, a six-time Grand Slam finalist, said his Australian opponent had shown skills he had not seen in their previous meetings.

With the win, de Minaur climbed to eighth place in the live rankings and reached the point in the quarterfinals against German Alexander Zverev, who won a five-set match against Holger Rune.

World number one Djokovic could be de Minaur’s semifinal opponent, but announced that he could withdraw from his quarterfinal clash against Casper Ruud due to an aggravation of an existing knee injury.

Medvedev is already the first Australian to reach the last eight of the French Open since former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. While he is hesitant to make de Minaur his favourite, he believes the Australian has shown enough to suggest he can make an impression in Paris.

“Because today he probably played the best match we played,” said Medvedev, who lost to de Minaur for the third time in their first meeting on clay.

“I’ve been watching his clay court matches this year to figure out what tactics to use… but I’ve never seen him play like that before.

“I mean, his serve today was better than most of the guys I’ve played against on clay, so that was surprising.

“Today he has improved tremendously in every way. Then comes the point where we know Alex can beat anyone – I think he has already beaten Novak (Djokovic), everyone else, Rafa on clay.

“But then it’s a question of whether you’re ready to do this week in and week out and become number one in the world, number two in the world, number three in the world.

“He’s close to that, so he’s a top player. Then it’s a question of what he does in the quarters. If he plays like he did today, we’ll see.”

But although Medvedev noticed a huge improvement in de Minaur, he was not convinced that the Australian would win the trophy.

“Predictions are a little disrespectful because when you predict someone, it’s like underestimating the others a little bit,” Medvedev said.

“At the moment, when Novak (Djokovic) is struggling with his leg, I would say Carlos (Alcaraz) or Jannik (Sinner) because they are both playing well.

“They both have a Slam, they have experience. They are among the top two or three in the world, so my opinion, Carlos or Jannik – but let’s see.”

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