La Jornada newspaper
Saturday, February 20, 2021, p. a11
Melbourne. After defeating Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2 and 7-5 in the semifinals, Daniil Medvedev stated that he hopes to achieve great success for Russia in the Australian Open final, despite the fact that the flag and anthem of his country are banned from major international competitions until December 2022, due to repeated violations of anti-doping laws.
Medvedev, who will play the final against the world’s number one Serbian Novak Djokovic, said he did not understand why he would not be able to wave the Russian flag if he won at the Tokyo Olympics, although he preferred not to get involved in politics.
“When we go, for example, to the Olympics, as tennis players, we will not understand why we cannot say ‘Russia’ nor can we see our flag,” he lamented.
I hope it is a great success for the country. We want children to know that Russia can be a great nation for tennis, and that is the most important thing. It is the most enjoyable part of our success, said the current number four in the world rankings.
The Russian delegation had a brilliant performance in Melbourne in the men’s team, with three representatives in the quarter-finals and two in the semifinals.
I am Russian. Why can’t I say? It is politics. There I do not venture, settled.
Unbeaten for almost four months and brimming with confidence, Medvedev, too strong for Tsitsipas, issued a warning of his potential to Djokovic heading into Sunday’s final.
▲ Intractable with his powerful serve, Medvedev beat Greek Tsitsipas to reach his second Grand Slam final. Afp photo
Intractable in service, he conceded almost nothing to his Hellenic rival in front of more than 7,000 fans at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Medvedev qualified for his second Grand Slam final, a year and a half after losing the 2019 US Open to Rafael Nadal of Spain.
The day before, Djokovic, freed from his abdominal pain, put an end in three sets (6-3, 6-4, 6-2) to the adventure of Russian Aslan Karatsev (114 in the world).
Regarding the fight with Djokovic, the Russian is very clear: “He never lost in the final here, he has all the pressure, he runs behind Roger and Rafa. I just hope that I show my best tennis, I know that I can beat the big names if I play well. He obviously has more experience, but also more to lose, “he said.
The Belarusian Sabalenka and the Belgian Mertens were crowned as the first champions of the first Grand Slam of the season, by winning the final of the doubles tournament against Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, 6-2, 6-3.
That of Minsk and that of Leuven, who started as second seeds, were crowned for the second time in a great as a couple, after having achieved it at the United States Open in 2019.