Daniil Medvedev vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas and Medvedev both move quite well for men their size. Tsitsipas is 6’4″/1,94 M and plays an aggressive mode of shot-making tennis. Medvedev is 6’6″/196 M and plays a style of adaptable tennis I have dubbed “amoeba tennis.” I call it this because Medvedev seems to be able to adjust to most opponents and provide opposition tailormade as what they don’t like playing against. Neither plays with the standard Big Man tennis format one might see from Juan Martin del Potro or Marin Cilic. Some of that has to do with more slight frames than other tall players on tour. Some has to do with tennis changing to a degree with each generation of players.
Tsitsipas posted the biggest win of his career in the previous round. It was a character building win. It comes on the heels of a character building loss in the form of a furious rally in Paris vs. Novak Djokovic in the 2020 French Open semifinal.
Daniil Medvedev had a dominant summer in 2019 that had people expecting a huge breakthrough in 2020. For the most part, that did not happen, but Medvedev closed 2020 with a series of impressive wins.
Each man enters this match with momentum and confidence. In a normal year, I think the Australian Open surface would favor Medvedev, but the courts are playing faster than usual in 2021. Tsitsipas will need to serve big to win this match. I think in 3 of 5 sets Medvedev is the better problem solver, but service winners and aces prevent Medvedev from doing that.
My pick prior to the tournament starting was Daniil Medvedev beating Novak Djokovic in the final. I am not backing off of that, but I could certainly see Tsitsipas and of course see Djokovic win this title.
My Prediction: Daniil Medvedev weathers some heavy hitting and inspired shot making to win
Daniil Medvedev d. Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-6, 6-4, 7-6, 7-5
PS – To put all of my cards on the table, these two players are my two favorite players to watch right now. I may be too close to the subject to think clearly. To be even more up front, Tsitsipas is my favorite player to watch at the moment.