Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev managed to outclass Novak Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final and won his first Grand Slam title on September 12.
The Russian thwarted Djokovic’s attempt to become the first player in 52 years to win all four majors (the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) in one calendar year.
It’s Medvedev’s first major tennis trophy after a long and tricky road to joining the tennis elite. Here are 10 main facts about Daniil.
Medvedev tried a lot of sports and hobbies before picking up tennis. At first, his parents wanted him to become a swimmer, but it didn’t work out. After that, he tried himself in a chess school and in a painting class until he realized his passion lay in tennis.
Medvedev even entered the math school in 7th grade (after finishing the first 6 grades in a regular school) and was also among the few pro tennis players who fully attended school classes until he turned 14 (professional athletes normally study according to a special program, which allows for fewer hours at school and more at training facilities).
He even managed to enter the elite MGIMO University in Moscow, but after a year of studies, he decided to fully commit to his professional tennis career.
When Medvedev turned 18 years old, he moved to France and joined the Elite Tennis Center in Cannes. There, he found his mentor Gilles Cervara, who would go on to help him become one of the best rising stars in the game.
Medvedev’s breakthrough in his professional career happened in 2016. That year, he climbed 232 positions in the ATP rankings to 99th place and was eligible to start playing in Grand Slam tournaments.
Medvedev became famous around the world when he reached the ATP finals in January, 2017. He was only 20 years old at the time. He went on to lose the Chennais Open final to Roberto Bautista Agut in two sets. Despite the defeat, Medvedev jumped a further 34 positions from 99 to a new career-high 65 in the ATP rankings.
Right after the competition, Medvedev spent a couple of weeks in hospital. He was suffering from mononucleosis or, as doctors sometimes call it, ‘kissing disease’, as it spreads through saliva.
The illness also prevented him from winning in the ATP finals.
Medvedev won one of the biggest Grand Slam tournaments and with it strengthened his position on the Forbes list of 40 most successful Russians under 40 years old.
Due to his recent success, Daniil Medvedev extended his sponsorship deal with BMW until 2024 and re-signed an agreement with French clothing and sports equipment brand Lacoste until 2026. The tennis player is also sponsored by Swiss watch manufacturer Bovet, as well as by French tennis racket manufacturer Tecnifibre and Russia’s Tinkoff bank.
According to Forbes, all these sponsorship deals, as well as his victories in tennis tournaments provide Medvedev with $11.8 million annually.
Medvedev loves sports cars and driving fast. In August 2020, he even lost his driver’s licence for an unknown period of time after being caught driving 163 km/h (101 mph) on the streets of Monaco.
Sorry ladies, but Daniil has been married for three years already. He proposed to his girlfriend Darya (who is also a tennis player) back in 2017 and on September 12, 2018, the couple got married in Moscow.
Medvedev does his best to separate his professional career and personal life. He doesn’t tag his loved ones on Instagram photos and tries not to show them on social media, in general. Even the maiden name of his wife is still a mystery (even to us!).
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