DANIIL MEDVEDEV displaced Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP rankings last month to become World no 1 for the first time in his career.
Daniil Medvedev has been warned over controlling his emotions by another star that knows what’s it like to be world No 1. Medvedev, 26, captured his first Grand Slam tournament win at the 2021 US Open, beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the final at Flushing Meadows.
He continued his good form into the start of this year, reaching the final of the Australian Open and searing into a two-set lead over Rafael Nadal.
However, the Spanish icon dramatically battled back to win a five-set thriller, and after the tournament, Medvedev was vociferous about the behaviour of the crowd in Melbourne, the majority of whom were behind Nadal in the final.
The Russian did become the world No 1 after the recent Mexican Open though, only the third male player from his country to achieve the feat after following Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1999 and Marat Safin in 2000.
Justine Henin though, a seven-time Slam winner, has now warned Medvedev he needs to continue to handle high-pressure situations, and exert more self-control, if he is maintain his ranking.
Speaking on Eurosport, the Belgian pundit said “Daniil Medevedev already showed that he is able to handle a lot of pressure.
“I think that will have to continue to work on managing his emotions – because it’s all very well to say that he is like that and that is his nature. I think he leaves a lot of energy in those moments.
“So sometimes it remobilises him but if you take it over the length of a tournament, over the length of a season!”
Henin, 39, believes his outbursts down under ultimately cost him in that classic clash against Nadal: “In the Australian Open final, if he had managed his emotions better during the tournament, would he have not found a way to win?”
“He was the last Grand Slam winner on hard court, so he came in with a new kind of pressure, and maybe that’s what made him explode a bit?”
Henin added Medvedev is still on a “learning curve,” and concluded he will have to adapt if he is to continue to strive for major honours.
“So he is still has some work to do, Daniil Medvedev. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion.
“He’ll always have an explosive temperament, but his desire to leave his mark on the circuit will also involve managing his emotions better.”
Medvedev is currently preparing for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where he will be competing as a neutral entrant.
The International Tennis Federation have ruled that no Russian or Belarusian players can represent their country for the foreseeable future, amid the Ukraine invasion.
Both nations have also been banned from participating in the Davis Cup.