KEY POINTS

  • Lorenzo Sonego shared his thoughts on the current ATP competition
  • Sonego is certain Daniil Medvedev has the potential to beat Novak Djokovic
  • Medvedev has vowed to stop Djokovic from dominating the entire sport

Lorenzo Sonego is backing a fellow ATP star to end the reign of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

In a recent exclusive interview with Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, world No. 28 Sonego named Daniil Medvedev as the one player who could possibly exceed Djokovic.

According to Sonego, the fact that Medvedev has “already overtaken” Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the two other world-renowned players in the “Big Three,” suggests that it is possible that the Russian can also surpass Djokovic soon.

"I would say [Daniil] Medvedev,” Sonego replied when asked who could dethrone the “Big Three” in the current ATP list. “He has already overtaken [Roger] Federer and [Rafael] Nadal, among the new players he is certainly the strongest and the most continuous.”

Earlier this year, Djokovic beat Medvedev to claim his ninth Australian Open title, his 18th career Grand Slam win.

For the Italian, Medvedev’s loss was not purely because Djokovic was the better player. Instead, Sonego speculated that the world No. 2 dealt with “mental stress,” which also contributed to his defeat.

"It happens,” the 25-year-old said of Medvedev’s latest loss to Djokovic. “The mental part for a player is as good as the physical, technical and tactical part. We have to work on it. In tennis you are alone, you have a lot of mental stress, you have different emotions, difficult moments and you must have the weapons to express the best tennis.”

Novak Djokovic lifts the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the ninth time Novak Djokovic lifts the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup for the ninth time Photo: AFP / Brandon MALONE

Djokovic currently holds the all-time record for most weeks at world No. 1. Medvedev, meanwhile, had just climbed to the No. 2 spot in the rankings.

Overall, the two have faced each other eight times with Djokovic leading the standings, having won five of the said matches.

Reflecting on “The Joker’s” incredible record, Medvedev vowed not to let Djokovic completely dominate the sport.

“First of all, it’s an unbelievable achievement,” Medvedev told ATPtour.com of Djokovic’s record last month. “For sure I think in the world of tennis we talk about Grand Slams more than anything else. But this is also a small competition, [and] I’m sure he’s really happy about it. The way he’s played, he’s definitely capable of catching 400 weeks. We’re going to try to not let him do this.”

“I didn’t manage to do anything in the  Australian Open final, but that is what sport is about.  Nobody is going to give him an easy pass, he’s going to have to earn it,” he added.

Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia on the way to a third-round victory over Australian Alexei Popyrin at the Miami Open ATP and WTA hardcourt tennis tournament Top-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia on the way to a third-round victory over Australian Alexei Popyrin at the Miami Open ATP and WTA hardcourt tennis tournament Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Mark Brown