World No.1 Daniil Medvedev has said the absence of both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic won’t impact his mentality as he starts his Canadian Open campaign.
Medvedev is fresh off winning the Los Cabos Open and has received a bye in the first round of the Canadian Open in Montreal.
However, while the World No.1 is back on court after missing Wimbledon, he won’t be up against either Nadal or Djokovic.
Nadal recently withdrew from the Montreal tournament after admitting he was still feeling pain from his abdominal tear that ruled him out of the semi-final at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, Djokovic’s dramas continue having been denied access into Canada and the US due to his unvaccinated status.
This will rule the Wimbledon champion out of the US Open and the lead-up tournaments.
To add to the list of grand slam champions missing, Roger Federer – who just turned 41 – is yet to return in 2023.
Despite Medvedev’s biggest hardcourt rivals unable to play, the Russian isn’t dwelling on the trio that can’t make the ATP 1000 event.
“If the Big Three are in the tournament, they are the favourites straightaway,” he said.
“They win a lot of tournaments — almost every tournament they play — so there is no surprise when we make them favourites.
“For me, it doesn’t change much if they’re here or not — my goal is to win the tournament. No matter who I play, I just want to win the match.”
Medvedev said he has always found it tough against the trio, but still draws confidence from his victories over the icons.
“I’ve never beaten Roger, I beat Rafa one time (2020 ATP Finals) and I beat Novak a few times,” he added.
“It’s a special sensation, brings you a lot of confidence. It’s just a good feeling.”
Daniil Medvedev faces potential Nick Kyrgios match-up
Medvedev held on to his World No.1 ranking after Wimbledon participants didn’t gain points after the All England Club was stripped of handing them out.
This was due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competition, which saw Medvedev miss Wimbledon.
The Russian returned to competitive tennis on his favourite surface and won his first title of the season in Mexico after defeating Cameron Norrie in the final.
Medvedev heads into the Montreal tournament as favourite, but could be up against Aussie Nick Kyrgios in the second round.
Kyrgios backed up his run to the Wimbledon final to win the Citi Open.
The Aussie has won 11 of his last 12 matches and is in formidable form.
But due to Wimbledon not handing out ranking points, Kyrgios has still only risen to World No.37.
This will see him face Medvedev in the second round if he defeats Sebastian Baez.