Is Medvedev already the best male Russian tennis player of all time?

Best?


  • Total voters
    72

James P

G.O.A.T.
Is Medvedev already the best male Russian tennis player of all time? If not, whom is better than him still (I picked the obvious three: Kafelnikov, Safin, and Davydenko), and what does he need to do in his career to pass them? I'm not sure, myself, how people feel he stacks up to those three.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
I mean no disrespect but it's a bit of a stupid question.

Medvedev has 1 slam and 13 titles including the ATP Finals, career high #2.
Safin won 2 slams, 15 titles, 9 weeks at #1
Kafelnikov won 2 slams, 26 titles, 6 weeks at #1, Olympic Gold medallist
Davydenko won 0 slams, 21 titles, ATP finals champ career high #3.

Med is only arguably close or above Davydenko and has quite a way to go for the other 2.
 

TennisLurker

Semi-Pro
No
Safin has 2 majors, was number 1, and his majors had tougher draws than the Medvedev Us Open victory. If he had won that final against Thomas Johansson I would have Safin on top of the tennis players with 3/4 majors like Vilas, Ashe, Kuerten. He would have had 2 majors beating Sampras and one beating Federer.
 

tudwell

Legend
In terms of accomplishments, he’s clearly flown right on by Davydenko, as good as Kolya was. Kafelnikov is arguable. Two majors vs. one, but all the next-best stuff swings Med’s way (1 ATP Finals + 4 Masters to 1 Olympic Gold and no Masters). Safin’s clearly still ahead. More majors and Masters. There’s also the ranking to take into account, though Med’s up against far tougher opposition there (still remarkably close to the top ranking when he’s up against a guy with 3/4 slams).
 

James P

G.O.A.T.
No disrespect taken, just getting a temperature check. I see the stats and I think he's closer than people think, but that's my own opinion. (I do rate him slightly below Safin and Kafelnikov, though)
 

James P

G.O.A.T.
In terms of accomplishments, he’s clearly flown right on by Davydenko, as good as Kolya was. Kafelnikov is arguable. Two majors vs. one, but all the next-best stuff swings Med’s way (1 ATP Finals + 4 Masters to 1 Olympic Gold and no Masters). Safin’s clearly still ahead. More majors and Masters. There’s also the ranking to take into account, though Med’s up against far tougher opposition there (still remarkably close to the top ranking when he’s up against a guy with 3/4 slams).
Yeah, I think this is about where I land. 50/50 between Medvedev and Kafelnikov, still behind Safin by a bit.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
He wins one more slam goes above everybody, Safin may have one more master but Med has yec.
One yec can't makeup for one slam.
So need to win one more
 

TennisLurker

Semi-Pro
I don't think Medvedev fans think he is as talented as Safin.
Safin won his first major as a 20 years old, and was a great talent as a teenager, I think he was 18 when he beat Agassi at the french open in 5 sets. Safin was also good on many surfaces, not just hardcourt. He had many great matches against Kuerten on clay.
 

Kralingen

Legend
I'm sure there will be tennis warehouse users who would argue Safin > Medvedev even if Daniil wins 10 slams.

Hell there are a non-negligible contingent of people who say with absolute sincerity that he has the highest HC peak ever. to their credit, can you really dispute it after watching AO '05 or USO '00?

That being said Marat was cursed from the beginning, 1) with horrific injury luck for the most part and 2) loving the drugs, booze, women, and general fast life of rock&roll. Medvedev by contrast was married at 22 and seems to derive enjoyment from playing FIFA and squirting black ink at people at aquariums.

The way I look at it is: Medvedev already has Safin beat in consistency, but still has not reached #1 or won 3 Slams. So even with more consistency, he has yet to surpass Safin's achievements, which I think says a lot about their respective peak levels.

Others are much more interesting. Med has clearly better achievements than Davy (Slam champ, for one) and the obvious serve advantage he has makes him probably more effective overall, but Davydenko had serious fast court chops and imo was every bit as talented indoors as Medvedev though the results don't reflect it. Davy will ultimately end up 4th here.

Kafelnikov has the surface versatility that the other three lack (Davy and Safin showed flashes on clay but ultimately achieved very little on the surface, nothing on grass) while Kafelnikov was maybe the best player on clay for stretches of the 90s. Also bageled PETE on Philippe Chatrier in '96 on the way to a Slam which was epic. '99 AO was a weak draw but he did show a great level in '00 as well just ran into a great Agassi (who was probably even better than '21 Djokovic or '19 Nadal). Also a world #1. I think Kafelnikov is underrated overall & currently above Medvedev.

Rublev will not surpass any of these guys the way he's going, btw.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Safin and Kafelnikov still. With like 4 Slam wins, he'd be pretty solidly ahead of them though even if Safin wins the eye test.
What does Kafelnikov have, to be put ahead of Med apart from 1 extra slam.
Safin underachieved big time and unless you count double career of Kafelnikov, he is already behind Med.
 

Third Serve

G.O.A.T.
What does Kafelnikov have, to be put ahead of Med apart from 1 extra slam.
Safin underachieved big time and unless you count double career of Kafelnikov, he is already behind Med.
Actually, you're not really wrong there. Med has more Masters and I think I value his WTF win more highly than Kafelnikov's OSG. Just one more Slam might indeed do it.

He'd need more for Safin, though.
 

TennisFan3

G.O.A.T.
Is Medvedev already the best male Russian tennis player of all time? If not, whom is better than him still (I picked the obvious three: Kafelnikov, Safin, and Davydenko), and what does he need to do in his career to pass them? I'm not sure, myself, how people feel he stacks up to those three.
As much as I like Med, Safin was WAAY Better. So was Kaflenikov.
At this point, Med is NOT as good as the other two. Maybe he will improve.
But if this is peak Med - then Safin was on another galaxy. I've seen Safin play a lot and his talent was immense. Far beyond Med's ever will be.
 

Booger

Hall of Fame
Topspin? med is actually flat hitter or counterpuncher, one of main reason he dislike clay
Are 2150 RPM forehands nothing to you? I guess not much compared to Nadal, but that's more topspin than Agassi ever used.

 

Kralingen

Legend
Are 2150 RPM forehands nothing to you? I guess not much compared to Nadal, but that's more topspin than Agassi ever used.

This confirms my suspicions about Mouratoglou braintrust essentially trying to turn Tsitsipas into a RPM record setting machine rather than a Slam winning tennis player.

Remember watching Tsitsipas matches with my brother this year and him basically saying 'why does he seem to only be trying to spin the ball not actually hit a winner?'

once you see it with him you'll never unsee it. He found a good balance on clay this year but reverts back to just spin botting after spin botting without much else of a strategy at times.
 
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Booger

Hall of Fame
This confirms my suspicions about Mouratoglou braintrust essentially trying to turn Tsitsipas into a RPM record setting machine rather than a Slam winning tennis player.

Remember watching Tsitsipas matches with my brother this year and him basically saying 'why does he seem to only be trying to spin the ball not actually hit a winner?'

once you see it with him you'll never unsee it. He found a good balance on clay this year but reverts back to just spin botting after spin botting without much else of a strategy at times.
Hey man, if you're really fast and hit a lot of topspin, you can win at least 13 dirt ball world championships, no? Issa great opportunity.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
Kafelnikov has the surface versatility that the other three lack (Davy and Safin showed flashes on clay but ultimately achieved very little on the surface, nothing on grass) while Kafelnikov was maybe the best player on clay for stretches of the 90s. Also bageled PETE on Philippe Chatrier in '96 on the way to a Slam which was epic. '99 AO was a weak draw but he did show a great level in '00 as well just ran into a great Agassi (who was probably even better than '21 Djokovic or '19 Nadal). Also a world #1. I think Kafelnikov is underrated overall & currently above Medvedev.

Rublev will not surpass any of these guys the way he's going, btw.
Kafelnikov was undeniably good, but to me he always was that guy who played every single tournament under the sun.

His stats are kinda padded by a myriad of small tournaments, and even his slam winning runs were not all that impressive. Krajicek/Sampras/Stitch for QF/SF/F would be a colossal Wimby win, but RG... not so much. To his credit, he did beat everyone convincingly.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Kafelnikov was undeniably good, but to me he always was that guy who played every single tournament under the sun.

His stats are kinda padded by a myriad of small tournaments, and even his slam winning runs were not all that impressive. Krajicek/Sampras/Stitch for QF/SF/F would be a colossal Wimby win, but RG... not so much. To his credit, he did beat everyone convincingly.
To your credit you saw matches, great comment.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Medvedev will never be the best Russian male tennis player unless he evolves into a substantially better tennis player.
 

UnforcedTerror

Hall of Fame
It's arguable for now but the moment Med win his second slam he'll be clearly the GOAT of Mother Russia. I'll make sure to get this topic bumped next year. :cool:
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
It's arguable for now but the moment Med win his second slam he'll be clearly the GOAT of Mother Russia. I'll make sure to get this topic bumped next year. :cool:
As I said above only Safin is ahead, now he was one of the most talented hc player I have ever seen.
People talk about his us Open match or AO semi
But I will say watch his paris master 2000 final against scud or how he destroyed number one player Hewitt in indoor condition of 2002 paris master.
So Med needs atleast 3 slam or many masters and yec to cross Safin in case of 2 slam
 

UnforcedTerror

Hall of Fame
As I said above only Safin is ahead
Slightly and only for now.
he was one of the most talented hc player I have ever seen.
Safin was great on hardcourts but Med is a greater hardcourter and time will prove it.

watch how he destroyed number one player Hewitt in indoor condition of 2002 paris master.
Hewiit you say? lol. Watch how Med destroyed Djokovic aka the GOAT in a slam final when he was going for the calendar.

So Med needs atleast 3 slam or many masters and yec to cross Safin in case of 2 slam
Med only needs one slam but he will win many slams and masters it won't even be close when he hangs up his racket.
 
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Milanez82

Hall of Fame
Davydenko isn't part of this comparison, way below the other 3
Medvedev besides winning a slam against a guy going for his 4th in the year also has 2 slam finals vs 2 Goats while Davy failed to reach a single final.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Slightly and only for now.

Safin was great on hardcourts but Med is a greater hardcourter and time will prove it.


Hewiit you say? lol. Watch how Med destroyed Djokovic aka the GOAT in a slam final when he was going for the calendar.


Med only needs one slam but he will win many slams and masters it won't even be close when he hangs up his racket.
I don't think Med is great hc player, I mean he struggles on slow surface.
Didn't like your wording about Hewitt, he was very good indoor player
 
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