Daniil Medvedev is the man to beat Indian Wells

www.latimes.com
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Men's tennis has been dominated by three players with a combined 59 more majors than Daniil Medvedev, the top seed at Indian Wells. That gap will shrink.
For the first time in more than a decade, a look down the road in men's professional tennis does not bring pictures of Swiss mastery or Spanish dominance. Maybe not even Serbian untouchability.

The man of the moment is a Russian named Daniil Medvedev , and not just because he won last month's U.S. Open. He appears to be perfect: Big forehand, even bigger backhand. A serve that whistles at 130 mph. And at 6 foot 6, 185 pounds, court coverage that resembles a deer.

Oh yes, and he is 25.

Roger Federer isn't here at this October's BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. He is spending more time with doctors than with his forehand these days. Much the same for Rafael Nadal, who punished and pounded so many opponents over the years that his body now appears to be doing payback. Then there is Novak Djokovic, who lost that U.S. Open to Medvedev on Sept. 12 and seemed to be in a funk when he pulled out of this tournament a week ago.

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Djokovic said he was sorry he couldn't be in the desert for his fans. He didn't say much else.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have each won 20 major tournaments. That's not only a record, it's otherworldly. They have been the faces and soul of men's tennis since Federer won his first Wimbledon title in 2003 and Nadal his first French in '05. Then Djokovic won his first Australian in 2008 and, if none of the three ended up in ensuing Grand Slam finals, it was big news.

News more pertinent to the current state of men's tennis is that Federer is 40, Nadal 35 and Djokovic 34. In normal life, they are young men. In tennis life, they are starting to think about AARP…
Bill Dwyre
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