Daniil Medvedev v Roger Federer: Whose behind-the-baseline overhead smash was better after Indian Wells stunner?


Daniil Medvedev or Roger Federer: Who did it better?

That was the question being posed after Medvedev hit an “amazing” overhead smash from behind the baseline which was reminiscent of one of the greatest shots of Federer’s career.

Federer’s effort came in Basel in 2002 against Andy Roddick. The Swiss superstar was running to his right way behind the baseline to retrieve a smash from Roddick, and somehow managed to hit an incredible jumping overhead winner down the line.

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Medvedev did similar in his win over Alexander Zverev in the last 16 at Indian Wells.

Zverev hit a smash into the court that bounced up high behind the baseline. Medvedev wasn’t on the run like Federer, but had to leap up to even reach the ball, and incredibly then fired it back past Zverev for a clean winner.

It was a stunning effort and came at an important moment in the match at 1-1 in the second set tie-breaker with Zverev serving.

So, what was Medvedev’s verdict on the shot and the echoes of Federer from 21 years ago?

“First, I saw some comments about Federer’s overhead. I was like ‘which one?’ Then I remembered the one against Roddick,” said Medvedev.

“His one was tougher because he was on the run and out of the court. But if I remember right, the moment was a little bit less tight, in a way, because we had 1-1 in the tie-break and I was one-set-to-love down [Federer was leading 7-6 3-1 at the time of his shot].

“I got, in a way, lucky that he put the ball where I was standing. I’m also lucky that the courts here are slow, so I could actually hit it and it didn’t go over my head.

“The timing, the position of the ball was perfect, so I managed to kind of, in a way, hit the serve, but from a very far [away] position.

“The only thing I said to myself was, ‘just hit it full power, there is no other choice’. I hit it cross court. It was an amazing shot.

“Even if you try to practise it, you probably miss eight or nine out of 10. That was one lucky one. Yeah, that’s great to have such shots in such important moments. That saves your life.”

Medvedev went on to win the tie-breaker and then took the deciding set to advance to the quarter-finals, where he faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The 27-year-old is hoping he will be fit for the contest after injuring his ankle against Zverev.

“Now that I have cooled down, it’s big,” he said in his press conference.

“I cannot walk properly. But if everything is going to be fine, I’m going to tape it tomorrow, take one painkiller, and go to play. So not much more to add for the moment. Pretty painful, but nothing too bad, hopefully.”

Medvedev is back in action on Wednesday evening.

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