ATP Paris, France

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WATCH: Medvedev last played at the BNP Paribas Open, where he reached the fourth round.

No.2-ranked Daniil Medvedev can't play No. 1 Novak Djokovic until the final of the Rolex Paris Masters this week, but he'll be contesting the No. 1 ranking with the Serb through every round.

The 25-year-old Russian can still get the top spot this season, but is 800 points behind Djokovic in the rankings and needs to defend titles both in Paris and at the ATP Finals. According to the ATP, Medvedev must reach the Paris quarterfinals to keep within striking distance of his rival.

If Djokovic wins Paris, he will finish the season No. 1 for a record seventh time.

"It's not easy," Medvedev told press at the tournament. "There are a lot of wonderful players. [Alexander] Zverev is in great shape, Novak is always a tough player, he's always a favorite when he plays. I want to play well. I need Novak to lose, as well."

His winning run in 2020, when he won Paris and the ATP Finals back-to-back, gives Medvedev some confidence.

"I have...two tournaments where there are points to grasp. Honestly, I want to win every tournament, because I know that I can do it," he said. "Maybe less on other surfaces but this is my aim anyway."

Medvedev has put himself in contention for the top spot by winning his first Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows, where he defeated Djokovic in the final to end the Serb’s attempt at a Calendar Year Grand Slam.


The pair were also on court in more relaxed circumstances recently when they practiced together at the Mouratoglou Academy before going to Paris.

''Since I have become Top 10, I haven't played him in training sessions. I didn't know what to expect,'' said Medvedev. "I didn't know if he had trained a lot or not. I had anticipated this as a good training session and it was wonderful."

They also enjoyed the session off-court, added Medvedev.

"We played for two hours, one set, and it was great," he said. "Then we talked for 15, 20 minutes, I love talking with him. I think I can say that he's a friend. I hope. It's up to him to say so.

"We had a great time, especially if we talk about tennis and we had a great chat afterwards. It's really seldom that No. 1 and No. 2 have a training session together, and I think that for the academy it was a great event for them, and I loved the training session."

Medvedev plays Ilya Ivashka in the second round at Paris. Both Paris and the ATP Finals are played on indoor hard courts.