Daniil Medvedev wants to continue his meteoric rise up the ATP world rankings in 2019. The 23-year-old reached a career high No 4 after storming to the US Open final this year.
However a tough ATP Finals campaign, where Medvedev failed to progress out of the group stages, saw him slip one place down the standings.
But most of the Russian’s points came in the second half of the season so he has a relatively free hit heading into the early stages of 2020.
Nadal pipped 16-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic to secure the year-end world No 1.
And Medvedev has his sights set of the Spaniard as he vows to fulfil his childhood dream.
“I have been thinking about it (the No 1 spot) since I was six-years-old, but the thing is that I’m not obsessed with it,” Medvedev told Ubitennis.
“For example, if I was 40 and during my career, I achieved a best ranking of number two in the world, It would not change my life completely.
“Of course working hard and playing so many tournaments you want to achieve the best ranking possible.”
Medvedev has been dealt some devastating news this week as Russia were slapped with four-year ban from all major sporting events due to widespread doping violations.
World Anti-Doping Agency came down heavy on the eastern Europeans meaning their participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games has been withdrawn.
Medvedev was the country’s brightest hope of winning gold in tennis but he can no longer compete under the Russian flag. But he can register for the Japanese event on neutral grounds.
When asked if he would play, Medvedev said: “I think so.
“Looking at this decision, it’s disappointing that me as a Russian player, who hasn’t nothing to do with this, will have to play without a flag.
“It is a little bit strange for me. I don’t know why this decision was made exactly so I don’t know if it was the right decision.
“To be honest as a tennis player it is a little bit tough to talk about these things because I live in Monaco and we get tested in every country around the world. From 20 to 30 doping tests.
“I know what happened, but I don’t know how to react to it because I’m not in this (the Russian) federation.”
Medvedev’s 11-month season drew to a close at the Davis Cup in Madrid but he has swiftly returned to action at the new Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia this week.
A large financial reward is the incentive for players to compete but then they will return home to finish off their offseason.
“I do think in the middle of a pre-season a tournament like this is good,” Medvedev explained.
“You can’t just practice for four weeks without knowing how your game is at the moment. Last year I also participated in one in France.
“This is how we (my team) decided to do the preparation this year and are going to see how it works out.
“It is going to be important to see how my game is right now in the middle of the pre-season. To see what I need to improve more, what I need to work more on with my team.
“Obviously after my last season, I have a lot of big expectations for 2020, but first of all I need to stay lucid and take it all match-by-match.”