The tennis star who ‘85 per cent’ of people say should have been F1 driver instead

Oliver Harden
A silhouette of tennis star (and future F1 driver?) Daniil Medvedev at the Madrid Open. Madrid, May 2023.

A silhouette of tennis star (and future F1 driver?) Daniil Medvedev at the Madrid Open. Madrid, May 2023.

Tennis star Daniil Medvedev has joked that he could target an F1 career after an outfit he wore on court drew comparisons with a chequered flag.

The Russian, who was ranked number one in the world for 16 weeks last year, is currently preparing for next week’s French Open major tournament by participating in the clay-based Italian Open in Rome.

On Monday, Medvedev took on Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles and ultimately eased to a comfortable win after losing the first set.

The 27-year-old, who has a sponsorship deal with clothing brand Lacoste, took to the court in a jacket featuring a striking black-and-white chequered pattern along each arm.

After seeing off his opponent, Medvedev was asked by the Tennis Channel about his attire and revealed his affection for F1 after a number of fans had proposed a career switch.

“Yeah it looks a little bit like a flag right?” he said. “Like a finish line [flag].

“I like F1, and a lot of people sent [it to] me this week.

“I would say 85 per cent F1, 10 per cent say basketball and five per cent – maybe one or two guys – said rapper.” recommends

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Suggested to him that he might be tempted to move into the music business, Medvedev said he would much rather have an F1 career – claiming he feels he has the driving ability to take on the likes of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

“I prefer F1,” he laughed.

“What I feel like [is that] I could not be that bad at racing.

“Well, we’ll see after my career if I have time to do something.”

Medvedev’s revelation is not the first time F1 and tennis have crossed paths in recent weeks.

During his traditional pre-race grid walk segment at the Miami Grand Prix, Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle was powerless to prevent three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart pushing past security to retrieve Roger Federer, widely regarded as the greatest tennis player in history.

Federer, who has also been present at F1 races in Abu Dhabi over recent years, told Brundle of his passion for the sport.

“I’m cheering for Lewis and George [Russell, Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate].

“It’s nice to see them. We’ve come across each other several times.

“I last saw George at the Laver Cup when I retired – I was the host showing him around – so now it’s nice to be back here at the Hard Rock Stadium [where] I won back in 2019.

“Incredible to be back here and to think there’s a Formula 1 track all the way around the stadium now.

“It’s wild.”