Defending Diriyah Tennis Cup champion Daniil Medvedev heads to Saudi Arabia next month looking to repeat a 2019 victory that kick started the most successful season of his career. Medvedev and 11 other of the world’s best players will descend on the Middle East to compete in the second edition of the tournament, which is sponsored by Aramco, between December 8 and 10. The 26-year-old’s victory three years ago came in impressive fashion, as he won every match in straight sets, including the final where he beat Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2. Nick Kyrgios stuns world No 1 Daniil Medvedev to reach US Open quarters “I really liked my first time there,” Medvedev said of his first trip to the Diriyah Tennis Cup. “It was a great tournament, had great players and I played very good there. I then went on to have the best season of my life at that point. “It bought me a lot of confidence for the season ahead and that’s what I’m going to try to do this season.” With a new year and new challenges ahead, Medvedev said his main focus was for people to see “the best version of me” on the court. “I want to play good tennis. This season there were some moments where I was not myself on the court, there were some things not working, not clicking. “This is normal in everybody’s careers and everybody’s seasons, some moments are better than others but I want to try and be better next year and show my best level every time.” Since that triumph in 2019, Medvedev has won his first grand slam, the 2021 US Open where he stunned the tennis world with a straight-sets victory over Novak Djokovic in the final, and spent several weeks as world No 1. Most recently, he’s enjoyed a personal high after becoming a father for the first time following the birth of his daughter last month. “I’m a really happy person in life right now, it’s only good emotions” he said. “The experience is amazing. Many, many people told me I can only understand this when I have a baby and now I can completely understand. It’s a lot of fun. I’m so happy about it and so grateful to my wife.” Medvedev will form part of a world-class field of 12 players preparing for the first grand slam of the new season in Australia, with competitive tennis heading to Diriyah for three days across singles and doubles. The likes of Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Cameron Norrie have also been announced In the field. The 2022 tournament will be the biggest line-up to ever play in Saudi Arabia, and the defending champion wants fans to come and experience the energy courtside in Diriyah. “Like every other sport, on TV it is beautiful, you can see the energy, you can see everything,” Medvedev said. “But you can feel it sitting courtside, especially with the best players in the world like at the Diriyah Tennis Cup, you can feel the amazing energy.” Tickets for next month’s event are now available online at www.diriyahtenniscup.com .