Hamad Medjedovic enjoyed his biggest payday yet after lifting the Next Gen ATP Finals trophy. The 20-year-old took home £405,000 ($514,000) after going 5-0 in his matches throughout the week and beating Arthur Fils in the final. It’s more than his previous total career prize money haul of £328k ($416k). And it will come as a huge boost to the young Serb, who has been financially supported by Novak Djokovic for the last few years.
Medjedovic became the latest rising star to add his name to the list of champions at the Next Gen Finals, a 21-and-under tournament previously won by the likes of Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. The world No 113 clinched victory when he beat Fils – who is ranked 77 spots higher than him – 3-4(6) 4-1 4-2 3-4(9) 4-1, with the event using a fast-four scoring format.
The tournament was being held in Jeddah for the first time this year with a boosted prize money pot. It meant that the 20-year-old bagged £405k for going undefeated in the round-robin stage and winning his semi-final and final matches. The impact of the money will be huge for Medjedovic, who has so far been financially supported by Djokovic to fly around the world and compete.
The 24-time Grand Slam champion started paying for his compatriot’s coaches, physiotherapists, hotels and transport after a meeting with Medjedovic’s father Eldin. “I remember the second conversation I had with Novak ever, we spoke about specific steps in Hamad’s career,” the 20-year-old’s dad previously told Sportal.
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“Novak was presenting me with ideas, what to do with Hamad’s game, and I remember telling him, ‘Nole, I am sorry, but the things you are talking about cost a lot of money!’ And he just keeps going about coaches, what are we going to do and how, and then says, ‘All Hamad needs to do is to work hard, I will take care of the rest.’ I told him again, ‘Nole, it costs a lot.’”
Explaining why Djokovic was happy to give back following his own success, Eldin continued: “At that point, Novak told me, ‘Edo, I am not doing this for the money! I make my money elsewhere, my role here is to help. What kind of man would I be if I would not help the kinds that deserve it, that love tennis and – on top of that – achieve good results?’ I just stand there and he adds, ‘You know what we are going to do? One day, when Hamad makes it, you are going to take someone under your wings and help in the same way.’”
The world No 1 stayed true to his word and assisted Medjedovic in financing both his team and his travels around the world to compete. “During the whole year 2021, all the coaches, complete trips, hotels, plane tickets, physiotherapists, masseurs, preparations that they went to together, we did not give a dinar for anything,” Medjedovic’s father added.
“And that’s not a small amount of money in the world of tennis. That’s a really big sum. One coach costs a lot, so where are the conditioning coach, physiotherapist, courts. Imagine, the best in the world calls my child to go to training together. Imagine that! It would be like Ronaldo or Messi calling you and saying, ‘Let’s play football!’ or ‘Call me if you need anything!’ Those things seem a bit foreign in today’s time, but thank God there are people for whom money is not everything, but humanity.”
Djokovic’s decision to support Medjedovic has more than paid off, with the 20-year-old enjoying the best week of his career so far in Jeddah. As well as his Next Gen Finals triumph, the world No 113 has four Challenger titles and reached his maiden ATP Tour semi-final in Astana earlier this year.
Thanks to his £405k prize money cheque, the young sensation may be able to start funding his own career as he moves into the 2024 season. But he will still start the year with Djokovic by his side, as both men will represent Serbia at the United Cup.