Medvedev trains with French teenager Gabriel Debru

World No 2 Daniil Medvedev had a new training partner this week in the form of 15-year-old Gabriel Debru, who finished the season on a high note and entered the ATP Top 1000

Gabriel Debru et Daniil Medvedev, 2021

Daniil Medvedev resumed training last week at the Mouratoglou Academy after a short holiday following his Davis Cup victory with Russia. Since then, he has been out on court and for the past three days he has had a special training partner – 15-year-old Frenchman Gabriel Debru, who recently entered the ATP Top 1000 players.

The new world No 959, Debru is the youngest player in the Top 1000 and the only one under the age of 16 – he will celebrate his 16th birthday next week. Already very tall for his age (1.93m), he began to catch the eye when he reached the last 16 of the Roanne Challenger after a wildcard qualifying event that saw him beat three players ranked between 200th and 500th in the world.

Debru’s debut on Challenger circuit

The teenager’s presence on court with Medvedev is down to the link between Gilles Cervara, Medvedev’s coach, and Stéphane Huet, Debru’s coach since last August under the aegis of the FFT. Huet is probably best known for having eliminated Ivan Lendl in the second round of the 1993 French Open.

With qualities that he describes as similar to Medvedev’s – consistency in the rally, great mobility for his size, solid at high speed – Debru will compete at the Australian Open boys’ event as the seventh seed, two years ahead of schedule. He is aiming for a Junior Grand Slam victory in 2022 and his first steps on the pro circuit, initially through Futures and Challengers. He is likely to make the move up to the main Tour quickly, though, if his performance on the training court against Medvedev is anything to go by.

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