A run of 19 straight wins and the title at the Miami Open this year have confirmed Daniil Medvedev as something of a hard-court specialist. However, the 2021 US Open champion is bidding to better himself on clay and the Mutua Madrid Open will present him with a perfect opportunity to do so.
Medvedev reached the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo before travelling to the Caja Mágica. “I was able to just come out of tennis a little bit and then continue my preparation for Madrid. It’s not always easy to play here because of the altitude. I’m trying to adapt and prepare my next match”, explained the second seed, who awaits the winner of the clash between Briton Andy Murray and Italian player Andrea Vavassori.
The current ATP No. 3 has 19 titles to his name, but none on clay. This fact is forcing the Moscow native to work hard on adapting his game. “It’s time to fix some small things, make small adjustments and try to play better. Because of the altitude, maybe I can play better in Madrid than in other clay court tournaments. Every year is a new opportunity, this year is another one and I’m gonna try to just play my best”, he admitted.
Having enjoyed his best result at the MMOPEN in 2021, when he reached the last sixteen, the ex-world No. 1’s only goal is to improve on that. “My biggest expectation is to try to play well, getting the feeling of taking control of the game and putting my opponent in trouble. Even on clay when I play well I feel capable of beating great guys, playing good tennis and going far in tournaments, like in Monte-Carlo this year”, Medvedev stated.
Asked about the keys to playing on clay, the second seed said “the first shot after the serve is very important”, before acknowledging that his biggest chance to improve will be in his coverage of the court. “On clay, the toughest thing for me is the movement. I like to move on hard courts and run in front of the ball in long rallies, but on clay that’s not the case. I’m still trying to learn to slide right because I lose five seconds after every shot”, said Medvedev.
Of the favourite in the ATP competition and darling of the home fans, Carlos Alcaraz, the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion opined “he’s already achieved so many things in tennis that are amazing and he has so many years in front of him”, adding that in Barcelona “he served strong, his drop shots were unbelievable and I remember some of them in Indian Wells, you never expect them from those positions”, he ended.