Daniil Medvedev in an interview about the loss of number one: “I have no reason to cry” – a hymn of praise for Carlos Alcaraz

For a long time it seemed impossible to break the dominance of the “Big Four” in the world rankings. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have dominated the ATP ranking for years at will.

Newcomers kept biting their teeth against the almost overwhelming greats of world tennis – until Daniil Medvedev broke the ban after 18 years in the spring of this year.

The Russian took over the top of the world rankings on February 28, 2022 and thus made history.

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The 2021 US Open winner spoke to his French colleagues from Eurosport about his dream come true, his relationship with the current leader Carlos Alcaraz and what he hopes for from the upcoming indoor season.

Medvedev’s dream comes true

“Being number one in the world was a dream, more than a goal. Until I was 22, 23 I never thought about the top position. I saw these guys – Roger, Rafa, Novak and said to myself: ‘ It’s not for me,'” revealed Medvedev.

Only after the rise in the ranking did the first spark of hope arise and the goal of conquering the top of the world rankings arose.

“When you get in the top five, you start thinking about it. And then when I won my first Grand Slam tournament in New York, I wasn’t that far from Novak. I had a real chance and it became a goal that I wanted to achieve,” the 26-year-old continued.

Medvedev proud of his achievements

According to Medvedev, the top of the world rankings is just as important as his first Grand Slam title last year in New York. He looks back on both achievements with pride.

“Being number one is like winning a Grand Slam. It’s something you’ve achieved and nobody can take that away from you. I won the US Open, the trophy is at my house and that’s where it will be stay forever unless someone steals them. The same goes for reaching number one. I did it and it will stay that way forever,” Medvedev rejoiced.

Daniil Medvedev after his triumph at the US Open 2021

Fotocredit: Getty Images

Loss of top ranking as motivation

When asked about the loss of the top position, the Russian reacted calmly and took it sporty. He sees it much more as a motivation to reclaim his place in the sun.

“To be honest, losing first place didn’t trigger much in me. The ranking is a result of your results and if we take the results from the tournaments in North America in the summer, for example, I don’t have enough points picked to stay number one Casper (Ruud; Anm. d. Red.), Carlos (Alcaraz; Anm. d. Red.) and Rafa, on the other hand, scored a lot more points at the start of the year. So it’s only logical. So I have no reason to cry. I can only say to myself that I have to do better if I want to reach this place again in the future,” he said combatively.

Medvedev: Alcaraz’ level is insane

The new number one after Medvedev’s early exit in New York is Carlos Alcaraz. The shooting star from Spain took over the top of the world rankings with his US Open victory. Medvedev only has words of praise for the new star of the scene. The Russian is particularly impressed by how ripped off the shooting star is – despite his young age.

“What Carlos has done since the beginning of his career is just absolutely insane. It’s ridiculous. The guy is 19. His level of tennis is insane. During the summer it seemed like he was in a little trouble – but then came the US Open in Flushing Meadows. The guy plays five-set matches, finishes them at three in the morning, recovers, wins the trophy and becomes the new number one. Congratulations to Carlos,” enthused the man from Moscow from Alcaraz.

Medvedev describes his relationship with the young Spaniard as friendly and cordial: “I like him very much. He’s a nice guy who I often talk to. I haven’t had the opportunity to personally congratulate him, but I’ll do so soon .”

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates his first Grand Slam victory in New York

Fotocredit: Getty Images

Medvedev looks back on the season with satisfaction

In addition to losing the top position in the ATP ranking, the 2022 season did not go as desired for the Russian. First he suffered a bitter final defeat against Nadal at the Australian Open. This was followed by the ban on starting at Wimbledon and the early exit at the US Open against Nick Kyrgios. Nevertheless, Medvedev looks back on his year with satisfaction and made it clear that he is still passionate about the sport.

“Lots of emotions. Lots of ups and downs. First came Wimbledon. It’s a shame I couldn’t play there. Of course my goal was to win another Grand Slam title. It’s a shame I had some close matches lost, for example the final in Melbourne or the match against Nick in New York. But that’s tennis life. I’m someone who always puts things in perspective. That’s the way I am. I love my job, it’s my passion, I’m happy. Sometimes, of course, I’d like to do better, but I can’t complain,” revealed the 26-year-old.

Medvedev targets number one in the ATP ranking

Medvedev is particularly looking forward to the upcoming indoor season: “This is a very important part of the season for me. I really enjoy playing indoors, so I’m looking forward to this part of the season.”

However, Medvedev is already keeping an eye on the world rankings and is aiming for a possible return to the top. “If I manage to collect a lot of points, then maybe I have a chance to finish first again next year. That would be a solid basis,” concluded Medvedev.

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UPDATE 18/09/2022 AT 5:58 PM



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