Daniil Medvedev on Alcaraz: “What Carlos has been doing since the start of his career is a sick thing”

A page has just turned for Daniil Medvedev. Three weeks ago, the Russian was still number one in the world. After his earlier exit than he had hoped for at the US Open, where he lost in the round of 16 against Nick Kyrgios, he fell from his throne and even from the podium since he no longer occupies than 4th place in the ATP rankings. But he is neither embittered nor depressed. “In my life, I relativize a lothe tells us. This year, there have been ups, downs and a lot of emotions. But I do a job that I love and I’m still so motivated.”

Discussing with him is always the guarantee of not wasting your time. He is available, affable and interesting, a triptych not so common in this environment. Back in France, it was on the occasion of the presentation of his new racket model unveiled by his equipment supplier Tecnifibre that Medvedev took stock before starting the final stretch of his season. In sight, a qualification for the Masters, on the right track, but not yet guaranteed (he occupies 5th place in the Race to date but remains below the cut).

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Mentally, he seems in good spirits, with a certain hunger at the dawn of this new start, even if he does not consider that he has lost his title at the US Open, any more than the number one spot. His perspective is different:

It’s like everything in tennis, when you accomplish something. It’s something that can never be taken from me, so it’s good, it’s pleasant. I have the US Open cup at home and unless someone steals it, it will stay there, so that’s nice. It’s the same for number 1. I did it, no one can take it away from me. Actually, to be honest, I didn’t feel much when I lost the #1 spot. The ranking is the consequence of your results. It’s just logical. So I have no feelings about it. I can only tell myself that I have to do better if I want to find this place in the future.”

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The Metz Opportunity

Perhaps because he has never been able to continue since the beginning of spring due to an elbow injury which required a passage on the billiards, the impossibility of playing Wimbledon which had banned the Russians and the Belarusians and jagged results, Gilles Cervara’s protege needs and wants to play. As of this week, he is therefore launching his indoor campaign in Metz, to the delight of the director of the Moselle Open, Julien Boutter.

After the US Openexplains Medvedev, we sat down with Gilles to talk about the program and we said to ourselves: ‘What are we doing? Me, I thought that Metz followed directly with the US Open. I had forgotten there was the Davis Cup. There, it would not have been possible. After the long American tour, you need to breathe. So chaining to Metz, even physically, could be a bit dangerous. Mentally, it’s hard too. But when I understood that there was a beat week, there were two options: do three weeks of training or go play in Metz. For the rhythm, it was not bad I think. So I said: ‘We will try to play this tournament’. It’s in France, and I like to play in France.”

After Metz, he will continue with two ATP 500s, starting with Nour Sultan, where he should find a certain Carlos Alcaraz, before ending with Paris-Bercy and the ATP Finals. Extensive menu. “For me, it’s a very important part of the season, assures the Muscovite. I really like playing indoors. Of course there is no Grand Slam to prepare for at this time of the season but the Australian Open will come quickly and to be confident there, it is important to have a good ending. of the season. And even for the classification, to have the highest possible seed in the table in Melbourne.”

Daniil Medvedev

Credit: Getty Images

There, there are 3750 points to take…

At 26, he may be at a turning point in his career, at a time when a Carlos Alcaraz has just, in a few months, given a boost to the old NextGen, of which the Russian will have been one of the most beautiful. florets. Faced with the Alcaraz tornado, Medvedev is neither resigned nor “jealous”. On the contrary, he only has good things to say about the 19-year-old Spaniard. He who, at that age, was still nobody, measures the exceptional side of the achievements of the pupil of Juan Carlos Ferrero.

What Carlos has been doing since the start of his career is a sick thingAdmit Medvedev. He knows it himself. It is enormous. This summer, during the American tour, I felt him a little more vulnerable. Against Norrie, against Paul, he had some tough times. But at the US Open… He plays matches in 5 sets, he finishes at 3 am, he wins the tournament, he becomes world No. 1. The youngest in the history of tennis and we still had some great players in history… Congratulations to Carlos. I like it. He should be congratulated.”

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However, he says “want to become world number one again“So, Daniil did his accounts.”There, there are 3750 points to be taken at most until the end of the year and I want to get closer to that, even if it is not easy, he said as if to affirm his determination. 3750 points is a lot. And even for the place of N°1, if you manage to gain 3000 points, that places you well for the future. Capitalizing is important.”

Don’t let the trains pass

After his loss to Kyrgios at Flushing Meadows, Medvedev admits to having cut with tennis things. “When I’m in the tournament, I watch as many matches as I can. I like it. On the other hand, when I am eliminated, honestly I cut, I do something other than tennis. I will follow the live scoring of the matches, if I see that there are 6-6 in the 4th I will check to see. I’m still interested in tennis!

None of the vagaries of recent months has in any case altered his desire or his ambition. “Like all professions in the world, he continues, there are always times, some days, when there is a little less motivation. For me, it’s more if something happens in my life that makes my head wander a bit because I’m preoccupied. But honestly, I rarely have that. I like to play tennis, but I am also aware that it is still my job.”

In Metz, where he will be exempted from the first round and will enter directly into the round of 16, Daniil Medvedev is launching an indoor campaign that is far from trivial for him. Since his short and cruel defeat in the final of the Australian Open at the very beginning of the year, he has struggled to run on all his cylinders at the same time.

He was hoping to go full throttle again on the North American summer tour, but that didn’t happen. That’s why he may be playing bigger than many others in the coming weeks. So he hammers it again, as if to persuade himself: “The indoor, I like it. ” It starts again today for him, to drive out a danger which watches him gently, that of seeing the trains pass without him in the leading car.

Daniil Medvedev

Credit: Imago

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