Medvedev: 'I Don't Want To Stop Where I Am'
Daniil Medvedev has enjoyed a rapid ascent up the ATP Rankings. Thirteen months ago, he had not won an ATP Tour title. Now, he’s a three-time titlist and one victory away from lifting the trophy at the Sofia Open in Bulgaria.
But while the Russian’s rise into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings has been impressive, he sees this as just the beginning. The 22-year-old is ambitious, and plans to soar even higher.
“I don’t want to stop at where I am,” said Medvedev, the World No. 16. “I hope to do what I need to be even higher.”
In a way, this run started because Medvedev didn’t get what he wanted. Last January, the Russian desired to compete in Auckland rather than Sydney, because his girlfriend (now wife) had a visa for New Zealand. But Medvedev could not get into the Auckland main draw, so he competed in Sydney qualifying and eventually defeated home favourite Alex de Minaur in the final to capture his first ATP Tour title.
“I think [that win] gave me a big push in the year, even if this push was not straightaway,” Medvedev said. “But I think this meant a lot for the season.”
Medvedev began that event in Sydney as the No. 84 player in the world. But the title gave him confidence that he would carry throughout the year. The 6’5” right-hander lifted his second trophy at the Winston-Salem Open, without dropping a set, and then was victorious at an ATP 500 for the first time, defeating Kei Nishikori to clinch the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.
Medvedev did not drop a set in the Tokyo main draw, and only one set went past 6-4. Other players who have won that title include Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Ken Rosewall.
“An ATP 500 is definitely a different thing, beating indoor guys like Milos [Raonic], Denis Shapovalov, Kei [Nishikori] at his hometown. It’s something amazing,” Medvedev said. “You never win easy, but doing this with easy scores with the amazing level my game [was at], I’m just really happy with myself and I hope to continue improving.”
The third seed in Sofia says that he made a change that has helped his surge on the ATP Tour. However, it does not involve a particular stroke.
“For me, tennis is about many, many small details, especially at the level where we all are right now,” Medvedev said. “It’s about the physical part of course, the mental part, [and the] tennis part. If you don’t play good tennis you cannot be here.
“Since I was younger I was just thinking about my tennis and I thought I could always come on the court and win if I hit the ball good, so I changed it. I’ve changed myself on the tennis court. That’s where I am right now and I want to only improve.”
Did You Know?
Medvedev qualified for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in 2017. Three players who competed in that event (Medvedev, Karen Khachanov and Borna Coric) as well as alternate Stefanos Tsitsipas are now inside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings.