Medvedev evokes memories of Roger Federer with outrageous smash off a smash in Indian Wells

The Russian produced his moment of magic in the second-set tiebreak against Alexander Zverev, 21 years after Federer’s brilliant shot in Basel

Daniil Medvedev smile Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Daniil Medvedev has been talking a lot about Roger Federer lately; from his disappointment at never playing him at his best, to the tips he took from the Swiss in terms of being relaxed off court and deadly on it.

At the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, the Russian did his best impression of the now-retired Federer when he leapt high at the baseline to retrieve a smash from Alexander Zverev, and promptly smashed it back for a winner.

The outrageous shot, which came early in the second-set tiebreak, helped Medvedev as he came back to record a remarkable three-hour, 17-minute win over Zverev, having earlier twisted his right ankle.

It also evoked memories of one of Federer’s most famous shots, the smash back from an Andy Roddick smash, when well outside the tramlines, for a winner in Basel in 2002.

Medvedev: “It was an amazing shot”

“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” Medvedev said, when reminded of Federer’s shot. “First I saw some comments about Federer overhead. I was like, Which one? Then I remembered the one against Roddick. His one was tougher because he was on the run and out of the court. But if I remember right, the moment was a little bit less tight, in a way, because we had 1-all in the tiebreak and I was one set to love down.

“Yeah, I got in a way lucky that he put the ball where I was standing. I’m also lucky that the courts here are slow, so I could actually hit it and it didn’t go over my head. Yeah, the timing, the position of the ball was perfect, so I managed to kind of, in a way, hit the serve, but from very far position.

“Only thing I said to myself, Just hit it full power, there is no other choice. I hit it crosscourt. It was amazing shot.”

Medvedev admitted it was the kind of shot he’s unlikely to repeat.

“Well, even if you try to practice it, you probably miss eight or nine out of ten,” he said. “That was one lucky one. Yeah, that’s great to have such shots in such important moments. That saves your life.”

Medvedev will play Alejando Davidovich Fokina in the quarter-finals.

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