Simon makes Medvedev’s brain implode
- 21 Feb 2020
Daniil was up 3-1 in the first set against Gilles Simon. And that’s the last time he was in control of the match and his nerves. Lacking patience, missing everything he was trying, the Russian simply lost it on the scoreboard (6-4, 6-0) and in his mind.
His frustration level reached the same eight than during the first set of his match against Jannik Sinner, but this time he was unable to calm down. At 6-4, 3-0 he destroyed his racquet but even this wasn’t showing enough the turmoil that was going on inside of his head.
He’s always been a mercurial player, but here it looked like it was totally something else. He had no patience, no game plan, no start of focus: nothing. As if it was suddenly all too much for him as if he just couldn’t stand being out there. The smallest thing would set him off.
At such a point that his coach Gilles Cervara left the court again after the first set, to no avail as this time the trick didn’t work. Simon, way too experienced not to take advantage of the situation, just helped Medvedev go crazy. He put all the balls back, found all the right zones and watched the points pile on his side.
“He didn’t have the patience enough today to try and find solutions, I took advantage of it”, said the French. “My level of confidence is getting higher and it helps my game and my attitude. Those matches help me build again.”
— Open 13 Provence (@Open13) February 21, 2020
To explain what happened, Medvedev struggled to find a clear reason, but he seemed to think fatigue was the main thing.
“It’s not the first time it happens to me, and I don’t really know how to prevent this. I don’t think it’s mental fatigue, it’s more just fatigue. If it was mental, I wouldn’t have been able to come back in that last match. Just today I tried but nothing was working. I even tried to get a bit more pumped and angry but obviously it didn’t work either. I didn’t know what to do. So I don’t really know what the clear reasons are but the result is that everything is going wrong.”
At 24 years old, the world number 5 is maybe just discovering the demands tied to that new status. And the consistency, mental and physical, that is needed to stay at the top. But his distress out there in Marseille is now asking for answers.